Amir Khan’s failure to land Mayweather fight & what it shows other fighters

Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime
Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime

Unintentional Lesson to the Class from Amir Khan:

Having lost out on his long and hotly desired chance at pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan has well and truly shot himself in the foot. After all, Khan owns a clear win over the man who beat him in the Mayweather race — Marcos Maidana — from 2010, and in all likelihood has the better stylistic and physical gifts for a clash with the sport’s modern defensive grand master. 

Yet boxing is a very “what have you done for me lately” game, and King Khan just ain’t done that much. After a disputed loss to Lamont Peterson and a resounding TKO defeat to Danny Garcia, Khan hasn’t looked that good, hasn’t accomplished much, and frankly isn’t looking so royal.

Maidana, on the other hand, upset and soundly beat Mayweather-wannabe Adrien Broner (who seems likely to turn out not to be the next Mayweather, but rather the new Zab Judah — if he’s lucky). Furthermore, Maidana has always been more of a fan favorite stateside thanks to his all-action style and big punching power, lacking as he does Khan’s small, but diehard and vocal gang of detractors.

Plain and simple, Khan didn’t get the nod because Maidana has the momentum, and he doesn’t. Boxing is ultimately about butts in the seats and PPV buys, and Maidana looks better able to drum up paying interest in seeing Mayweather fight again. There is a lesson to be learned here, not just for Khan, but for boxers everywhere.

That lesson is the best way to get on with your career is by getting on with it, and not holding out for a big mega-fight. That strategy is a winner only for losers, the types who bide their time with hand-picked tomato cans so they have good paper records, and can be spoon-fed to a world class fighter in an easy “gimme” bout. In this case, Khan dubiously bypassed a chance to fight Devon Alexander, an opportunity which would have netted him a high ranking in the welterweight division, a title belt, and the momentum required to justify a shot at Mayweather.

Khan isn’t a loser, and while he had some rebuilding to do in the wake of the Danny Garcia loss, the man hasn’t fought since April 2013. Neither of his two outings since the knockout loss against Garcia were nearly impressive or worthwhile enough to lure Mayweather into a fight.

Instead of waiting for Mayweather to pick up the phone, he should have taken advantage of the opportunities he had to get another top 10 caliber fighter into the ring with him. Ultimately, Khan believed something was owed to him throughout this process, and he could not have been more incorrect.

So, to all boxers everywhere: the best way to bide your time for a big payday is by staying busy and trying to become a more attractive opponent. Period.

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