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Floyd Mayweather's next fight: Is public opinion pushing Marcos Maidana ahead of Amir Khan?

Marcos Maidana is beating Amir Khan in the court of public opinion, but will that be enough to convince Floyd Mayweather to change his mind about his May 3 opponent?

Scott Heavey
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Is Amir Khan losing what was once thought to be his fight date on May 3 with Floyd Mayweather? There appears to be some reason to believe that Marcos Maidana, who defeated Adrien Broner for the WBA welterweight title on December 14, may have moved ahead of Khan in the Mayweather sweepstakes.

For one thing, it's February 5 and there's still no fight signed, which doesn't bode well for Khan, who passed on a December fight against Devon Alexander to "save himself" for the Mayweather fight, so to speak. Also, when Mayweather used social media to "let the fans pick" who he should fight on May 3, the fans spoke pretty loudly, and they're in favor of Maidana.

It's a "what have you done for me lately?" kind of world, and really, Amir Khan hasn't been in the boxing spotlight for real since he was stopped in four rounds by Danny Garcia in the summer of 2012. Since then, he's beaten an overmatched Carlos Molina and survived a tough challenge from veteran Julio Diaz, neither of which were marquee fights or major attractions.

Maidana, meanwhile, took the "0" from Adrien Broner. He's by far the hotter name. Now, there could be a roadblock in that Adrien Broner has the right to an immediate rematch with Maidana, and he wants that. Richard Schaefer has been working on that fight for late April or May. Mayweather could try to pull rank, but a contract is a contract, and if Broner is dead-set on getting Maidana, there's not much can be done other than paying Broner off to step aside. That can probably be done, but who knows?

For whatever it's worth (not a ton, probably), Jeff Mayweather, the uncle of Floyd and a respected boxing trainer, believes that the tide has shifted, and Maidana is in the lead:

"Originally, they were thinking Khan," he said today in a telephone interview. "But with so much negative feedback, with the blogs and various things -- it seemed like every time you saw Amir Khan's name attached to it, it said he had no chance."

... "Any time you hear about Floyd fighting Amir Khan, it comes with negative feedback," he said. "When you're the best fighter in the world, you're not used to negative feedback."

Today, Khan has publicly responded, and it's a bit of a puzzler:

Few boxing fans probably need reminding that it's Khan (28-3, 19 KO) who has been knocked out in the past, not Maidana (35-3, 31 KO). But Amir's just doing what he can to keep his name out there right now, I think -- and it reads like he feels the fight slipping away, too.

Do you expect the public opinion and backlash to sway Mayweather's decision? Are you now anticipating Mayweather-Maidana rather than Mayweather-Khan? And which do you want to see more?

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