Amir Khan has confirmed that he has signed a contract to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2014 and is just waiting for the American to put his own signature on the documents, according to Martin Domin of the Daily Mail.
Khan, 27, has been strongly tipped to be Mayweather's next opponent over the last few months, although in recent weeks WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana—who Khan beat at light welterweight level in 2010—has also entered the fray as a potential contender.
Manny Pacquiao, whom fight fans have long wanted to see fight Mayweather, has also been mentioned in reports, although that remains a fight that is unlikely to happen considering the well-documented personal enmity between the two men.
Khan, who had signed agreements to fight Mayweather in May 2014 and is awaiting the WBC welterweight champion to seal his part of the deal, said, per Domin:
I am the one who signed the contract, I've signed my part of the contract, they've not signed theirs.
If he wants to fight Amir Khan then he should sign it.
If he wants to face someone I've beaten [Maidana] then so be it. He wants to fight someone who makes him look good but styles make fights.
It seems that Mayweather is keeping his options open in order to eventually opt for the contest that is most likely to yield high pay-per-view numbers.
The 36-year-old has four fights remaining on a lucrative six-fight television agreement he signed with Showtime at the start of the year, but the broadcaster will want to ensure Mayweather is involved in the highest-profile bouts possible in order to maximise their investment.
The fact that Khan is even in the discussion to fight Mayweather points to the paucity of options available to the sport's pound-for-pound dominant force, who has already beaten every name of note around him in boxing's landscape. But the Brit's relative lack of celebrity and support in the United States harms his case.
Maidana, in contrast, was not even on the radar of the Mayweather camp until a few weeks ago. His victory over the previously unbeaten up-and-comer Adrien Broner (who has frequently been compared to Mayweather) catapulted him into the wider boxing conscience and made him a potentially marketable opponent in any meeting with Mayweather.
As Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza said last week, as reported by The Telegraph's Gareth A Davies:
Khan is definitely one of the leading contenders for the fight. I know Amir wants the fight. Floyd hasn’t made a decision. I expect an announcement by mid-January or the end of January.
It is still wide open. Floyd has not made a decision yet about who he is going to fight on May 3. Obviously, Marcos Maidana is making a late case and a strong argument for the fight, but Amir is definitely there in the conversation.
On Boxing Day, Mayweather tweeted out dismissive pictures of both Maidana and Khan (along with longtime foe Pacquiao), seemingly confirming that his May opponent will be one of the two.
Just imagine what Amir "Con Artist" will get if his name gets picked in the Mayweather sweepstakes pic.twitter.com/WL4rBB1UU3— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) December 26, 2013
Can I please order a one-piece with a biscuit? No sides. pic.twitter.com/nG7QtdBbAj— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) December 26, 2013
If Mayweather does end up looking beyond Khan, then it is not impossible the Bolton fighter will turn to Pacquiao.
The pair insisted they would not fight one another while both were working under the same trainer, Freddie Roach, but after Khan's decision to move on to Andre Ward's trainer Virgil Hunter in 2012, that situation is now different.
Khan, who was speaking at the opening of a new boxing centre in Dubai, added (per Domin):
I'd fight Manny. Look, it's business. We are friends and respect each other, but I would definitely consider the fight, and I am sure he would too.
To bring it to Dubai, too, that would be huge. I am ready for whatever. Have I ever turned down a fight? Never. I fight whoever is put in front of me.