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Road to Mayweather: Who Do You Want to See Amir Khan Face Next?

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Amir Khan needs a final opponent at 140 pounds, and the options are out there. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Amir Khan needs a final opponent at 140 pounds, and the options are out there. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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In the last few weeks, something has become very clear. Amir Khan is being groomed to face Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2012, perhaps at Wembley Stadium for a huge fight, and all that has to happen to save that is Mayweather beating Victor Ortiz on September 17, and Khan continuing on the winning path.

Mayweather is a heavy favorite over Ortiz, and with all that money on the table, it doesn't seem like Khan will take any major risks before a Floyd fight, either. Khan just disposed of the remains of Zab Judah on July 23, and has several options lined up for a fight in December, which is said to be his last hurrah at 140 pounds before he moves up to welterweight, where he might take a tune-up before facing Mayweather.

So what do you want to see in December? One thing to note is that Timothy Bradley is still just not in the running. That's not going to happen unless something dramatically changes, and frankly with Mayweather now a serious consideration for Khan next year, fighting Bradley probably isn't something Golden Boy would want to do anyway. Too risky.

After the jump, the list of potential opponents for Khan.

Potential Opponents

Erik Morales

This one has been thrown around for months now, and I've hated the idea from the get-go. Morales has more in the tank than most of us thought when he started his comeback in 2010, but Amir Khan is the exact wrong opponent for him. As I've said before, I think Morales knows that, and for now is mostly just humoring the idea of fighting Khan in the press. I doubt he has any intention of doing so without a really big payday that GBP isn't likely to give him. And anyway, Morales now has his hands more than full on September 17 with Lucas Matthysse, a big step up from the two guys who have been replaced for that fight (Anthony Crolla and Jorge Barrios).

As an aside, Freddie Roach said recently, I forget where, that he had the new "Mexican killer" or something along those lines in Khan, because Roach is, I guess, purposely trying to hype up a Khan vs Morales fight after previously expressing concerns that it's not a competitive fight. It's just Freddie being Freddie, but the only Mexican Khan has ever fought was a shot, undersized Marco Antonio Barrera, and the only one they've considered otherwise is undersized, faded Erik Morales.

Lucas Matthysse

Hey, if he beats Morales, he's about as good an opponent as there will be for Khan at 140. No idea if Matthysse would be interested in the fight, since if he beats Morales he'll be a major titlist for the first time and might not want to jump straight into a December fight with Khan, when he could take a victory lap defense at home in Argentina or something of that nature to celebrate reaching the mountain top and what have you.

Lamont Peterson

Peterson secured his position as the IBF mandatory challenger with his July 29 win over Victor Cayo. Peterson is a good, solid fighter who has been in the ring with Timothy Bradley (Peterson's only loss), and generally makes for a good showing. I think Golden Boy would obviously prefer something like Morales, and Peterson might be the last -- but still good -- option, really.

Marcos Maidana or Robert Guerrero

Maidana and Guerrero square off on August 27 in the biggest fight of the month before boxing gets back in gear in September. Khan has gone on record saying he feels Maidana will be too strong for Guerrero, and Maidana and his team have tried to force a rematch with Khan, since Maidana has been Khan's mandatory. But instead, Khan is now a unified "super" champion with the WBA, while Maidana (who has held the interim belt in a division where the "champ" has been active) and Guerrero fight for the "regular" title, which Maidana was given...ugh, I'm tired of describing this. You either know how it works or you don't really need to. It's stupid. But the winner of this fight is also a good option.

Breidis Prescott

Prescott has to get by Paul McCloskey first, but Khan says he'd entertain the idea of rematching the only man to ever beat him in the pro ranks if that does happen. It could be a fitting farewell to the weight class and to the "old" Amir Khan as he prepares himself to head to the grandest stages.

Chances are, it's one of these guys. It doesn't hurt that all of them either are Golden Boy fighters or have worked amicably with the company in the recent past. WhO r U pIcKiNg???!!??!!?!? #STARPOWER

(As in, who would you most like to see get the fight?)