Floyd Mayweather next fight: 4 reasons Amir Khan may be shoe-inWritten by Lee Cleveland
Mayweather vs Khan has been brewing since 2011, and maybe earlier.
Khan's upset losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia are the only proverbial 'bumps in the road' that have prevented this bout from happening.
In fact, Khan was a Mayweather prospect well before most people reading this had ever heard of Canelo Alvarez, Robert Guerrero or Adrien Broner.
In Summer 2011, the plan for Team Khan was simple.
- 1. Unify the jr welterweight titles by defeating Lamont Peterson, then the IBF Champion
- 2. Announce you've moved 7 pounds north, to welterweight, and
2a. (Maybe fight a tune-up at 147 lbs)
- 3. Fight Floyd Mayweather in May or September 2012
Obviously he could not have fought Mayweather in September 2012 because Floyd was just leaving incarceration but Amir, had he defeated Peterson, would have most certainly filled one of the slots taken by Miguel Cotto or Robert Guerrero.
In December 2012 Khan told BBC of a potential showdown with Floyd Mayweather:
"Definitely, it's still on the cards. I remember just recently I was speaking to his [Mayweather] team and Golden Boy promotions and they are still interested in that fight." Why Mayweather vs Khan?
1.Mayweather's Desire to Fight in the United Kingdom
Floyd Mayweather, who has never fought outside the States, has made no secret that he wants to have a bout in the United Kingdom.
His adviser Leonard Ellerbe told BoxNation earlier this year, "Floyd cannot wait until we can come over there and give the UK fans a big, big fight. Floyd has a tremendous fan base in the UK and we're looking at working on something now where he's going to come over there."
"Ever since the Ricky Hatton fight back in 2007, UK fans have been very loyal to Floyd and he definitely acknowledges that and he wants to bring a big, big event to the UK."
"The UK are his biggest and best fans. He has tremendous love affair for the UK fans."
2. Another title, welterweight supremacy and a new young lion
Already the WBC Welterweight champion, collecting another title in that division would give Mayweather unified champion status and bragging rights over the winner of Tim Bradley vs Juan Manuel Marquez who will face-off in October for Bradley's WBA version of the welterweight strap.
And make no mistake, the 26 year old Amir Khan is a young, gifted, elite fighter. A victory over Amir would certainly be a feather in Mayweather's cap and another young lion he will have conquered (in addition to Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez).
3. Amir Khan's Popularity and Drawing Power (most important)
While the Brit of Pakistani descent has a few detractors, he is an international celebrity. Casual fans of the sport as well as a large segment of non-fans know who he is.
And name recognition, alone, means a lot.
Moreover, Amir Khan is very popular in Pakistan and other areas in that part of the world. Broadcast revenue, whether via pay-per-view or some other means, would be huge due to the interest generated in those regions.
Pakistan, alone, has a population of 172.8 million (Jul, 2008) making it the sixth most populous nation on Earth. And it wouldn't be surprising if the charismatic Khan has a following in the Arab region as well.
Name recognition and popularity sell and, internationally, Amir Khan is a bigger name than Danny Garcia.
4. Golden Boy and Leverage?
The last two are combined into one element because they are intangibles.
Both fighters are affiliated with Golden Boy Promotions and fight on Showtime so there would seemingly be fewer hurdles in making Mayweather vs Khan as opposed to Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao (Top Rank/HBO) / Tim Bradley (Top Rank, HBO) or Sergio Martinez (DiBella).
Also, should Amir Khan defeat Devon Alexander and negotiations start for Mayweather vs Khan, one must wonder if Team Mayweather will use Khan's loses in 2011 and last year as leverage to receive an even higher percentage of the revenue than was the case for Mayweather vs Canelo.
IF Amir Khan wins impressively over Devon Alexander, overall revenue (not necessarily PPV receivables) for Mayweather vs Khan may surpass Mayweather vs Canelo due to Khan's following in the United Kingdom, Pakistan and, perhaps, the Arab world.
I attended Khan vs Peterson in Washington DC, Peterson's home, and there seemed to be as many people supporting Khan as the homeboy, Peterson.
Given the above reasons - especially No. 3 - Amir Khan should be a shoe-in to face Floyd Mayweather in May or next September provided the Brit dethrones Devon Alexander. And again, that will be no easy task.
Danny Garcia is a great, undefeated fighter but, in terms of generating international interest (i.e. revenue), he doesn't bring as much to the table as Amir Khan.
Should Alexander win or Khan is unimpressive in victory, GBP's back-up will likely be Danny Garcia.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.