Amir Khan may well prove to be the next opponent of Floyd Mayweather Jr., but right now he is no closer than any other to landing a shot at "Pretty Boy."
Khan was reported to be the shock next rival of Mayweather when Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail claimed a May 3 bout was on the cards in October.
That report has now been rubbished by Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, who insists the American’s camp has not even begun working on his next encounter and describes all reports of a Khan collision pure “rumour.”
Dan Rafael of ESPN provides the quotes:
How many times have you heard rumours in this business about things being done and it's not even close to the case? It's the nature of the boxing business. I've heard Floyd is fighting Tim Bradley next. I heard a lot of things. We just sit back and laugh. It's hilarious.
I don't know what we're doing next. Floyd Mayweather Jr is the topic of everyone's conversations. I've heard things from we're fighting Bernard Hopkins to Amir Khan. You hear a lot of things that people say and all you can do is sit back and laugh …
But we haven't had one conversation about any of that [about his next fight] … So until you hear it from Floyd it is what it is - rumours. We're not even thinking about what's next. We ain't working on nothin'.
Ellerbe’s comments are as categorical as any to emerge from either fighter’s camp regarding Powell’s claim that they will meet in May 2014.
Mayweather is currently relaxing after his destruction of Saul Alvarez, and the nature of the boxing business is that individuals enjoy small windows of media exposure.
Directly after the Alvarez fight, Khan was the hot topic.
Alvarez was bigger and stronger than Mayweather, but didn’t come close to beating him. Speed was deemed the key, and nobody boasts more than Khan.
However, every passing week provides opportunity for Khan to lose momentum in the public domain.
There are undoubtedly better boxers Mayweather could face. Danny Garcia—conqueror of Khan—would represent a challenge, while the name of Manny Pacquiao always lurks.
The only strong argument in favour of the Brit is his style, which could arguably capitalise on the increasing age of the undefeated champion.
However, Khan’s defensive flaws and questionable chin—highlighted in fights with Garcia and Lamont Peterson—provide huge doubts over exactly how much of a test he would pose Mayweather.
Devon Alexander, the IBF welterweight champion, was supposed to welcome Khan to the welterweight division at the back end of this year. However, their proposed bout fell through.
Alexander claims Khan ran scared, knowing he would lose to the American and cost himself the mooted showdown with Mayweather. Sky Sports provides the quotes:
They (Khan's camp) felt I was a big risk, that I was too much for him right now.
I was ready to fight him. He pulled out so it didn't happen that way.
You have to be a true champion and true fighter. I'm an old school fighter. I will fight anybody.
Alexander undoubtedly would have been a risky opponent for Khan, but there was enough time between their proposed clash and the rumoured May 3 date with Mayweather for the Brit to have fought both.
A win over Alexander would have fully justified his meeting with Mayweather. However, Alexander may well be correct in suggesting Khan did not want to risk the jackpot of a Mayweather fight.