Plenty of talk going around these days about who Floyd will choose to fight next, and most of what I’ve read centers around how Amir Khan is the wrong opponent for Floyd and Marcos Maidana is the right one. Me, I’d say the opposite is true. And if you give a couple minutes of your time, I’ll explain why.
As my writing partner Kailik is fond of saying, styles make fights, and when it comes to analyzing not only the outcome of a fight but what type of action it is likely to produce, it is crucial that you take an honest look at the two combatants and not only what they are capable of doing in a ring, but what they have done throughout their careers. A quick look at these two reveals a couple of easy truths. For Mayweather, we know how fond he is of hitting and not being hit back. We know that his only goal in a fight is to win while absorbing as little damage as possible.
Of course, that’s a problem for everyone he’s ever fought. If you pay attention to the types of guys they choose to fight Floyd these days, they are usually those who are at a speed or quickness deficit, which means his defense and footwork will see him through these bouts safely. Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero, Canelo, Shane Mosley, Cotto, Marquez. All of them were easy pickins’. For all of the hype around Canelo, he never stood a chance because, as a legitimate Middleweight, he was nowhere close to quick enough to lay a glove on Floyd. Same goes for Mosley or Cotto, credentialed as they may have been. The plain truth is, one of those guys were a danger to Floyd on that front. No shame in that really, as there simply aren’t many fighters on earth, at any weight, who would be able to hold their own with the money man from a quickness and skill standpoint. That’s why he’s where he is. you know?
Of course, Khan happens to be one of them. That’s why he’s dangerous here.
Look, Amir Khan’s weaknesses have been well-documented. The chin. The propensity to get in brawls when he can safely box his way to victory. Still, as a guy who has been fighting at two weight classes lower than Floyd has in recent years, he’s got a style and (more importantly) the skills to actually make Floyd work. To force the action where most guys can only stand there hopelessly as Floyd hits them with combos and is gone before they can counter. Look, Amir Khan can box with anybody, it’s just that he chooses to slug with guys, something he can’t, or shouldn’t do.
On the flip side, Marcos Maidana, though a hell of a puncher, has always been susceptible to being outboxed by those more crafty types. His three losses are all decisions, and all against guys who managed to allude his power and keep him at the end of their jab. All dude respect here, but if Devon Alexander was able to beat Maidana by scores of 100-90 and 99-91, what do you think his chances are against Floyd?
And that’s the mistake everyone is making when it comes to this fight. The book on Maidana is that he can be had by a slick pugilist. Hell, even the Broner people thought he was a safe opponent or they never would have made that fight. Putting Marcos in there with Floyd would be a mistake, plain and simple. Another 12 round fight featuring very little action, unless your idea of a good time is watching another man chase Mayweather around for 36 minutes. Put Khan in there and you might just get a fight, and the closest thing he’s had to that in about a decade was the Cotto scrap, and even that wasn’t close. Yeah, Khan is there to be knocked out, but the last time Mayweather KO’D anyone (I’m not counting Victor Ortiz, btw) was the Ricky Hatton fight and that was over SIX YEARS AGO.
That’s the point I’m making here. Actually, it’s more of a question. Would you rather see Floyd box circles around another “opponent who doesn’t have the tools to make a go at it, or would you rather see him in there with a guy who is going to take the fight to him, even if that guy ends up on his back? For all of his flaws, nobody has ever out-boxed or out-classed Amir Khan. Now, that doesn’t mean that Floyd won’t, but we can be certain that Maidana (who, if you didn’t know, was knocked down by and ultimately decisioned by Khan in 2010) is not in Mayweather’s league, skillwise.
So yeah, this is an easy call for me. I’ll take Khan. As the expression goes, If he dies, it’ll be with his boots on. Read more: Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana