Amir Khan is known to be in the running for a fight with Floyd Mayweather, as the British star and former junior welterweight titlist is one of the biggest names Golden Boy has near Mayweather's weight.
While talk of Khan facing Mayweather in the United Kingdom is probably just hot air -- Mayweather would be giving up far too much gate money in Las Vegas, no matter where they held it in the UK, or how many tickets they sold -- there is certainly a legitimate chance that this fight will happen at some point, perhaps late this year. Khan has been talked about for a late year return, after Ramadan. Mayweather reportedly does intend to fight on September 14, but that's tentative.
There is some belief out there that Khan (28-3, 19 KO) could provide Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO) with a significant test, due to the old cliché (and truth) that styles make fights. The speed of Khan, it is theorized, would bring the 36-year-old Floyd out of his comfort zone.
That very well may be true. Khan, 26, has a pair of the fastest hands in the sport. For pure hand speed, he may actually eclipse Mayweather at this point. Floyd has probably lost some of that to time, which is/was inevitable, but like a master pitcher who loses a few miles per hour off his fastball, Floyd makes up for that without sacrificing his excellence. While the hurler may learn to locate and change speeds more effectively than he ever had to as a youth, Floyd's timing remains impeccable. Robert Guerrero isn't fast, but he's sure as hell not quite as slow and clueless as Mayweather's right hand made him look constantly last Saturday night.
Khan is actively calling for the fight, and had this to say earlier today on Twitter:
"Mayweather may not be around for long. I want my shot. The world's talking about the fight. Garcia and Peterson will be around till I'm around for rematches. Styles make fights. So you saying you rather see Floyd with another opponent that's flat footed and slow who he can pick off when he likes? My natural weight is 153 lbs. Never touched canvas at that weight. 140 I kill myself making it, I've been this weight since 2009. WBC (ranked) #2 at 147."
Despite anything else I might say here, let's be clear: There's absolutely no reason that Amir Khan shouldn't want a fight with Floyd Mayweather, or try and build up public support of the fight, which is the only reason I can imagine he's saying that the world is talking about it -- plenty of people are talking about it, but few in any positive light.
Personally, on that note, I don't have any major issue with the fight. It's just one I think is predictable, if likely pretty exciting for however long it lasts.
Does Khan have the style to give Mayweather problems? He very well might. Floyd wouldn't be able to as easily pick him apart as he did Guerrero, or the way he's done with, frankly, most opponents over his career. Floyd hasn't necessarily picked guys based on avoiding speed, though. For the most part, there hasn't been anyone around quick enough to actually bother him.
If you look back at the lamented supposed "ducks" from a few years back, you have a list with guys like Miguel Cotto (prime years version), Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, and Paul Williams. None of those guys were speed merchants, and frankly, anyone who thinks Margarito would have given Floyd problems in 2006-07 is outside their mind. Margarito hit harder than Carlos Baldomir, but otherwise, that's about the same fight for Floyd. Neither of them were going to find him enough to do any damage. Margarito was a great stalker, but come on.
Here's a video depiction, kind of, of Mayweather vs Margarito, had it happened:
You'll note The Money Team jumping around in celebration after the encounter. Honey was exceptional. So is Floyd.
For speed guys, Mayweather beat Judah -- and don't forget that he'd scheduled that Judah fight before Zab lost to Baldomir, so he wasn't "cherry-picking" Zab, either. That was supposed to be a challenge, and it was, to an extent. Judah did OK early. Then Mayweather took over. Khan, unlike Judah, isn't one of the dreaded southpaws against whom Mayweather urinates himself, as we saw against Guerrero, of course.
Khan has failed against much slower, less accomplished fighters than Floyd Mayweather, even with all that speed. He's still a subpar defensive fighter, for a guy who's achieved what he has, and craftsman Mayweather will find ways to exploit that -- if the likes of Breidis Prescott, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Julio Diaz, and to a lesser extent, Willie Limond and Michael Gomez can, then Mayweather sure as hell can.
The argument for Khan is one that ignores Mayweather's greatness in order to simply harp on the "styles make fights" saying, in other words.
There is also the idea that Khan will put on a few more pounds for the weigh-in in a new weight class, and this will finally make him a guy who takes a well-timed, well-placed, porous defense-driven, or just plain good shot well. It's unlikely. Khan, who really is ludicrously ranked No. 2 by the WBC at 147 pounds for what you can probably guess are obvious reasons, despite never having fought at the weight in his entire career, has said this before.
When Breidis Prescott smashed him at 135, we heard he'd be better at 140. Once Danny Garcia wrecked him at 140, we heard that he'd be better off fighting at welterweight, and that even the 143-pound catchweight against Diaz a couple weeks ago should help.
Well, guess what? Diaz put Khan on the canvas and shook him plenty, finding holes in Khan's supposedly improved defense despite the fact that the Mexican veteran -- who is slow and flat-footed, by the way -- was loading up for obvious shots much of the fight.
Khan remains a sucker for a counter left hook. Though Floyd's best punch is probably his right hand lead, he's smacked a few guys around with a left hook before. Ask Ricky Hatton, the last Brit to test his luck with Floyd, and another guy some felt could stylistically (for different reasons) trouble Mayweather.
Amir Khan really might be able to make the fight competitive for a couple of rounds. Going back to Limond, the story of that fight was Khan getting putting on his hindquarters, then taking over and outclassing a guy who wasn't really on his level.
Amir could give Floyd some trouble early. Eventually, though, Mayweather will take over and outclass a guy who isn't really on his level.
With all due respect to Amir Khan, who is a good, highly exciting fighter, he's not going to beat Floyd Mayweather. Khan's greatest strength is his stubborn, ballsy approach to the ring. Like him, hate him, whatever him, Amir Khan has a history of taking good fights, taking risks, and fighting his ass off.
His chin is his greatest enemy, and I have no doubt, personally, that Mayweather would crack it, and Khan would be betrayed by his own fatal flaws once more. He is a good fighter. But Floyd Mayweather remains great.
The real question, though, is this: Would the fight be worth watching? I say, of course. Khan is always worth watching, and I've damn sure paid for worse, less interesting pay-per-view main events than this one would be.
Hell, bring it on. Give us the pudding that Floyd Mayweather is always talking about, so we can see the proof, and not just a bunch of speculation and jibber-jabber.