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Marcos Maidana holds slim lead over Amir Khan as fan voting heads down homestretch in Mayweather Derby


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Marcos Maidana celebrates an upset win over Adrien Broner (Getty Images)

With about four full days to go in the voting, boxing fans have given WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana a slim lead over Amir Khan in the race to land a lucrative May 3 bout in Las Vegas with pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

It had long been expected that Mayweather would fight Khan, but on Monday, Mayweather announced via Twitter that he'd let the fans choose. He set up a poll using LockerDome on the Mayweather Promotions website.

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Courtesy @FloydMayweather Twitter account

Maidana was up 51 to 49 percent over Khan as of Thursday morning Pacific time. According to a LockerDome spokeswoman, more than 17,000 votes have been cast and more than 4,000 comments left.

It was a brilliant marketing move by Mayweather, who has become the shrewdest marketer in the game. He has generated great traffic for his website, guaranteed that he'd keep his name in the news and capture fan information by doing the poll. Fans must sign in using their Twitter or Facebook accounts in order to be able to vote.

It's been a boon to LockerDome, which has gotten exceptional traffic from the poll.

"Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Boxing both use LockerDome regularly to promoter their fighters and events," LockerDome CEO Gabe Lozano said. "We don't officially work in conjunction with [Floyd's] team, but we do allow A-List publishers such as Mayweather Promotions to reach out at any time to brainstorm best uses of the LockerDome platform."

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Amir "King" Khan (Getty Images)

If I were to vote, I'd vote for Khan, though I'm not crazy about either choice. Maidana has great momentum coming off the impressive showing against Broner, but he's the type of fighter who Mayweather will box silly. Maidana has great power, but it seems unthinkable that he'd be able to connect on Mayweather the way he did Broner.

Mayweather is a total professional and a boxing savant, not a hype job who is full of himself like Broner.

Khan hasn't performed up to his abilities as a pro, but he has long arms, a good jab, hits hard and has good lateral movement. This isn't to suggest he'll beat Mayweather even if he is at his best, but he has a far better chance to make a competitive bout than Maidana.

Maidana, I don't believe, has the quickness to cut off the ring and Mayweather will be able to stay away from danger while using his jab to pepper him. Mayweather will outbox Khan, too, but Khan figures to have a far better chance at victory given his style and his skill set than Maidana.

But Mayweather left it in the hands of the fans, so if you have a favorite, head to Mayweather Promotions and cast your vote.

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