Why didn’t Amir Khan get to face Mayweather?

More than one person has been made a fool of trying to predict Floyd Mayweather Jr’s next move. Not so very long ago after all, it was seemingly guaranteed that Mayweather’s next opponent would be Amir Khan. The announcement never happened… and next came a fan poll on who it would be. The results of this were somewhat confusing; on most boxing sites the answer was Marcos Maidana but on the official poll Khan (helped by a lot of twitter advertsing) had a late surge to take the lead. And of course, there had been rumours and “exclusive reports” long before that.

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But now it looks somewhat definitive. Khan himself says that he’s out of the running and that Maidana is the one about to earn millions of dollars and the chance, however remote, to enter his name in boxing’s history as the man who defeated Mayweather.

I’ve been pretty dismissive of the Khan bout previously but despite that I can see why it was an attractive option. Khan has many flaws but what he undoubtedly has is speed. Khan would be the fastest opponent Mayweather has faced since at least Judah and arguably the fastest he’s ever faced. Much of Mayweather’s success has been built on being the faster man, pot-shotting and picking off opponents from the outside; could he do the same against someone quicker than him? Maidana in contrast, despite technical improvements shown in his recent run that culminated in his defeat of the heavily hyped “new Floyd Mayweather” Adrien Broner, is still very much a brawler, an aggressive and powerful puncher who likes to draw boxers into a fight. We’ve seen Floyd against those repeatedly… and he tends to win and win well.

Outside the ring Khan also seemingly offers a lot. Floyd likes to tap into other fanbases… it’s one of the reasons he boxes many fighters with Latino heritage, especially around Mexican Independence Day as it opens up that lucrative market. Khan may not bring them, but he does bring the UK fans and the UK has frequently proven itself as a solid money maker for boxers. Maidana in contrast may be a popular TV fighter but he has no real constituency to fall back on; fans of Maidana tend to be boxing fans as opposed to fans of individual boxers and thus would have probably watched anyway.

So how is it that Khan didn’t get the bout when he had so much in his favour?

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Mayweather Jr vs Khan rears its head again.

I was literally in the process of writing a post setting out possible opponents for Floyd Mayweather and listing Amir Khan as an option but a somewhat unlikely one.

And this came out…

Saying that a Floyd Mayweather Jr -Amir Khan fight would “have a huge crowd of Brits showing up wherever the fight would take place,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefersaid that he would “have to see if that fight can be done.”

“With Amir, there is no secret that he and his team are pursuing a Mayweather fight, and Floyd Mayweather, right now, is enjoying his time off. We’re working on it to see if, in fact, it can be done.”

Amir Khan

I’d stress this doesn’t necessarily make it a done deal; Mayweather Jr has floated possible opponent names in the past to see what the reaction is only to choose someone else (Devon Alexander was the last to get that treatment), but with Schaefer and Golden Boy saying it rather than someone from the immediate vicinity of Mayweather Jr this is bit more solid a commitment.

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Brook vs Senchenko: Results and Analysis

For a long time Kell Brook slipped under the radar.

Not in terms of “Special K’s” name value or media image. Almost from the moment he turned pro at 18 boxing fans have been inundated with promoters, trainers and fellow boxers telling us how special he is and the mantra over the last few years is how it was a certainty that Kell Brook would be “the next” world champion. Likewise, it seems impossible to turn on a boxing broadcast in this country and not see Brook as either an analyst or in attendence. No, as a British boxing fan it’s been near impossible to miss Brook.

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But we never held him and his promoters to the standards we do others.

Think about the above paragraph again. For years we’ve been told that he is a special boxer. That he will be a world champion. That he is one of the elite, one of the best, that it is only a matter of time before he fulfills his destiny.

And yet who has he faced?

There have been impressive performances sure… he destroyed Hector David Saldivia, smashed Carson Jones in their rematch, outclassed Lovemore Ndou and dominated Michael Jennings. In truth there is probably only a handful of bouts where he has looked underwhelming and only one bout where he looked bad (the first bout with Jones). But look at those names. Were any of them seen as world class? Were any of them seen as world beaters?

Boxing fans have a tendency to mock those who can’t match their hype with their achievements. We ridicule Deontay Wilder for continuing to face scrubs. We laugh at Amir Khan and how he declares himself one of the best in the world. Nathan Cleverly was widely mocked for facing the likes of Shawn Hawk while talking about facing Bernard Hopkins. And do I really need to talk about how Audley Harrison and his constant comments that it was his destiny to be world heavyweight champion were viewed?

Yet Kell “Special K” Brook was rarely criticised for this.

He’s 27 years old. Going into this bout he’d had 30 bouts. He’s been a pro for nine years. And yet his was still spinning his wheels; too good for domestic class, too good for fringe international boxers but either unwilling or unable to take that step up to the next level, to really push on and make a run for a world title. And yet he and his promoters had managed to escape most of the mockery and criticism that normally comes with that. Way back in 2010 Brook’s victory over Kennings was a WBO eliminator… yet here we are three years later and he’s still not boxed for a world title, let alone held one.

Criticism had started to appear in recent months, notably in the wake of the long delayed and then eventually cancelled bout between Brook and IBF champion Devon Alexander. People started to question whether Brook really wanted to face the best or whether he was content to stand his ground, earning good money as an attraction in Sheffield, unwilling to take the risk of facing a higher level of competition. That he wanted to win a world title the soft way, waiting for a vacant belt to appear rather than to go off and beat a title holder.

And that’s why this bout with Vyacheslav Senchenko was important.

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Paulie Malignaggi… the manliest man in boxing?

On a separate forum a discussion once arose about who was the “manliest man in boxing”. You can guess the names that were involved… the hard hitting, chain smoking, beer drinking, wildly (but incredibly non-politically correct) entertaining Ricardo Mayorga. The hard hitting brawler Marcos Maidana. The tough, uncompromising former marine Ken Norton. The wonderfully moustached original heavyweight champion John L Sullivan. I even put forward my own suggestion, one of my favourite boxers of all time, Daniil Peretyatko (and after seeing this photo of sheer unbridled masculinity at it rawest I don’t see how many can disagree). And then someone joking put forward Paulie Malignaggi as a suggestion and got a couple of laughs.

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I sat there and I thought about it. And then I thought about it some more.

And now I think Paulie Malignaggi may be the manliest man in boxing…

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Khan vs Mayweather: the bout that was, then wasn’t… but may be again…

It all started with the Daily Mail.

EXCLUSIVE: Khan hits jackpot with dream Vegas bout against superstar Mayweather

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Briefly the twitter, blog and forum ‘osphere (or whatever it is we call this strange online world our words inhabit) burst into life about the bout. But they tended to forget the story came from the Daily Mail and as such, stood a good chance of being wrong.

And just as quickly as they started, Team Khan moved to quash them.

Team Khan would like to dispel recent reports that Amir Khan has pulled out of a potential match-up against IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander on December 7th, taking up a fight against Floyd Mayweather in May of next year instead.

Contrary to this story, Amir Khan is currently in training camp in San Francisco with the aim of fighting again in December against Alexander once an agreement can be reached.

So where does that leave us?

Where we were this morning. We know the Khan/Mayweather bout is one that the powers-that-be would like to make and we know there are some difficulties in making Khan vs Devon Alexander.

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Golden Boy 140lbs Tournament Part 2: Danny “Swift” Garcia

Overview of the entire tournament can be found here.

If there had to be an early favourite for the proposed 140lbs tournament then Danny Garcia is likely to be that man.

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At 24 years old with a record of 25-0 the RING, WBC and WBA 140lbs champ is in his prime. His development has been steady and heavily featured on TV with key wins over the likes of Ashley Theophane, Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt leading to his defining wins; two victories over the legendary Erik Morales and a brutal destruction of Amir Khan. A certain amount of criticism can be levelled at most of those wins; Theophane and Arnaoutis have never really lived up to the hype, Campbell was old and undersized, Holt past his best, Morales badly faded (especially in the second bout) and Khan coming off a loss but it is still an impressive ledger for a young man to have.

The intriguing thing is watching Garcia it’s often hard to work out what makes him so good…

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Golden Boy 140lbs Tournament: Garcia, Judah, Peterson, Matthysse, Khan Part 1: Overview

Part 2: Danny Garcia can be found here

It’s been an interesting few days for boxing, both domestically and internationally and one of the biggest news stories to come out is that Golden Boy are in the early stages of putting together a 140lbs tournament between their boxers. To quote Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy CEO:

“My plan would be that the winner of Garcia and Judah will fight the winner of Peterson and Matthyse and then the winner of that fight will fight Amir Khan,”

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It’s certainly an interesting proposition. Who wouldn’t want to see those bouts?

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Khan vs Diaz: Some out-of-the-ring considerations…

I dealt with the boxing side of things relating to the announced Amir Khan vs Julio Diaz bout in an earlier post but it strikes me there are some business aspects to look at as well.

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The key detail that has been released is that the bout will be held at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. On paper there’s little surprising about that. Khan is a British fighter and his hometown of Bolton isn’t a vast distance from Sheffield. More, over recent years Sheffield has become a decent boxing city with potential future Khan opponent Kell Brook having had his recent UK bouts there.

What is perhaps surprising is that it doesn’t appear to follow the promotional strategy that Khan has held to in the last few years.

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Khan vs Diaz: Analysis

The next opponent for Amir Khan has been announced.

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Let me start out by saying that Julio Diaz is a clear improvement on the limited Carlos Molina who Khan comprehensively defeated in his return to action after his brutal loss to Danny Garcia. Yet he, on paper, shouldn’t be a threat to Khan in his British return.

So who is Julio Diaz?

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British Boxing Upsets

British boxing has a long history of the underdog coming good. David Price may have seen his dreams of a fast track world title shot go up in smoke following a single punch from Tony Thompson but he’s not the only man earmarked for success to see his dreams at least postponed…price

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