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Amir Khan: Options at Welterweight Include Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Vyacheslav Senchenko

Amir Khan is already looking up to the welterweight division. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Amir Khan is already looking up to the welterweight division. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Amir Khan is still planning a move up to 147 pounds next year, and his fight with Lamont Peterson will be, barring a potential money fight with Timothy Bradley, his last fight as a junior welterweight. Khan tells that he's got two U.S. TV names and a titleholder in mind:

"I’d probably move up to 147 and maybe take on someone like Berto or take on a big name in the division" said Khan. "Maybe even Senchenko for the WBA title. Someone in the top 10 and then from there move on to maybe a super fight in the future."

The "super fight" in mind is obviously Floyd Mayweather, something that he's discussed numerous times, with mutual interest between the parties. Berto and Ortiz look likely to rematch in January, and the winner vs Khan would be a good HBO fight for sure.

Then there's Vyacheslav Senchenko, who does indeed hold the WBA title. It's an interesting and perhaps likely idea for a few reasons:

  1. The WBA will likely approve, since Khan has held their 140-pound title for a while and is their "super" champion. Those guys get special consideration in the rankings if they intend to move up.
  2. If Khan wants to fight in the U.K., Senchenko would be the most likely to travel there for the fight. He's not a huge name and HBO could probably live without airing it live, and it would give Khan and Sky Sports a fight of his to air live in prime time in their new, three-fight deal, which starts on December 10.
  3. It would give him a belt.

Now it should be said that if Khan expects a title belt would give him any leverage against Mayweather, he can probably forget that. Floyd holds the WBC belt and has made clear in recent times it's the only belt he cares about. He refused to pay sanctioning fees when he fought Shane Mosley, who held the WBA "super" title at the time, and thus Mosley vacated his title for the money. It's unlikely Mayweather would give up money to claim a belt that Khan holds. These things just don't matter to him anymore.

The one wrinkle: Both Khan and Senchenko are trained by Freddie Roach, but Roach is not as invested or involved with Senchenko as he is with Khan or Manny Pacquiao, and it's unlikely that Roach would feel much pull to choose between the two. He would go with Khan. Would Senchenko take the fight without it being made a manadatory? He's fought very, very fringe contenders since picking up the belt, so it's a reasonable question.

One thing should be said: Hopefully, Amir Khan is not looking past Lamont Peterson. Yes, Khan will be a big favorite, and should be, but Peterson is no pushover, is determined, and will be fighting in front of his hometown fans on December 10. All of this talk could be totally derailed if Khan takes Peterson too lightly.

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