As an official announcement draws ever nearer for Amir Khan’s anticipated world title challenge against Floyd Mayweather, it’s hard to see how the Briton can come out of a fight with the pound for pound number one any worse off than he is now.
The 27 year-old has had his reputation, ego and even himself battered over the past two and a half years, but 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 as Mayweather had agreed to the contest as early as last October – if media reports in the UK are to be believed.
Mayweather being Mayweather means everyone close to the deal is sworn to secrecy until he makes his move via whatever chosen method of social media is the hottest at the current time, whilst Khan bursts at the seems to tell all of his chance to dethrone the king of boxing.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Khan, even with his own UK fans, as a portion of die hards have 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 as most I have encountered are baiting ‘Money’ for taking a soft option against Khan and looking to land another stoppage as he did over Victor Ortiz in 2011.
All seem in unison on one point though, and that is that Khan is undeserving of the opportunity after showing some indifferent form since reigning as the unified champion in the 140lb division.
‘King’ Khan’s losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, coupled with his choosing 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 favourite 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 general 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 just has to stay weary that any kind of below-par performance is unthinkable at this delicate stage of his career and 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 he reflexes overnight, my fear is 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