The boxing world may be dominated by predictions, hopes and rumors surrounding a potential Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. superbout, but that doesn’t mean Amir Khan has to sit back and do nothing.
Over the past few months, the ultra-talented WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion has been making waves all over the place, particularly with his incessant provocation of Mayweather.
Ever since Mayweather returned to boxing -- after his latest extended hiatus -- and announced he would be fighting Victor Ortiz in September, a back-and-forth of sorts developed between him and his British counterpart. It never got as ugly as Mayweather’s exchanges with Pacquiao; although, Khan did give Mayweather a taste of his own medicine at one point by insinuating that maybe the undefeated, oft-troubled fighter might have been on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) when he fought Oscar De La Hoya.
Along with the jabbering between the two men, came several possible hints that a fight may be on the horizon between Khan and Mayweather. Furthermore, both Golden Boy and Top Rank executives made comments alluding to a battle between the pair being in the cards, possibly after Mayweather defeats Ortiz in a few weeks and if he can beat Pacquiao. The one thing that was always clear, though, was that Khan comes third in the pecking order.
Now, however, things are heating up in the press between the two men. Here is what Mayweather had to say regarding Khan in a recent interview with FightHype.com, where he essentially called Khan too small of a draw to consider fighting:
“[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.
Khan, for his part, didn’t take the comments lying down. Here is his response to Mayweather’s comments, via BoxingScene:
"I'm not a big enough draw to fight in 2012....and Victor Ortiz is right now? No disrespect to Victor Ortiz. He's a great fighter and a very good friend but he's fought on my undercard twice. I'll be ready to fight Floyd in two fights time. If he wants to fight this year I would, but Mayweather only talks down on fighters who are threats to him," Khan said.
"As a fighter if you want to be the best - you have to fight the best, and my time will come. I bumped into Floyd's manager Leonard [Ellerbe] after the Zab Judah fight and he said let’s make this happen. I want to, and I will be the biggest draw to fight Floyd after Manny Pacquiao and they know that."
Khan certainly isn’t too small of a draw for Mayweather to fight, and any claims to the otherwise are downright ridiculous. In a sport with a precious few recognizable names, Khan’s rings loud.
Still, there is a problem. If Khan continues to poke the beast, he may invariably get Mayweather’s full attention. And that, in turn, can mean that there will be yet another delay in the grueling wait for a Pacquiao v. Mayweather showdown. Plus, given Mayweather’s recent history of looking for pretty much any excuse to avoid fighting Pacquiao, the last thing the fans need is Khan tossing his hat into the mix and stealing Mayweather’s attention away from where it should be – a certain angelic voiced Filipino congressman.
Will Khan swoop in and steal Pacquiao’s fight against Mayweather after the pair fights Juan Manuel Marquez and Ortiz, respectively? Only time will tell, but this much is for certain: Pacquiao isn’t the only boxing star gunning for Mayweather’s head these days.