Two years ago, a showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Amir Khan seemed inevitable. The former was the world’s pound-for-pound king and eager to continuously prove his dominance by crushing his up-and-coming counterparts. The latter was a rising star, one of Britain’s finest boxing exports ever, and someone who looked like he could dominate all of his competitors for the next decade.
A lot has changed since then, though.
Khan suffered back-to-back defeats between 2011 and 2012, with the second one being particularly costly. While most could forgive his loss to Lamont Peterson in light of Peterson testing positive for a banned substance after the fact, the 26-year-old’s TKO loss to Danny Garcia was absolutely inexcusable. And so, while Mayweather remained boxing’s best, Khan’s claim to his throne quickly dissipated.
Over the past five or so months, the Bolton-bred brawler has been working his way back to the top. It started with a solid TKO victory over Carlos Molina this past December, and will likely continue with a similarly strong showing this month against Julio Diaz. From there, if Khan can avenge his loss to Garcia, there is a pretty decent chance of him returning to where he was prior to the Peterson loss.
Interestingly enough, though, the World Boxing Council has apparently decided that he is already back to that point. In their rankings released this past week, the WBC listed Khan as the No. 2 ranked welterweight in the world – right behind Mayweather. Apparently him not actually having fought at that weight yet is no big deal.
Naturally, many are now wondering if this was a preemptive strike by the powers that be to prepare all for a sooner-than-expected Mayweather-Khan battle. With Mayweather slated to fight twice per year until 2016, he is going to need opponents. And once he disposes of Robert Guerrero, takes on the winner of Saul Alvarez-Austin Trout and maybe beats up on Devon Alexander, he is still going to need three more foes.
Mayweather-Khan was probably inevitable either way, but so long as the latter fighter doesn’t trip up against Diaz, he’ll apparently get his shot at the king a lot quicker than anyone initially realized.