Amir Khan has his next fight, and an opponent who had to earn it.
Gareth A Davies of The Telegraph reports that Khan will face Lamont Peterson on December 10, with a venue yet to be decided. HBO will televise in the United States.
Peterson became the mandatory challenger to the IBF title that Khan won from Zab Judah on July 23, by winning his own fight against Victor Cayo six days later. Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO) has only lost to Timothy Bradley, who is currently AWOL for all intents and purposes, and he drew Victor Ortiz last December on the Khan vs Maidana undercard, coming off the canvas and fighting his way back into the bout against the man who will now face Floyd Mayweather Jr on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old from Washington, D.C. (now living in Memphis), says he's ready for Khan:
"Yes, this is the fight that I want right now. It's the fight that I was looking for, and it's a strong fight for me. It's the best fight that I can get, because I'm fighting the No. 1 guy in the 140-pound weight class and I'm fighting for the title. It's a fight I know that I can win."
... "Look, everybody has weaknesses or flaws. Call them whatever you want to. It's up to me now to come up with a game plan with my coach and to come up with a plan to defeat Amir Khan in the ring."
Khan (26-1, 18 KO) holds the WBA's "super" title in addition to the IBF belt, and is regarded as one of the two best in the 140-pound division, alongside Bradley, who dropped out of a July fight with Khan and is currently tied up in a legal dispute with his former promoters.
No doubt Khan will be the heavy favorite in this fight, but Peterson is a good fighter who has earned his way into this title shot and has done pretty well in his two biggest fights, even though he clearly lost to Bradley and had to rally to draw Ortiz. It was about as good a fight as Khan was going to get for this date (save for a rematch with Marcos Maidana), and with Khan looking to move up to 147 pounds in 2012 for a potential big date with Mayweather, this could be his final fight in the weight class.