Amir Khan Will Keep July 23 Date With or Without Timothy Bradley

Amir Khan's next fight will be on July 23, no matter who he faces. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

According to a report from Sport of the World (via BoxingScene.com), Richard Schaefer says that the July 23 HBO date being held is in Amir Khan's control, not Timothy Bradley's. Schaefer expects to name an opponent within the next seven days.

If Bradley turns down the fight as now expected, Khan could be matched with Robert Guerrero, Erik Morales or Zab Judah. By far the least intriguing of those three for me is Morales, who pulled some rabbits out of the hat on April 9 against crude Marcos Maidana, but Khan is not Maidana. With Khan's length and speed, even Morales' recent strong performance shouldn't keep him from being a huge underdog, same as he was thought to be months ago when that idea was first floated as a rumor.

Guerrero and Judah are more intriguing options. Guerrero has said he's willing to jump to 140 or 147 pounds from his current lightweight standing in search of bigger fights. Judah is aged, but his skillset makes him an interesting matchup for Khan, too.

Bradley is looking likely to turn down a $1.3 million payday to face Khan, because HBO has guaranteed him close to that for a return date this summer whether he takes the tough matchup with Khan or not. The fact is you can't really argue with Bradley there. I mean, you can, and you can argue that it sucks for fight fans, because I don't think anyone's itching for any Tim Bradley fight, and at least Bradley-Khan matches the division's top two fighters, who have combined to clear out the rest of the serious contenders over the last two years. I don't think Bradley is really "scared" of Khan or anything like that; it's just not a practical business decision to fight Khan on July 23 unless the money was much better. Bradley-Khan would still be there later in the year if they keep winning. If they don't and Bradley finds himself without another $1 million-plus payday, well, that's the new risk he's taking by not fighting Khan.

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