COMMENTARY | Imagine the audacity of trying to sell Amir Khan as a main stage opponent for the best fighter in the world in the biggest boxing event of the year.
Pitching a Super Bowl between NFC champ Seattle Seahawks and the third-place AFC East Miami Dolphins makes about as much sense as the rumored Floyd Mayweather-Amir Khan pairing for May 3.
Admittedly, in the case of Mayweather and all things Top Rank, fans may forever be denied the boxing equivalent of a real Super Bowl. But, really, let's at least pretend that boxing can work as an actual sport and deliver some sort of matchmaking logic at the highest levels of the game.
No matter which websites you read or which media buzz you care to follow, Amir Khan has been just about the only name tossed about as a possible opponent for Mayweather's next big money bout in Las Vegas. Team Mayweather has denied the Khan connection in the past, but may now be working with the realization that there really isn't too much else out there for the five-division world champ.
Khan's lone contender status changed, though, when Argentine tough man, Marcos Maidana steamrolled Mayweather's "Baby Bro," Adrien Broner last December and instantly shot to the head of the Mayweather line.
Rumors of gossip rag drama with Khan and general fan discontent with the possibility of Mayweather-Khan, combined with the impressive Maidana victory, made the British former junior welterweight champ not such a sure thing anymore.
Now, officially confirmed as a two-man race by Mayweather's decision to create a Maidana or Khan social media poll, it appears that one of the two will be handed the golden ticket to the MGM Grand, perhaps by as soon as this coming Sunday, February 9.
But whether you vote for the heavy-handed, brawl-minded Maidana or the physically gifted, underachieving Khan, chances are pretty good that a mismatch will be delivered to you on May 3. The odd thing about these mismatches, though, is that the least deserving of the two candidates would probably be the tougher fight for Mayweather.
Amir Khan hasn't beaten a world-class opponent since 2011 and, in his last two bouts, has looked shockingly fragile against opposition that should've been little more than a light snack. However, Khan, with his tremendous all-around athleticism, would have a much better chance of actually reaching, hitting, and hurting Mayweather than Maidana.
If Khan isn't Mayweather's choice, credit the fans with the block. Maidana would likely be the easier riddle for Mayweather to solve, but he has earned his right to a main stage showcase. His win over Broner and decisive victories over fringe top 10 guys like Josesito Lopez and Jesus Soto-Karass make the Argentine a palatable foe if names like Pacquiao and Bradley can't be wrangled.
Khan, obviously sensing public sentiment solidifying against him, has taken to Twitter to argue his case:
"Mayweather says he needs a easy fight and fans want to see a knock out so maybe thats the reason he doesn't want fight me n wants Maidana ??"
"for those that hate me & think FM can KO me, then let's see him try. Fight me! #SkillvSkill SpeedvSpeed."
All of this has to be settled soon since it's imperative the promotion kicks off no later than mid-February. But no matter who gets the call, expect Mayweather to have a relatively easy night at the office May 3.
The real question, as far as this writer is concerned, has to do with who gets the call for Mayweather's September 13 date.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Source: Amir Khan's Official Twitter Account
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