Amir Khan was boxing's biggest rising star heading into his December 2011 showdown against Lamont Peterson. He was riding an eight fight, three year winning streak. He was the youngest British Olympic boxing medalist ever. He had victories over big names like Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah on his résumé.
The sky was the limit.
Prior to that bout against Peterson, there were talks of a possible super fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at some point in the near future. A lot of folks wanted to see Khan take his shot at Manny Pacquiao as well, but the fact that Freddie Roach was against the idea seemed to doom it from the beginning.
All Khan had to do to earn himself a shot at Mayweather was defeat Peterson in the same dominating fashion he had beaten his prior opponents.
After the fact, the WBA reinstated Khan as the champion when it came out that Peterson had failed a drug test – but the damage had already been done. The cloak of invisibility was gone. Seven months after suffering only the second defeat of his professional career, Khan got knocked out in the fourth round by Danny Garcia.
Just like that, he was off everybody’s Next Big Thing radar.
Ever since the Garcia fight, Khan has slowly but surely been working his way back to the mountaintop. He rededicated himself to his training. He made some much-needed personnel changes. And, most importantly, last week he knocked out Carlos Molina – ending his foe’s undefeated streak.
During a recent interview, Khan indicated that a bout against Mayweather was once again a realistic option.
"Definitely, it's still on the cards. I remember just recently I was speaking to his [Mayweather] team and Golden Boy promotions and they are still interested in that fight," he said (via Fight Saga).
It goes without saying that Khan will only get a shot at Mayweather (maybe) if he can redeem himself in a rematch against Garcia. Even then he might need another big win – but at least he would be in the conversation.
As of right now, the only thing we know for certain as far as Mayweather goes is that he wants to fight Canelo Alvarez or Robert Guerrero in May of next year. Beyond that, everything is up in the air.
What do you think: will we ever see Khan vs. Mayweather? Or is the latter too close to retirement for this bout to have a chance to materialize?