Like his rival Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank's Bob Arum never misses a chance to take a shot at his business enemies, nor a chance to plead a sympathetic case to the public at large. With Floyd Mayweather's next fight still up in the air, and the opponent undecided between Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana, Arum says that Khan has been treated disgracefully, and that Mayweather and Co. should be ashamed of wasting Khan's time:
"If a promoter did it, if a Bob Arum or a Frank Warren did it the press would be all over them. They have allowed Mayweather to get away with this shit. It's terrible. They have twisted the kid in the wind. Mayweather should be ashamed of himself. He's not going to sign the contract. I think he will fight Maidana."
Arum also suggests that Khan dump Golden Boy and go ahead with his career elsewhere:
"Amir Khan has put himself in a position where he can be humiliated. He's like a laughing stock. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. He's not fighting back and telling these guys to get lost. Get another promoter, maybe go back to Frank Warren, get another opponent and tell them to piss off."
While it's true that Khan will have wasted months of his career on a failed bid to face Mayweather if indeed Maidana gets the fight instead, Khan can't totally blame other parties for that. Amir had a fight ready to go against Devon Alexander last December, but chose well ahead of time to forego that opportunity in order to save himself for a Mayweather fight that was, quite frankly, bigger in his imagination than it is in reality.
There was never any guarantee that Khan would get Floyd. It's hardly a "must-see" fight. Yes, Khan was the favorite to land the fight, but that was before Marcos Maidana made himself a legitimate potential Floyd opponent. Amir Khan chose to avoid Devon Alexander because he thought he had the Mayweather fight for May 3 locked up. At the time he chose to do that, it made some sense. There didn't appear to be much by way of in-house Golden Boy options for Mayweather to fight. Maidana was not expected to beat Adrien Broner. But he did. The game changed because of something someone earned.
Also, Khan has put himself into this position because that mega-fight payday has nearly slipped away several times now. His earlier career loss to Breidis Prescott doesn't matter much anymore, but don't forget that Khan was supposedly knocking on the door for the Mayweather fight before losing to both Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. At 27, Khan has had a very rocky career considering he's been pushed as a potential superstar from before his pro debut. Like many fighters who are given hype before making or earning hype, Khan has failed to live up to expectations.
In my mind, it comes down to something very simple: Amir Khan has in no way made himself the must-have Mayweather opponent. When it was thought that he would face Floyd on May 3, before Maidana inserted himself into the mix, it wasn't exactly a major event that fight fans or press or anyone else were clamoring for. Furthermore, if the Mayweather-Khan negotiations had gone off without a hitch, and we already had that fight signed, Bob Arum would probably be calling it a mismatch, a sham event that if he put that fight together, oh, the press would be all over his case. Poor Bob. It's tough in these boxing media streets.
However you slice it, it is as usual attempted media manipulation, which leads more importantly to manipulation of the paying customer, which leads to a bunch of bitching and stupid internet comments, and then ultimately to everyone just watching the fights like normal anyway.
But as for the topic at hand here, if Amir Khan's last two fights hadn't been wins over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz, the latter one where he rather narrowly avoided defeat against a mediocre veteran, I think it would be easier for people to feel bad for his situation. It's not even really about Mayweather-Khan not being that great of a fight -- which, again, it isn't -- but about Marcos Maidana making this all happen by winning a big fight. If you focus on the Khan side, you can find a tiny violin song to play. If you focus on what's happening overall, there's a great little story in here with Marcos Maidana.
But do you know what the absolute best part is? Neither of these are particularly compelling fights. Here we are, spending a bunch of time on something that will ultimately lead to another routine Mayweather domination where people complain that the fight was boring, as if we can't manage to ignore the loud commercials and pre-fight faux documentaries and let our brains tell us that we've seen it all before.