Hearn wants Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas to be WBA final eliminator
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is reportedly in conversation with the World Boxing Association to try and get them to make the Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas fight a final eliminator for the WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title to face the winner of the July 15th fight between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao.
It’s a bit of a reach on Hearn’s part to have the September 8th fight between Khan and Vargas to be a final eliminator for the ‘regular’ WBA 147 lb. title. Khan is rated #7 by the WBA, and Vargas #10. For that fight to be made a final eliminator, it would mean that the WBA would skip over the following contenders in their rankings:
Jessie Vargas – ranked #2 WBA
Jamal James – #3 WBA
Egidijus Kavaliauskas – #4 WBA
Frank Rojas – #5 WBA
Jose Benavidez – #6 WBA
Josesito Lopez – #8 WBA
Fabian Maidana – #9 WBA
If the WBA lets Khan’s fight against fringe contender Samuel Vargas be a final eliminator, it would be more than a little unfair to all the contenders rated above them. But this is boxing and that kind of stuff occurs all the time in the sport. I honestly won’t be surprised in the least if the WBA rubber stamps Khan’s fight against Vargas as a WBA title eliminator for the regular strap with their organization. This is the secondary WBA title at 147. The primary title WBA title holder is Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, but he rarely fights at this point in his career due to chronic injury problems. If the WBA made the Khan-Vargas winner the mandatory for Thurman, they wouldn’t be doing them any favors because they could be waiting ages before they ever got a title shot against ‘One Time”.
Khan honestly doesn’t need to be the WBA mandatory challenger for him to get a fight against the winner of the July 15 fight between WBA champion Matthysse and Pacquiao, because I think the winner of that fight will take a fight against him in seconds. Khan is one of the few popular fighters in the welterweight division. It is common knowledge that Pacquiao wanted to face Khan in 2017, but his Top Rank promoter Bob Arum instead made an in house fight against Top Rank stable fighter Jeff Horn. That turned out to be a huge mistake for Pacquiao to have agreed to that fight, as he ended up going to Brisbane, Australia and losing a controversial 12 round decision.
Khan’s fight against Vargas will be his second of his comeback. Khan chose to sit outside of the ring for 2 years after being knocked out by Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2016. I can’t say that Khan deserves to be made a mandatory challenger to Matthysse after two fights, but I won’t be surprised if that’s what the WBA does. This is boxing.