Amir Khan’s Role in Manny Pacquiao v. Floyd Mayweather

| by Alex Groberman

If Floyd Mayweather Jr. thought Amir Khan would go away quietly, the poor guy has another thing coming. And Manny Pacquiao? After being on the receiving end of Mayweather’s verbal punishment over the last couple of years, he now has the chance to sit back, relax, and watch the bully become the bullied from a safe distance.

Recently, Khan has taken his quest to embarrass Mayweather to the media. The same way that Mayweather once made it a point to call out Pacquiao’s alleged refusal to submit to specific drug testing requirements, Khan is now calling Mayweather out for ducking. First and foremost, he’s accusing Mayweather of ducking Pacquiao. And, in the same breath, the English fighter is attempting to prevent Mayweather from eventually ducking him down the road.

During a recent interview with On The Ropes radio, Khan had this to say:

"I think Floyd Mayweather will avoid me like he's avoiding Manny Pacquiao and other fighters out there," Khan told the On the Ropes radio show. "I mean, he never takes on dangerous fighters like myself, by taking on a Maidana and Bradley. He likes to go in and take the easy route and fight the easy names that he knows he can beat.

"At the end of the day you have to remember Victor Ortiz fought on my under cards twice," he said. "[Marcos] Maidana is the guy who beat him, and then he goes Victor Ortiz is the biggest challenge out there for him, which in my eyes there are bigger names out there who I know can take Mayweather and give him a tougher fight than Victor."

Mayweather, for his part, has sent mixed messages in regards to the idea of fighting Khan. At one point, the supposed one-year plan for the undefeated superstar supposedly featured showdowns against Victor Ortiz, Pacquiao and Khan. The grueling schedule, assuming Mayweather could survive it, would supposedly close the book on any and all doubts that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation.

Unfortunately, as he has shown a certain propensity for doing, Mayweather later kind of went back on that goal. His excuse? That Khan wasn’t a big enough draw to command a fight against him.

“[Khan] don’t really want that; not selling 2,500 tickets and having a bunch of giveaways. No, he don't want that," said Mayweather to FightHype recently.

So does Mayweather actually want to fight Khan? Is he scared of him? At this point, understanding Floyd’s actions are so impossibly difficult, that it’s better to just nod along with everything he says and realize that what’s true today will be false tomorrow.

The bigger part of all this, though, is how Khan’s incessant name-dropping of Mayweather will factor into the Pacquiao v. Mayweather showdown which the former said would definitely happen in 2012. Does Khan want to fight Mayweather before Pacquiao, fearing that Mayweather may lose his undefeated mark if he squares off against the Filipino superstar? Does he want to fight him afterwards, hoping that Manny softens Mayweather up a bit?

A lot of variables are in the works here, and the already complex process of getting Mayweather and Pacquiao in the ring together is not going to get any easier if Khan adds himself into the equation.

For now, Khan is a fan favorite. If he wants to stay that way, he’ll butt out of Mayweather’s affairs until the Pacquiao fight, thus ensuring that we don’t have another unnecessary wrench thrown into the seemingly-impossible process of making a Pacquiao v. Mayweather dream match a reality.