Oh, yeah, this just has the makings of the closest and most contentious vote since the 2000 presidential election. The only thing missing would be “hanging chads” and Jeb Bush (of course, there are those cynics who believe that it’s all just a sham and it’s going to be Khan regardless. But I refuse to believe Mayweather would ever engage in such lowdown chicanery).
But between the two available candidates anointed by Floyd, who is the superior choice? Well, there’s no doubt who’s more deserving. It’s Maidana, who had a banner 2013 in which he stopped Josesito Lopez and solved “The Problem.” As for Khan, he struggled mightily against Julio Diaz and then backed out of a scheduled fight against then-IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander to essentially secure his future payday - and chin - versus Mayweather. While it’s hard to debate any of this - and Maidana is certainly a fighter’s fighter if there ever was one and the overwhelming choice of the hardcore fan in the States - there’s a huge difference between being someone who deserves the fight and being the better or more intriguing fight for a particular boxer and certainly being a better business proposition.
Yeah, Khan has been inactive and has a track record of being chinny but we’ve already seen Mayweather in with slower fighters who don’t bring much quickness to the table. Yeah, Maidana is heavy-handed; problem is he’s also heavy-footed and you figure Mayweather would just skate around him all night. For all his flaws - and he is fatally flawed in many ways – Khan does have length and quickness. When was the last time we saw “Money” face someone with his athleticism (yeah, I know; I know. He got stopped by Breidis Prescott) or the last time we saw Mayweather have to chase or stalk his opponent (hey, you don’t have to remind me of the Danny Garcia fight) or score a clean, legitimate knockout?
Let’s make this clear: as of this moment, Maidana is clearly the superior fighter to Khan. However, the pay-per-view business is, well…just that: business. Mayweather would be the substantial favorite over either guy (or really, anyone between 140-147 pounds) and it says here there would no real difference in pay-per-view sales between Khan and Maidana as the B-side in this equation. But the U.K. foreign market is much more lucrative than Argentina’s, which is what Khan would bring with him.
Meanwhile, as this proposition gained steam, it certainly became a mud-slinging campaign that would make veteran senators blush in embarrassment. On Twitter, Maidana (@ChinoMaidana) and Khan (@AmirKingKhan) engaged in a heated back-and-forthing reminiscent of the memorable 2010 battle at the Mandalay Bay. It was 140 characters of fury capped off by Maidana challenging Khan to a rematch on May 3rd. Pretty soon, other boxers like Keith Thurman and Paulie Malignaggi got into the fray and it became boxing’s/the Twitterverse’s version of the “Royal Rumble.”
Khan, whose hubris borders on delusional at times, tweeted the day before that if Mayweather faced Maidana, he’d be facing Khan’s “leftovers,” which happens to be a favorite line used by Mayweather himself. Of course, some could state Khan is then Prescott or Garcia “leftovers.”
(On Wednesday evening, this non-partisan scribe with no horse in this race was accused by Maidana - or whoever is running his Twitter account - of “campaigning” on Khan’s behalf after a few retweets that seemed to endorse Khan’s case for the fight. Just for the record, the Kimster’s official endorsement for the May 3rd assignment goes to write-in candidate (and no, there is no write-in option), Erislandy Lara, the talented Cuban who holds a major belt at 154 and is coming off a whitewash of Austin Trout. He’s the Ron Paul of this thing and quite frankly, has about the same chance of ever facing Mayweather as a third-party candidate has of ever winning a presidential election.)
Mayweather, a marketing genius in many ways, once again struck gold. As this was the topic in boxing on the same day Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley were concluding their media tour for their April 12th rematch in New York City. But he also may have put himself in a bit of a no-win situation here. The reality is there will be a sizable number of fans who will be displeased by whomever he faces next. This “vote” (or whatever it is) just accentuated that. It highlights a fundamental flaw in the current business and in the deal he has with Showtime in which the talent pool of available opponents is significantly shrunken due to the lingering “Cold War” between Golden Boy/Showtime and Top Rank Promotions.
By the way, has Mayweather stated he will actually fight whoever wins this “election”?
Here’s the latest episode of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
Here’s the iTunes app for “TNR”:
SPORTS ON EARTH
Here’s my latest contribution to SportsOnEarth.com on what really is on the line for Pacquiao as he rematches Tim Bradley on April 12th:
MUCH-NEEDED RAINY FLURRIES
It was announced that the March 8th pay-per-view card featuring Saul Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo will be available for viewing in movie theaters...Sorry, I have no interest in the George Zimmerman-DMX freakshow (and I have very low standards as most of you know)...I plan on watching about no minutes of the Winter Olympics...I thought the Miami recruiting class was very good but not great. Simply missed too many elite guys and had a few key defections late when it was all said and done…Ican be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.