Sports

Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Could Get Derailed by Amir Khan

| by Alex Groberman
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Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are obviously booked through the end of 2013, but neither one has plans beyond that. Given their history and the fact that, presuming both win out this year, they’ll need more opponents in 2014, a popular theory floating around has been that they might meet next year.

A slight problem with idea arose this past weekend, though, when Golden Boy head honcho Richard Schaefer suggested that a victory over Devon Alexander would likely earn Amir Khan a shot at Mayweather. Khan, you will recall, is the 26-year-old one-time sensation who seemed destined to take over boxing not too long ago. Then, back-to-back losses to a doped up Lamont Peterson and the underrated Danny Garcia threw his career into a tailspin for a while.

However, after a strong victory over Carlos Molina and a less-than-impressive decision win against Julio Diaz, it appears as though the Bolton-born brawler has regained his footing.

“Amir needs one fight at welterweight, along with a title, to set up the match with Floyd,” Schaefer said to The Daily Mail recently. “He is getting that chance against Devon, who has agreed the fight. We will be finalizing and signing the contracts in the next couple of weeks.”

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Alexander was briefly used by Mayweather as a bargaining chip during his negotiations with Robert Guerrero a few months back, but nothing ever materialized there. Seeing as Khan is sort of a step down in competition for him at this point, particularly after how he looked against Diaz, presumably Alexander is viewing this as his way to lock down a shot against the sport’s pound-for-pound king.

Interestingly enough, though, Schaefer seems to view this as a No. 1 contender fight for Khan. Only Khan.

“We have opened discussions with the ruling family of the Emirates who have made it very clear that they are keen to put on a major boxing event,” he said. “This is very exciting for Amir and all of us. If he defeats Devon, preferably in style, the next step for him would be against Floyd.”

If Khan were to beat Alexander ‘in style,’ then any hope of a Pacquiao-Mayweather 2014 battle would essentially be gone. At best, they’d be in line for an end-of-year showdown, and who knows what will happen to them health-wise between now and then. That being said, the ‘in style’ point is an important one – Khan’s new defensive-oriented approach, coupled with his sporadic lackadaisicalness during fights, almost guarantees that, even if he does win, it won’t be in style.  

Then what?

We’ll all find out soon enough.