Mayweather driving Khan mad
February, 7, 2014
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Scott Heavey/Getty ImagesAmir Khan, who struggled to defeat Julio Diaz, is hoping he is next in line for Floyd Mayweather Jr.While pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides who his next victim will be on May 3, poor Amir Khan sounds about ready for a mental institution.
Mayweather is driving him batty.
You might have heard by now that Mayweather is running a poll via social media in which he claims he wants boxing fans to vote between Khan and Marcos Maidana as his next opponent.
As far as I am concerned, the poll is meaningless and nothing more than an inventive publicity stunt that will have no actual bearing on whom Mayweather decides to fight. But a lot of people are taking it seriously, including Khan, who is incredulous that Mayweather would even consider Maidana. Maidana has done a lot more in the ring the past few years than Khan, who has not fought since last April and never fought as a true welterweight. Khan is 2-2 in his past four fights: a controversial loss to Lamont Peterson, a bad knockout defeat to Danny Garcia and two wins against second-rate opponents (Julio Diaz and the lightweight Carlos Molina) in his past two bouts.
Khan owns an incredibly exciting and close points win in 2010 against Maidana, but Maidana has done way more recently to warrant a shot at Mayweather than Khan has. Maidana has won four fights in a row, including a huge win against Adrien Broner in December and knockouts of Josesito Lopez and Jesus Soto Karass.
But Khan can't handle it, posting his thoughts on Facebook (which I have taken the liberty of cleaning up because of grammar and spelling):
Why would Mayweather even consider putting Maidana in the mix? Slow hands, slow feet. Only thing he brings to the table is power. I agree, he beat Broner. We've seen how Mayweather deals with power i.e. Canelo [Alvarez]. Let Broner have his rematch on the undercard of Khan-Mayweather. I bring speed, explosiveness, power and footwork to the table. Look back at quick opponents Mayweather has fought in the past. [Zab] Judah and Oscar De La Hoya both had speed and were close fights. Floyd did say fans want to see him knocking someone out because his fights are boring. So no wonder he's now wanting to fight Maidana.
(One thing -- and maybe Khan didn't get the memo -- but Maidana has never been stopped, while Khan has been badly knocked out in two of his three defeats.)
More from Khan: "I'm ready and [have] been in the gym for the last six months. At 147 pounds you will see a different, stronger Amir Khan. OK, let's talk about the chin, which I always laugh about. Killing yourself making weight makes your punch resistance is poor. I've been killing myself making 140 pounds and should have moved up. Day before a weigh-in I've been 12 pounds over. Not good.
"I've taken the biggest shots from likes of Maidana, who people say is the biggest puncher and didn't go down but then Diaz puts me down with a little shot. Even though my balance was off and I was on one foot, it's cool. I'll take it. So this proves weight making is the problem. It's in the fans' hands who they want to see me fight. If it's not me then good luck whoever it is."
Khan, of course, could have made this easier on himself, but he has such a sense of entitlement. Remember, he pulled out of negotiations for a shot at then-welterweight titlist Devon Alexander late last year because he believed he was assured of getting the lucrative shot at Mayweather. It was supposedly so much of a slam dunk that his team apparently leaked it to the British media, which ran wild with the story, even though there were no sources cited, no quotes and no truth.
Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesAmir Khan outlasted Marcos Maidana in one of 2010's best fights and has recently taken his plead to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. to social media.
Had Khan fought in December and beaten Alexander, he would have at least earned the fight with Mayweather. As it stands now, many view his candidacy as a potential opponent as a joke.
Maidana, meanwhile, rolled over Broner to win a welterweight title and give Mayweather another potential opponent.
When many believed Mayweather-Khan was a done deal -- although I was never one of them -- Showtime Sports chief Stephen Espinoza told me last month, "No decision has been made about the [Mayweather] opponent. Marcos Maidana just had an incredibly impressive performance [on Dec. 14]. That will impact our discussions. The opponent is far from set.
"I think of the guys available as opponents, I'm torn between Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana. I think they bring very different sets of challenges to the fight. I can tell you this: Maidana's performance against Broner has gotten Floyd's attention. It's a name that has been discussed, but the decision will be made collaboratively."
One thing to keep in mind here -- even though Broner picked up his rematch option does not mean the fight will absolutely be next. Broner, Maidana and Mayweather are all with Al Haymon, who might want to steer things in another direction. It's well within reason that Broner could back off the rematch and do something else instead if Mayweather and Maidana meet.
So while we wait to see what Mayweather decides, it has been amusing to watch the desperate Khan try to salvage the fight he believes is his birthright. Watching him and Maidana go back and forth with each other on Twitter has been amusing.
Maidana threw out the idea of having a rematch with Khan, saying, "Maidana versus Khan on May 3rd or whenever. That's the fight we need to fight for pride, not to determine anyone else's opponent."
But if Khan wouldn't fight Alexander, why would he take on the more dangerous Maidana?
Soon, Mayweather will make his decision and this chapter of the soap opera will be over.