British fighter Amir Khan may have a few tough questions for some of those making up his inner circle after the former light-welterweight champion failed to land his much-touted clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 27 year-old was tipped by respected UK journalist Jeff Powell as early as October 2013 to land the May 3 bout with the world number one, but ultimately lost out despite cancelling a world title fight with Devon Alexander.
Khan was all set to battle Alexander for his IBF welterweight belt last December until somewhere along the line the former Olympic silver medallist was advised to wade it out for Mayweather, which has now cost the fighter dearly. Losing a year of his career at this stage could have a devastating affect for Khan, who hasn’t fought since an unimpressive split decision victory over ex-135lb titlist Julio Diaz in Sheffield in April 2013.
Retirement plans for next year are certainly out of the window if Khan wants to achieve anything long-lasting at his new weight of 147lbs as Mayweather’s millions sail off into the distance and into ex-opponent Marcos Maidana’s pocket.
The fact that Khan holds a win over Maidana will only hurt all the more as Mayweather decided against choosing the Bolton man despite a hefty triumph in an online poll on the official Mayweather Promotions website. Upon making his official announcement that Maidana will face him at a venue yet to formally be decided, Mayweather then outlined how the voting system worked, something which may have been best done pre-poll.
Mayweather, 37 this week, counted every single vote on all of his social media outlets, according to Golden Boy, who claimed that Maidana was the ‘overwhelming choice’ from over 100,000 comments from fans.
So where does Khan go from here? – It is hard to say.
There has already been plenty of speculation surrounding a possible fight on the undercard against Adrien Broner, but somehow I can’t see an offer to play second fiddle to a clash he had his heart set on landing.
Khan has been putting his body through it’s paces to campaign at 147 for months now, so continuing down that road looks the safer option than a return to 140 or a catchweight. That would potentially rule out redemption rematches with the last two fighters to overhaul Khan, as considering light-welterweight belt holders Danny Garcia or Lamont Peterson would mean either may have to leave behind their championships.
Golden Boy do have plenty of options between 140 and 147 though, with Alexander possibly coming back into the frame or the rejuvenated Luis Collazo, who beat Victor Ortiz impressively last time out. Then there is also the potential for a return with Paulie Malignaggi, whom Khan defeated way back in 2010, or maybe some lesser likely options of taking on big-punchers Keith Thurman or Lucas Matthysse.
Whatever happens in the immediate future it is going to be intriguing to see how Khan reacts to all the furore surrounding a fight that was basically sold as a done deal months prior, but eventually failed to materialize.
Rival Maidana becomes the 46th to attempt to put an end Mayweather’s run, with some fans of the belief that the encounter style-wise is too similiar to Floyd’s most recent bout with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. There are plenty that see Khan as a sterner test than the Argentinian, but not many who could make a case for Maidana not deserving his big chance on recent form alone.
It will surely be hard viewing for Khan on May 3 though as Mayweather and Maidana take to the ring – as the talented boxer contemplates what might have been had the opportunity of his career not slipped through his grasp.
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