Floyd Mayweather Jr. is set to snub Amir Khan’s continued pleas for a September bout, with the undefeated American insisting his next opponent will either be Andre Berto or Karim Mayfield.
As noted by Rajvir Rai of the MailOnline, Khan heads a host of names, including Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Gennady Golovkin, to have been linked with a showdown with the 38-year-old star later in the year—a bout that is tipped to be Mayweather’s final fight.
But it seems increasingly likely that Money’s next opponent will come from left field: “I'm going to fight Andre Berto or Karim Mayfield in September,” said Mayweather to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, relayed in Rai’s piece. Asked if he was serious, Money is reported to have responded with “S--t happens.”
Rafael confirmed on his Twitter feed that Floyd didn’t seem as though he was messing around:
As reported by Rai, Mayweather also dismissed the possibility of fighting Khan to Boxing News 24, answering “no” when quizzed on the prospect after the recent bout between Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner.
In the same piece, Money also admitted his opponent could change depending on the type of mood in which he finds himself: “I mean, every fighter, you know. One of those guys could upset Floyd Mayweather, you never know. It’s the Mayweather sweepstakes, who’s gonna hit the lottery. It all depends on how I feel.”
The scheduled September date would be Money’s 49th fight, and after the hyperbolic buildup to his showdown with Manny Pacquiao earlier in the year, the prospect of Mayweather signing off his career against Berto or Mayfield is somewhat underwhelming.
It's a potential bout that would add little clout to Mayweather's bid to cement his legacy as the greatest boxer of all time, something Bleacher Report's Lyle Fitzsimmons examined in the aftermath of Floyd's win over Pacquiao:
Berto certainly has a case to be considered, given he’s ranked No. 1 by the WBA and is a two-time former champion. Here’s what he had to say about the prospect of fighting the unbeaten star:
But Mayfield, who has lost two of his last three fights, would make for a hugely lopsided encounter, as Rafael alludes to here:
For Khan in particular, this will represent a major blow. He’s been unashamed in his desire to get in the ring with Mayweather, and after a functional winning display against Chris Algieri last time out, many expected the Brit to finally get a shot at Money.
However, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated wrote after that win over Algieri that Khan didn’t do enough to earn a fight with the pound-for-pound king:
Mayweather, admittedly, has little left to prove. For so long the boxing cognoscenti were sceptical about how he would fare against Pacquiao, a fighter many put alongside Floyd as the best of this generation, and the American emphatically answered those doubters, confirming his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
As such, few could dispute his final choice of opponent. While a fight against Berto could potentially be an engrossing spectacle, the chasm in class between Money and Mayfield would do little to entice boxing fans, even with Mayweather’s pulling power. Here’s hoping he has a change of heart when selecting the opponent for his 49th professional bout.