Mayweather-Khan “Finalized”

By Matt McGrain on November 9, 2013
Mayweather-Khan “Finalized”
What is in doubt is his viability as a potential Mayweather opponent. In short, he has none.

One of Britain’s more widely read newspapers, The Daily Express, is reporting tonight that the world’s undisputed pound-for-pound number one, Floyd Mayweather, is to fight Amir Khan on May the third of 2014. Speculation has been rife that Khan would be matched with Mayweather after his making considerable noise about meeting “Money” during his professional association with Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, an association that ended when Khan changed trainers after his brutal defeat at the hands of Danny Garcia.

That brutal defeat, one of three suffered by Amir Khan, is the main reason this announcement—if true—is mired in controversy. Khan is talented, speedy, hits reasonably hard and has the size to fill out firmly at 147 lbs., the weight at which the fight is likely to be staged.  He is also extremely vulnerable, short of both punch resistance and, to a lesser degree, stamina. 

Khan’s losses don’t tell the whole story. He has improved in terms of strategy since his savage first round knockout at the hands of lightweight puncher Breidis Prescott in 2008, but the struggle he faced against Lamont Peterson in late 2011 was, in part, due to a tactical inflexibility as well as his innate vulnerability. This vulnerability was underlined firmly in summer of 2012 when he was beaten—one might even say outclassed—by light-welterweight king Danny Garcia, who bounced him off the canvas and stopped him in just four rounds. The tale o’ woe does not end with losses. Khan suffered terribly to secure one of the few marquee wins of his career, against Marcos Maidana in 2010 and was even dropped by powder-puff puncher Willie Lomond on route to a knockout victory.

Nevertheless, Khan came again over and again, and for this he deserves his credit. Currently ranked number four at 140 lbs. by the Transnational Boxing Board, he has beaten Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz in his last two fights and maintains relevance in his division. He’s a professional, and a good one, and that is not in doubt.

What is in doubt is his viability as a potential Mayweather opponent. In short, he has none. Fighting Mayweather is not only worth millions, it is also the most difficult proposition that exists in boxing. Feeding him with an underqualified opponent is inexcusable for several reasons. Firstly, Mayweather has enough financial and sporting clout to draw any name in the sport to the second corner. Secondly, at thirty-six years of age, time for him to cement his legacy, already considerable, is running out. Finally, nobody but the best will be able to provide fans with anything other than a prolonged spar. Anyone who doubts this need only take a look at Mayweather’s one-sided defeat of Saul Alvarez this September. 

Khan is, however, in many ways, a reasonable foe for boxing’s cash-cow. He’s fast, and because Mayweather doesn’t tend to score one-punch knockouts, Khan’s strengths may line up neatly against Money’s weaknesses. But he has not earned this opportunity, should it come. He is 2-2 in his last four, and one of the men who has defeated him in a one-sided knockout defeat, Danny Garcia, is also a possible problem for Mayweather—and he’s earned the shot.

The Daily Express is a middling UK newspaper. It is neither a redtop-tabloid, not to be trusted, nor a broadsheet, a source close to impeccable. It stands in the middle-ground. Other sources are either reporting the story as it was presented in the Daily Express or reporting associated noise, including the words of Golden Boy’s chief executive Richard Schaefer who is said to be “hopeful” that the fight could be made.

If it is made, it is another harsh indictment of boxing’s ability to deliver the best fights. Khan is under-qualified and other, more qualified fighters—amongst them Danny Garcia, the winner of the imminent Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight, and Juan Manuel Marquez conqueror Timothy Bradley—are idling by their respective telephones awaiting the call to face Mayweather.

Khan, who was involved in a minor car-crash recently, is quiet. So, too, is Mayweather. It is also true that Mayweather has form in this area, flirting with the unacceptable Devon Alexander before agreeing to match Alvarez. Whilst Mayweather-Khan might promise a little more excitement than Mayweather-Alexander, it is not in keeping with the spirit of competition.

Or that old fashioned notion only rarely to be found intruding on the dealings of promoters and alphabet governing bodies—justice.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. yul 07:13am, 11/14/2013

    Thanx victor and I agree ny Irish. All Floyd has to do to Khan is hit him clean one good time (which would happen against Floyd) and khan’s legs are no more good. How many times have we seen that repeatedly. His chin is beyond glass, its wet toilet paper. Lemme tell you exactly how Floyd’s retirement campaign should go. Danny Garcia then Bernard Hopkins and the grand finale should be a catchweight bout against Andre ward. If he does that and wins then there is no doubt about how great he is. For once he needs to grow a pair and run the gauntlet. To be nicknamed “Money”, why choose a fight that wouldn’t make the most “money” especially when you are at the end of your career and you want to hush the naysayers. Smh

  2. Victor 01:18pm, 11/13/2013

    If Mayweather allowed a light to go past 2 weight classes to fight him I do not see the issue with him going up to face Wright. They could have both met at welterweight. One going up and one going down. Fair trade. But oh, Floyd’s the greatest so he doesn’t have to fight threats (if that’s what being the greatest ever meant). And Yul couldn’t have said it better. My thoughts exactly.

  3. NYIrish 12:29pm, 11/12/2013

    Khan has skills but a glass head. Don’t kid yourself.

  4. Danny Collins 10:04am, 11/12/2013

    I am going to agree with Jason. I think this is one of the most dangerous fights Floyd can take south of 160 lbs. Two things factor into that statement:height and speed. At 5’10,  Amir has the ability to go right over Floyd’s shoulder roll defense. It isn’t nearly as effective against a guy who’s taller than him. And while Amir has his weaknesses, hand speed isn’t one of them. He can give Floyd troubles in this area more than anyone else he’s fought in the last 5 years. I actually like this fight, and I think it’s going to be fun to watch IF it actually goes down. Floyd has the intelligence to deal with all types of bangers, even in the twilight of his career.  Garcia, Bradley, two shorter guys who can’t penetrate Floyd’s D. But Khan? Maybe.

  5. Jason 07:48am, 11/12/2013

    Matt, well said! I agree but let’s look at is purely from a pugilistic perspective. The old cliche rings true here: Styles make fights. Khan is past good, but not great. He’s stuck in that awful purgatory that separates the professionals (a` go go) and the ring legends. He has plenty of the former, and will never hold court in the latter.

    Having said that, Khan is laser quick and accurate. There are few, and I’ll say this with my chest, who has the hand speed of Amir Khan. His one-two, the bread and butter, a` la Ali and Holmes’ money maker, is enough to cut and swell the eyes of, yes, even Money Mayweather.

    I like the fight. I think it is a perfect clash of beauty and science. I wanted this fight back in 2011.

  6. AKT 07:19am, 11/11/2013

    @The Nonpareil Hilario - Boxiana Science Educator : You are kidding, right?

    You do realise that Winky Wright was a light-middleweight fighter in 2004? Mayweather was just a light welter weight then! How could they have met then? lol

  7. The Nonpareil Hilario - Boxiana Science Educator 10:09pm, 11/10/2013

    This writer’s opening line destroyed his credibility. Sad. The audited record of Floyd Mayweather reflects the most misses of threatening opposition win or lose (in Boxing History) for a celebrated boxer proclaimed as ‘the best’ for fourteen years.  It consists of Erik Morales 2000 - Joel Casamayor 2000 - Shane Mosley ‘99 or ‘09 - Stevie Johnston ‘00 - Acelino Freitas ‘00 - Kostya Tszyu ‘04 - Winky Wright ‘04 - Margarito ‘06 - P. Williams ‘08 - Miguel Cotto ‘08 - Manny Pacquiao ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 & ‘12 and Sergio Martinez in ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 & ‘13.  Some insiders add the late Vernon Forrest and Cory Spinks to this list (not including or referring to boxing politics or contractual obligations or who’s managed by what company or when, TV network leverage, etc.)  Mosley & Cotto were finally selected after years of criticism. This listing covers four critical topics; a fabricated ascension, skill set doesn’t match courage, while facing low risk opposition, Floyd was noticeably bothered by opponents who were disruptive and without reservation Mr. Mayweather was never comparable to or achieved lineal Pound for Pound accolades.

    ‘If you claim you’re the best fighter in the world pound for pound – fight - don’t make any excuses!’ —James Toney: criticizing his former Grand Rapids neighbor.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:32pm, 11/10/2013

    Garcia crushed him and it would be downright scary what Cotto would do to him….but here we are talking about a Mayweather fight. Many thanks to Andy Capp for this travesty in the making and….oh yea…. for propping up that wacky ass Del Boy once again.

  9. Yul 10:47am, 11/10/2013

    SMH. I like floyd, he’s a great fighter but it’s things like this cause me to question some of his decisions. We all know what the outcome of this fight will be. Floyd is the best pound for pound fighter. He should be faaaaar beyond taking tune-up fights which this is all this will be. Danny Garcia is the obvious choice for his next fight. The best used to fight the best and fighters didn’t care about protecting their record. What good is an undefeated record if you have a bunch of twinkles on your resume. Don’t get me wrong, some of his fights are against stiff comp but not on a every-fight consistent basis. You can’t beat fighters that’s 10 years past their prime and think you are doing something because you beat someone because of the name they USED to have. It’s things like this which cause me to lose respect for floyd. Again i say, Andre Ward has the most respectable undefeated record, he fights REAL MEN every fight. Its not about a belt for Andre it’s about testing himself every time he steps into the ring against the best. Floyd needs to take a page from his blueprint.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:08am, 11/10/2013

    Here’s what I’m thinking….the Andy Capp boxing public will lap this farce up like so many pints of Newcastle Brown Ale….dang!.....I knew I left something off my shopping list!

  11. Pete The Sneak 06:37am, 11/10/2013

    Darrell, I would have to agree…I think this is total BS for something else to come…If not, then who does know and/or really cares…Peace.

  12. Darrell 12:54am, 11/10/2013

    I don’t believe it….Matt McGrain is right, Khan’s viability is close to zilch aside from the fact it could make some decent money if held in Britain but…

    It’s probably a smokescreen while Mayweather comes to terms with another fighter.  Garcia, Bradley or a step up to middleweight….who knows.

  13. Your Name 07:52pm, 11/09/2013

    If this fight is truly signed and sealed, GBP should be reported to the federal trade commission.

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