The 29 year-old was already number one in the rankings with the WBC, but without a fight in the pipeline, Khan has been forced to watch from the sidelines as old foe Garcia battles ex-title holder Guerrero for Floyd Mayweather’s old belt on January 23.
Khan had been treading water waiting for Manny Pacquiao’s decision on a potential April contest, but with the Filipino choosing a third fight with Timothy Bradley, the ex-Olympian was left in limbo. It seems that Khan will now await the outcome of Garcia v Guerrero at Staples Center this month before opening negotiations with the winner to secure a chance to become two-weight world champion.
The winner of Garcia/Guerrero will then have a stipulated defense against Lamont Peterson or Andre Berto after the WBC paired the two Americans off in a final elimination bout to determine the second mandatory.
A semi-final tournament will also run alongside the WBC’s stipulations as Sammy Vasquez vs. Aron Martinez and Miguel Barrionuevo vs. Azael Cosio will fight it out until one winner emerges as a wildcard pick alongside the currently injured Ray Robinson.
The WBC’s rulings come on the back of Mayweather’s decision to retire and give up his championship and follows months of planning for an eight-man competition by President Mauricio Sulaiman.