By Ryan Maquiñana
Amir Khan was miffed when WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather passed over him and chose Marcos Maidana as his May 3 opponent -- despite the fact that Khan had emerged as the winner in a Mayweather-sanctioned online fan poll between the two candidates.
Khan, who will instead fight Luis Collazo as the final bout leading up to the Mayweather-Maidana event this Saturday at the Las Vegas MGM Grand, opined why the pound-for-pound king snubbed him in favor of the Argentine slugger.
“I think Floyd’s going to go for the easier option,” Khan told BoxingScene.com. “He’s a great fighter, but he knows he has a deal with the TV network and he has so many fights, so he’s going to go with the easier option.”
Khan acknowledged that he’s coming off a close win over Julio Diaz, while Maidana is fresh off dethroning Adrien Broner for the WBA welterweight title.
“I think he knows I’m always going to be there, so maybe that’s an option,” Khan said. “He doesn’t think Maidana’s always going to be there. I think the only way Maidana was going to get that fight was winning the world title.
“Maybe he didn’t have confidence in Maidana keeping that world title so he thought, ‘I’ll be the one to take it off him before someone else does.’”
In a December 2010 head-to-head battle, Khan edged Maidana in a fight where the Argentine came back from a vicious body shot in the opening round but was penalized for throwing an elbow in the middle rounds. Those three points served as the winning margin. Khan believes his skill set will apply favorably in a Mayweather fight as well.
“But a fight between me and Floyd will happen one day,” Khan said. “I mean, Maidana is someone who I fought and beat, and maybe that’s why the fans wanted to see that fight instead. I mean, with Floyd, he’s a great fighter, but he hasn’t fought that many guys who are as quick, or are quicker than him, or are explosive, so I think we’ll bring something else to the table. Look, time will tell. I’m going to put on a great performance against Luis Collazo, and we’ll take it from there.”
In the meantime, Khan hopes to be the standard-bearer for the United Kingdom in the current glamour division of the sport.
“British boxing has been very strong for a really small country,” Khan said. “It’s a very strong boxing country, so I’d have to say it’ll be huge to be the face of boxing. I’m kind of the face of boxing now in Britain, but to get a Mayweather fight and beat Mayweather, that would be history made.
“That’ll be something that would be unforgettable for the rest of our lives. If that happens, it would be great. But first of all, we’re just going to have to work our way up.”
Follow Ryan Maquinana on Twitter @RMaq28.