Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao won’t be around forever. I don’t see these two hanging around deep into their 40’s, trying to cling on to their glory days. Pacquiao keeps talking about retiring soon. Mayweather has already taken long breaks from the sport. Boxing needs to looks for its next marquee name. Golden Boy Promotions believe Amir Khan might be it.
The key is success in America. Not being a household name. Boxing isn’t that kind of sport anymore, with Pacquiao and Mayweather being the exception. Mayweather doesn’t even do it with his style. It’s more about becoming the villain of the sport, creating interest and PPV buys via antagonism.
Khan is a fun fighter to watch. He’s got super fast hands, moves very well and is mostly on the attack, usually trying to get a knockout early on. He is British, but has already had a few successful big fights in America, including his surprising loss to Lamont Peterson in Washington a few months ago. Now is the time for him to win back his Light Welterweight belts, get revenge, and move on to Welterweight.
GB promotions have high hopes of Khan, who turned 25 last December. He is already somewhat of a global star – in the UK obviously and among many Muslim fighting fans across the globe. According to Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy’s CEO, the sky’s the limit for the Bolton based fighter.
Khan and his team have their sights set on Floyd Mayweather. Have been for a long time, talking about that fight ever since unifying the Light Welterweight belts after beating Zab Judah in July, 2011. Mayweather’s future is unclear, no matter the result of his fight with Miguel Cotto. With the Pacquiao front looking dead at the moment, who knows what the scene and options will look like once he comes out of prison around August.
The plan for Khan and his team? Beat Peterson, fight a Welterweight so he can adjust to the extra pounds and increase his reputation in the US, and then go for Mayweather. Being it pretty much a Golden Boy fight makes things much more easier than the always impossible Arum – De La Hoya negotiations.
Assuming all goes well and he wins against Peterson, he then moves up to welterweight. But I am not so sure if the first fight will be against Floyd, because at that weight it may not be the smartest thing to do.
In a perfect world, I’d like Amir to have one fight at that weight before fighting Mayweather – but if that fight presents itself we would discuss it. Amir is better than what we saw in most of the last fight with Peterson. His skill level is superior to any fighter with the exception of Mayweather.
Fighting Mayweather as his first Welterweight opponent wouldn’t be smart. But I’m not too sure Floyd will jump at the offer anyway. Going up to 154 to fight Miguel Cotto, not his first visit to the weight, there’s a good chance Mayweather prefers to fight bigger now. Saul Alvarez is a name brought up more than once regarding future options for fights. Sergio Martinez is probably the biggest name, and he fights at 160.
First and foremost, Khan needs to get over the Lamont Peterson hump. It’s not just about fighting in a neutral venue, unlike the problematic scoring the Washington DC fight. Khan acknowledged he did a few things wrong against Peterson, who turned the fight into a messy brawl instead of Khan proving how much more skilled he is. In Vegas, with the right kind of fight plan, Khan should take his next step towards becoming a boxing superstar in the United States.