by David P. Greisman
There had been plenty of discussion and debate in recent weeks about who Floyd Mayweather should face in his next fight, and why. Mayweather ended up choosing Marcos Maidana as his May 3 opponent pay-per-view opponent instead of picking Amir Khan, and longtime boxing commentator Larry Merchant says that was a good pick.
“I think it was the smart thing to do and the right thing to do in that Khan had been so idle and that there was a lot of cynicism about the fight,” Merchant told BoxingScene.com on Feb. 28.
Khan hasn’t fought since April 2013, when he had to come off the canvas to take a too-close-for-comfort decision over Julio Diaz. Khan opted against facing welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander last year, hoping that he was about to land the Mayweather fight instead. Khan is coming off two wins, but those follow a split decision loss to Lamont Peterson in late 2011 and a technical knockout loss to Danny Garcia in July 2012.
And given the criticism of Khan’s chin and whether he had earned a Mayweather fight, Merchant also noted that Maidana is riding the wave from his conquering of Adrien Broner this past December.
“With Maidana’s performance against Broner, I think that it’s a more buzz-worthy fight for the American audience,” Merchant said. “And I think that’s important because a few weeks before [Mayweather-Maidana] is Pacquiao-Bradley. A few weeks after that fight is Martinez-Cotto. Both of which are of high interest. So I think Maidana was the right choice.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tags: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Larry Merchant , Marcos Maidana , Mayweather-Maidana , Mayweather vs. Maidana