Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dan Rafael [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Khan not happy with Mayweather

By Dan Rafael


Former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan didn’t get the May 3 fight with pound-for-pound king and welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. that he thought he was going to get.

In fact, Khan was so sure that he was going to land the big fight that he was already training in Oakland, Calif., and had bragged that he had already signed his contract.

What Khan didn’t realize, obviously, is that just because he had signed, didn’t mean Mayweather had or would. Instead, Mayweather on Monday picked the more deserving welterweight titlist, Marcos Maidana, for the fight.

On Tuesday, Khan addressed the situation with a statement.

“Following the announcement by Floyd Mayweather that he will be facing Marcos Maidana on May 3rd I would like to clarify my situation for my fans and members of the media,” Khan said. “Despite having signed my part of the agreement to fight Floyd in early December, I’ve been preparing myself for some time that the match up with him wasn’t going to happen, as I announced on Twitter a few days ago. Therefore, this announcement did not come as a surprise.

“I am, however, very disappointed with Floyd and his team for not providing any explanation as to why he delayed the announcement for so long and ultimately avoided the fight with me.”

Let’s stop Khan right there. Mayweather didn’t “avoid” Khan, who has looked awful in his past two wins, got drilled in the fight before that and lost a controversial decision in the bout before that knockout. The only thing Mayweather probably was avoiding was the steady stream of criticism headed his way if he had indeed picked Khan to fight.

Anyway, here’s more from Khan:

“Clarification, if he was not fighting me, would have allowed me to look over my options and pursue another path, rather than the ultimate delay to my career this has caused,” said Khan, who has not fought since last April because he was sitting tight for the fight with Mayweather rather than actually earning it the way Maidana did by beating Adrien Broner in December. “It has been a very frustrating period as I’d been due to fight in December against Devon Alexander. However, I was strongly advised to not take this fight as I would be facing Floyd this May -- and therefore signed my side of the contract on this belief.”

Of course, had Khan taken the challenge of facing then-titleholder Alexander and won, he probably would have landed the Mayweather fight. Khan instead waited rather than taking a tough fight the way Maidana did, and has paid the price.

“Floyd was keen to engage with the fans and so decided to let them choose who he should fight in his next bout,” Khan said. “I clearly won his official poll, by a significant margin, but for unknown reasons he decided to ignore the fans vote and failed to keep his word, disappointing many fight fans who took the time to vote.”

Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) may have won Mayweather’s social media poll, but probably didn’t bother to look at all of the other outlets, ESPN.com included, that ran their own polls, in which Khan finished well behind Maidana.

“I genuinely wish Marcos and Floyd all the best for their fight -- two great fighters,” Khan said. “As a team we have now moved on and are looking at different options. I’ve been training very hard since my last fight. I’m a fighter who wants to face the very best out there and have never ducked any opponent.

“I’m focused and ready for my next outing. We currently have a few options on the table at the moment and my team are working alongside Golden Boy Promotions to announce my next fight within the next 10 days. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and am determined to put on a great show for my loyal fans who have waited a long time to see me back in action -- and I’m very excited about what’s yet to come this year. Thank you for all your continued support.”