FORMER world champion Amir Khan, after almost two years out of action, is due to return to the ring on April 21 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool in a surprise link up with promoter Eddie Hearn.

16 candidates are under consideration for Khan’s comeback opponent. Hearn has sent the longlist of options to Amir’s trainer Virgil Hunter.

Names like Josesito Lopez, who is a veteran opponent of Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto and the conqueror of Victor Ortiz, Sammy Vazquez, who’s coming off losses to Felix Diaz and Luis Collazo, Phil Lo Greco, an Errol Spence victim who went the distance with Shawn Porter, and tricky American Mauricio Herrera are in the frame.

“I sent Virgil about 16 names, Sammy Vazquez, Josesito Lopez, Mauricio Herrera, Phil Lo Greco,” Hearn told Boxing News.

“I don’t think it’ll be [Lopez]. He needs to fight someone decent but we mustn’t make a mistake at the same time. It’s got to be competitive but it should be competitive because of the ring rust. You can’t expect Amir to go in and be as sharp as he’s ever been in his career, he can’t be. I want someone that can talk the talk and someone who is capable of putting pressure on him and being exciting.”

Amir Khan