Amir Khan will meet the Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera on 14 March, the promoter Frank Warren announced yesterday.
Securing a fight against the seven-times, three-weight world champion – regarded as a modern great – is a coup for Warren. Barrera has won 64 of his 71 fights and, at 34, has plenty of miles on the clock, but he remains a formidable opponent and the biggest test of Khan's 20-fight career to date.
Winning his first world title in 1995, Barrera has faced Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales in a record that includes a unanimous points win over Naseem Hamed in 2001. Khan bounced back from his brutal 54-second knockout by Breidis Prescott last September with an impressive two-round demolition of Oisin Fagan last month.
The 22-year-old lightweight dispensed with his trainer Jorge Rubio after the Prescott defeat, his first professional loss, and is now being guided by Freddie Roach.