The 27-year-old has had his reputation, ego and even himself battered over the past two and a half years. Khan now stands on the verge of claiming the ultimate money-maker against the world’s biggest attraction.
Nailing the fight, which is due to be announced by the end of January, seems to be a mere formality for Khan. Mayweather had agreed to the contest as early as last October – if media reports in the UK are believed.
Mayweather being Mayweather means everyone close to the deal is sworn to secrecy. That’s until he makes his move via whatever chosen social media method is the hottest at the current time.
At the same time, Khan bursts at the seem to tell all of his chance to dethrone the boxing king.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Khan, even with his own UK fans. A portion of die-hards has taken to various outlets to reveal their displeasure at the Bolton fighter landing the clash – even though they are seemingly fighting for the same cause.
This can also be said for Mayweather’s own supporters. Most I have encountered baiting ‘Money’ for taking a soft option against Khan. They believe he’s looking to land another stoppage as he did over Victor Ortiz in 2011.
All seem in unison on one point, though. That is that Khan is undeserving of the opportunity after showing some indifferent form since resigning as the unified champion in the 140lb division.
‘King’ Khan’s losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, coupled with his choice of Carlos Molina as a walkover and subsequent failure to overpower Julio Diaz, mean there are very few who agree this fight is the right one to be made. Garcia is one name being laid down by fans as a more worthy challenger for Mayweather. Another is former Khan victim Marcos Maidana, with Timothy Bradley a favorite amongst those who want Floyd to put aside his differences with Bob Arum.
All those fights now have to be put to one side as the media storm of publicity begins next month to promote the pay-per-view bout as a somewhat close affair, something that a huge chunk of the ticket-buying public cannot relate to.
The fact of the matter is, the fight is here and will go ahead, so it’s better to get behind it than be against it for the next three months – as Golden Boy and The Money Team drum up what interest they can on the skill versus speed angle.
So what does Khan stand to gain? – At this moment in time….everything! As even in defeat, all the Olympic silver medallist needs to do is show heart and mix it with Mayweather for the full twelve rounds and his reputation will be enhanced.
There will then be the option of facing ex-training partner Manny Pacquiao in another lucrative affair as long as he keeps a lid on that fateful and predicted one-sided knockout.
The consensus amongst fans from my viewpoint is that Khan is out of his depth and doesn’t have a prayer, so he can throw caution to the wind and have a real go against Mayweather on May 3.
Khan has to stay wary that any kind of below-par performance is unthinkable at this delicate stage of his career. Then he can move on to a final payday with the ‘Pacman’ before hitting his previously overturned retirement age of 28 if he so chooses.
And Mayweather? – Well, Floyd always gains no matter which fighter stands in the opposite corner, as his minimum purse deal with Showtime stipulates. So unless he ages rapidly and loses his reflexes overnight, I fear that the fans’ predictions of a lopsided outcome will be bang on the money and leave Khan in a career abyss he may never come fully recover from.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN.