Amir Khan could be set for a potential rematch against Danny Garcia this year after the World Boxing Council confirmed he has been ratified as mandatory contender for their welterweight title. The pair last fought in July 2012, when the Briton suffered the second loss of his professional career, being knocked down three times en route to a fourth-round stoppage.
The unbeaten Garcia faces fellow American Robert Guerrero at Staples Center in Los Angeles on 23 January, a fight that will now determine the future of the WBC belt vacated by Floyd Mayweather following his retirement. Khan will meet the winner of that bout in a bid to become a three-time world champion.
"Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero will fight for the WBC welterweight championship," the WBC confirmed in their latest welterweight bulletin, as relayed by Sky Sports. "Amir Khan has been ratified as mandatory contender."
Khan has not fought since May 2015, when he secured a unanimous decision victory over Chris Algieri in Brooklyn. The former Olympic silver medallist had been very eager to arrange a bout with Manny Pacquiao, although the latter eventually opted to choose a third clash with Timothy Bradley as his final match before retirement.
Another fight that has long since been on the agenda is a potentially lucrative domestic showdown with IBF title-holder Kell Brook. The two have sparred verbally in the media on a frequent basis since the champion first stated his desire for the pair to go head-to-head following his successful defence against Jo Jo Dan last March.
Although Khan has occasionally appeared rather blase about facing Brook amid claims that his rival needs to first take on a better calibre of opponent, suggestions that the duo could meet at Wembley this summer have gathered pace.
The Bolton-born fighter's elevation to mandatory challenger would appear to cast doubt on such a showdown, although the prospect of a unification fight would no doubt be raised if Khan can win the WBC crown and Brook comes through a proposed contest against IBF challenger Kevin Bizier unscathed.