Amir Khan has for years pleaded with Floyd “Money” Mayweather for a fight, and now the way is clear for that to happen in September.
Mayweather has repeatedly told Khan to prove himself first against top-notch opposition, and over the weekend, the 28-year-old Brit felt he did just that.
But Khan had an unexpectedly tough time in getting a unanimous points victory over American Chris Algieri in New York on Friday.
Khan thought it would clear the way for him to take on the welterweight king, but Mayweather has just cause to have doubts.
Rather than showcase his talents, Khan did not impress against Algieri, who is limited in skills and power, although he has plenty of heart.
Khan was hit far too easily and often to give Mayweather sleepless nights.
But then again, perhaps Khan’s unimpressive showing will encourage Mayweather to make the match because he would hate to go out on the sole loss of his long and distinguished career.
Mayweather easily outpointed Manny Pacquiao last month in Las Vegas in the richest fight in boxing history to take his precious perfect record to 48.
Khan has insisted loudly and boorishly for years that he has the tools to beat Mayweather, but judging by his struggle to overcome Algieri, the brash American won’t even have to break a sweat.
Apart from the obvious huge payday Khan can expect, the chance to make a name for himself and upset the pound-for-pound king in his farewell fight is a huge motivator.
Even though Khan is not worthy, Mayweather may still select him by default because the other contenders lack commercial appeal. Another Brit, Kell Brook, is the obvious choice, but he is far too dangerous for Mayweather to risk getting in the ring with. Nor has Brook much profile in the U.S. An obvious match for Khan would be to take on Brook, but the risk of humiliation by an early knockout is far too great.
Tim Bradley, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia could get the nod from Mayweather, but none has the marquee value to generate as much pay-per-view revenue as Khan has.
It would be another lucrative match, but a one-sided victory for the 38-year-old champ is the most likely outcome.
Even Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, does not give his fighter much chance. When asked how he sees a pairing with Mayweather, he claimed that Khan’s youth and hand speed will ensure he “gives a good account of himself.”
Hunter stopped short of categorically backing his man to win. Hardly a ringing endorsement.