Amir Khan loves the Brooklyn Bridge, but doesn't care for the idea of fighting Brooklyn's Zab Judah. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
Rick Reeno and Lem Satterfield worked together to get Kathy Duva's side of what are now apparently failing negotiations to match Amir Khan and Zab Judah on July 23, which would leave Khan with yet another no-go potential opponent and narrow the field to, in a move that will surprise no one, all Golden Boy-affiliated fighters.
Here's a bit of what Duva of Main Events had to say:
"[Richard Schaefer] said, 'The Khans don't think that [Judah is] worth 50 percent.' So I'm saying that he does a bigger gate than Bradley, he's earned a lot more of the foreign market than Bradley, and he's well-known over there and he's done great in the foreign market, and he's worth more in England than Bradley. The British pay-per-view will pick that up."
... "Richard said, 'Well, he's not worth half.' So I said, 'Well, what do you think that he's worth?' And he said, 'Well, I'll go back and ask the Khans' So I said, 'Well let me know what they think that he's worth and get back to me.'"
If Judah is dropped as a potential opponent, the field would be down to Marcos Maidana, Robert Guerrero, and Erik Morales. I don't hear anyone out there demanding Guerrero or Morales as Khan opponents, but it does seem like Robert Guerrero is still leading the race, which was the same impression I had a couple of days ago. Maidana threw his hat in, but I don't really see Khan feeling he needs a rematch of that fight, even though it was a very good fight the first time around in December.
What's really puzzling about this whole debacle is how set everyone is on that July 23 date. We're talking about a fight two months away and they first of all wasted a ton of time "negotiating" with Timothy Bradley when it was clear weeks ago that he was not going to fight Amir Khan on July 23, and now they're dragging out what looks like a no-go Judah discussion. This really looks like a situation where Golden Boy plans to stay in-house, so you'd really expect they would just get it done already, particularly if the opponent is going to be Guerrero, who has made very clear that he wants the fight and is ready to take on bigger names.
But Duva is right that Judah has the most name value of anyone Khan can fight in July, and that in that respect he's probably worth the money. It doesn't even sound like Main Events is married to the idea of Khan giving them 50-50, and there is the hope (if you're rooting for Khan vs Judah, which I am) that they'll come back with something that Judah would accept, but I don't see Judah and Main Events taking a wide cut here. Zab is in an enviable position of being able to take lesser fights without HBO, that carry less risk and will still keep his bills more than paid up, because he still has notoriety and a fanbase. Khan is a budding name that could use the rub from someone like Judah by beating him, but we'll see. This still might be far from over.