‘To play a game of chance for stakes.’ If you trowel through a dictionary, this phrase will appear next to the word ‘gambler.’ Two men rolled the dice in the Mayweather sweepstakes. Whilst Marcos Maidana hit the jackpot and left the table with a golden ticket dated May 3rd, Amir Khan folded and walked away empty handed.
Amir Khan recently released an official statement,
“Despite having signed my part of the agreement to fight Floyd in early December, I’ve been preparing myself for some time that the match up with him wasn’t going to happen, as I announced on Twitter a few days ago. Therefore, this announcement did not come as a surprise. I am, however, very disappointed with Floyd and his team for not providing any explanation as to why he delayed the announcement for so long and ultimately avoided the fight with me.”
Khan went on to vent his frustration at a lack of clarity from the Mayweather camp, in which he could have “explored other options.” Khan went on to say, “It has been a very frustrating period as I’d been due to fight in December against Devon Alexander, however, I was strongly advised to not take this fight as I would be facing Floyd this May – and therefore signed my side of the contract on this belief.”
If we stop to take stock of all the developments, the fact remains that Khan has been inactive for ten months, and therefore Khan’s advisors must take a percentage of the blame in this situation. Slated to fight Devon Alexander in December, Khan was advised to withdraw from negotiations as he was the frontrunner to meet Floyd Mayweather.
Shawn Porter happily stepped in and beat Alexander. On paper Khan could have caused a lot of problems for Alexander. When taken out of his comfort zone, Devon does not always respond well, as seen with Porter and Bradley. The lack of power and Khan’s hand speed may have made for a long night for Devon Alexander.
If Amir had faced and beaten Alexander last December, he may well have landed in the opposite corner to Mayweather come May 3rd. As Khan sat on the sidelines, Maidana was performing and beating credible opposition. If we examine their annual resume for last year, Khan put forth an unconvincing performance in his victory over Julio Diaz.
In typical Khan fashion, he came quickly out of the blocks, finding some success behind the jab, until a Diaz left hook halted his dash for the finish line. Diaz applied the pressure and hurt Khan on numerous occasions. In a closely fought fight, Khan survived a late onslaught to take the bout 114-113, 115-113, 115-112.
Maidana in the meantime put forth a solid body of work. First stopping Josesito Lopez and then winning the WBA Welterweight title by beating a highly regarded Adrien Broner. Upon this observation alone, the choice is not difficult.
Based purely on merit, Maidana has earned his shot. Khan stated his intentions to move on swiftly and said an opponent would be named within 10 days. Guerrero, Thurman, Broner or Brook are all viable options. If Khan hopes to land Mayweather down the line, perhaps a bout in America would bring him one step closer, as Brook is not yet held in high regard stateside. Although in the UK, this fight may prove worthy business wise. With a couple of wins over any names mentioned above, Khan may find himself playing the Mayweather sweepstakes again.