Amir Khan will face Danny Garcia on July 14, which opens more questions about the boxing schedule. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
RingTV.com reports that Amir Khan will face Danny Garcia on July 14, live on HBO, and that the co-feature bout will pit Seth Mitchell against Johnathon Banks in a heavyweight fight that should have plenty of action.
Khan (26-2, 18 KO) and Garcia (23-0, 14 KO) have been rumored to be headed for a showdown since Khan's May 19 fight with Lamont Peterson was scrapped, with only Erik Morales rumored as another possible opponent for Khan, which never seemed all that serious.
Garcia, who holds the WBC junior welterweight title, said he would only fight Khan if it were a unification bout. Khan and Golden Boy are trying to get the WBA and/or IBF to return the titles he lost to Peterson in December, a win now tainted by Peterson's admission of taking testosterone pellets before the bout.
Nothing official has been stated by any of the sanctioning bodies, but given the WBC's habit of making up rules as they go, it wouldn't be surprising to see Garcia given an exemption and allowed to skip a mandatory title defense against Ajose Olusegun, who has been waiting since September of last year, months before Garcia dethroned Morales.
Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KO) received a scare in his last fight on April 28, badly buzzed by light-hitting Chazz Witherspoon in the first round, but did coming raging back to stop the Philly fighter in the third round.
Banks (28-1-1, 18 KO) is a Kronk fighter, though not trained by Emanuel Steward, who has made a career the last few years of sparring with the Klitschko brothers and then featuring on their undercards. The Detroit native is a solid fighter, but not a serious contender, and a logical next step for Mitchell. The 29-year-old Banks does have some pop, and right now there is some concern over Mitchell's defense and chin, so it's a fight worth making, I believe. There's more to it than may meet the eye, and it's part of Mitchell's continuing on-the-job training. I do like it more than the previous rumored opponents, Michael Grant and Chauncy Welliver.
This does make one wonder about the Juan Manuel Marquez card at Cowboys Stadium, which has been rumored for July 14 for a while now. That card always seemed about half-real, and with Brandon Rios losing all momentum as a possible opponent, things didn't get any less complicated. Marquez wants to face a lefty, but Zab Judah pulled out of negotiations, and Bob Arum says Mercito Gesta isn't a worthwhile opponent.
Erik Morales has been rumored as a Marquez opponent, but that would require Golden Boy and Top Rank working together. This time, that may be actual good news: If the companies are seriously discussing that fight, they could move it back to early August, and perhaps not foolishly stick it in the cavernous and surely empty stadium where it doesn't really belong. There are some nice-sized venues that could host that fight and be much better fits. We'll see what happens there.