Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Valero-Khan matchup possible

Fighters Network

Edwin Valero vs. Amir Khan? It’s possible.

Bob Arum, Valero’s promoter, said he discussed a potential July matchup of the budding young stars with Frank Warren, Khan’s promoter, when he was visiting friends in England last week.

Valero, a complete fighter who has stopped every one of his opponents, must first get past a tough assignment in slugger Antonio Pitalua on April 4 in Austin, Texas.

Valero, moving up in weight, and Pitalua are fighting for the vacant WBC lightweight title.

“That’s a tough fight,” Arum said of Pitalua. “If he comes through, we’re going to maybe put him in with Amir Khan. I spent time with (Warren) at an Arsenal soccer game. He likes the idea. Freddie (Roach, Khan’s trainer) doesn’t think much of Valero.”

Valero (24-0, 24 knockouts) would be a strange choice for Khan, who is coming off a sensational victory over Marco Antonio Barrera on March 14 but was stopped in one round by Breidis Prescott two fights earlier. Khan might be in over his head.

And while insiders are excited about Valero’s immense potential, he doesn’t have the name recognition to generate a lot of money. In other words, for Khan, Valero might too big of a risk for too little gain.

On the other hand, as Roach said, a fighter with a weak chin can learn to protect it. And Khan, who also has great natural ability, seems to be learning quickly under Roach in Hollywood, Calif.

Valero is THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior lightweight.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected] Note the new email address