The Edge: Five Questions About the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana-Amir Khan Saga


Why Did Amir Khan Lose Out on a Fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.?

There are a few reasons why Amir Khan is currently on one long crying jag and producing weepy press releases for all to skim between pop-up ads and slideshows about WAGS. But the biggest reason Marcos Maidana is facing Floyd Mayweather, Jr., may be Adrien Broner—in more ways than one. When Maidana steamrolled Broner last December on Showtime, he instantly raised his profile on several non-boxing media outlets and instantaneously created a scenario for Golden Boy Promotions to exploit. Maidana is the man who beat the “Next Mayweather,” but how would he do against the real thing? (Of course, this is a plot that hardly compares to something Dickens might have dreamt up, but imagination is not a prerequisite in boxing.)

In addition, there is the possibility that Al Haymon was not as keen as the Twitterverse was on Broner exercising his rematch clause against Maidana. After all, not only was Broner thrashed by Maidana, but he was humiliated as well. He rose like man a suffering from Jake Leg after being knocked down in the second round, tried to buy a disqualification by writhing on the canvas like a two-year old in a Wal-Mart after Maidana butted him, hit the deck again in the eighth, was the victim of revenge humping, had his hair “brushed” by everyone but his father after the fight was over, and then fled the ring under a gauntlet of beer cups. Another loss to Maidana may have put an end to the Broner hype once and for all. By keeping Khan out of the mix, Haymon has managed to protect his client from a possible “L” and has guaranteed himself three slices of two very big future pies: one serving from a Broner comeback fight and two cuts of Mayweather-Maidana.

True, while Khan worked on his deltoids in the gym and got married, Maidana was in the trenches, waging fierce, small-scale war against Jesus Soto Karass, Josesito Lopez, and Adrien Broner. But if ever a fighter was let down by the shady backroom forces of boxing, it was Khan. Say what you will about his skipping out on Devon Alexander, the fact is, fighters do not make decisions of that magnitude without being counseled to do so. In the end, Al Haymon is like a line straight out of Glengarry Glen Ross: “Always be closing!” This time, he dropped the hammer on Amir Khan.

Was the Mayweather Poll a Publicity Stunt?

According to an internet poll set up by Team Mayweather (not exactly in the class of Gallup or Quinnipiac) a few weeks ago, Khan was the public choice to answer the bell against “Money” on May 3. Yet Mayweather, like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, ignored the results of his own voting gimmick. Now why would he do a thing like that? With a mediascape based almost entirely on link bait, it takes less and less for something to be considered newsworthy these days. Most of what is typed, err, written, on boxing is, in fact, merely SEO foreplay, and premature extrapolation is never far behind. Nothing is not worth covering anymore—not with precious penny-clicks and Alexa rankings on the line—and the mere concept of selectivity is as outmoded as dialup or linotype. So, naturally, The Mayweather Poll generated not only terabytes of the worst kind of Blogese imaginable, but it also produced imitation polls to boot up an HTML frenzy among forum barkers and Twitterbeasts everywhere.

Trying to boost interest in his fight by creating an air of suspense over the selection of an opponent is certainly something Mayweather might have planned. And if Maidana was in the running because he beat Adrien Broner, then this sham may have been prepared in advance, as far back as December. Indeed, it is possible that Khan was never more than an unwitting catspaw for Mayweather, meant to make Maidana look good simply by comparison. Maidana may not be the best choice to fight Mayweather, but when you compare him to an inactive junior welterweight in a slump, “Chino” looks better and better with each passing nanosecond. Boxing is so often a cynical manipulation of reality that it is a wonder Jean Baudrillard never paid attention to it. Ultimately, the answer to this question is the same as so many others in boxing: maybe.

How Will Marcos Maidana Fare Against Mayweather?

You can go a long way in boxing these days with little more than brute force, and Maidana has gone nearly as far as he can go. Only an improbable win over Mayweather prevents him from reaching the pinnacle of his unforgiving profession. Among the most artless grinders to be found in the top-money ranks, Maidana is slow, throws looping punches, has limited mobility, and has iffy balance. And this describes Maidana 2.0! It turns out that Robert Garcia, who also trains Nonito Donaire and Mikey Garcia, has been able to instill a little method into the Maidana madness recently. Against Broner, he backed up occasionally, worked behind a jab, set himself at an angle on the inside, and even showed a little head movement. Unfortunately, none of that will matter on May 3. While Mayweather is 37 years old and slowing down a bit, he still has enough to beat a one-dimensional brawler whose struggles against Jesus Soto Karass and Josesito Lopez may prove that Maidana is closer to being a solid journeyman than a world-class fighter. Two years ago, Devon Alexander shut him down by using the Greco-Roman Method and he struggled against a weathered DeMarcus Corley before that. In other words, boxers are rarely kind to Maidana, and Mayweather is a legitimate ringmaster. Even so, any fighter who hits as hard as Maidana does always has a chance to land a single, crippling blow. Against Mayweather, his chances of landing that punch are at least zero.

Would Amir Khan Have Been a Better Opponent For Mayweather?

Although Amir Khan would certainly be a more marketable attraction to the general public than Marcos Maidana, his global appeal may be a little overstated. Even Khan admitted to leaving the U.K. because his popularity Q-rating was not the highest. Indeed, slurs greeted him at many fights in London and Manchester. Still, for a fight against Mayweather, some of the nastier punters in the U.K. would have left their Skrewdriver jerseys at home on pub night and snuggled up to “Khan Army” t-shirts as if they were replicas of the Union Jack. With ancillary revenue from Boxnation (and possibly parts of the Middle East) now just a dream interrupted, Golden Boy Promotions will have to figure out how to counterbalance what will be a major loss of pay-per-view buys in America.

As far as an actual fight goes, Khan would need a Special Ops team backing him to handle Floyd Mayweather, Jr., in the ring, no matter what someone who discovered boxing in 2008 thinks. “Styles make fights” is the moldy cliché some trot out to prove how well-versed they are in the hackneyed. But here is a surprise: “Styles make fights” matters only if there is comparable talent in the opposite corner. An elite fighter troubled by southpaws, for example, would not suddenly be bowled over by a third-rate lefty. For all his vaunted speed and boxing ability, Khan barely got through fights against Maidana and a washed-up Julio Diaz. Except for Zab Judah in 2006, Mayweather has had little trouble with boxers in his career. In fact, other than isolated moments against DeMarcus Corley and Shane Mosley, his only problems in 45 starts have been against fighters who pressed the action: Emanuel Burton/Augustus, Jose Luis Castillo (twice), and Miguel Cotto. Then again, maybe Khan is the master boxer so many say he is, and his struggles against Julio Diaz, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia, Breidis Prescott, and Michael Gomez were just anomalies. Khan is a superbly conditioned athlete who also happens to look good in a suit, but he is like a skyscraper with structural flaws hidden behind a gaudy façade: when that crack widens, the whole building may collapse in a ruin. Mayweather would likely seize the opportunity (as he did in spots against Victor Ortiz) to be more aggressive against a fragile opponent and score a rare KO win in five or six rounds.

Will the Mayweather-Maidana Promotion be Successful?

In boxing, where dishonesty is the best policy, corporate failures rarely come to light. If Mayweather-Maidana slips under the million buy-rate (not a good number, relatively speaking, for a “Money” fight, since Mayweather is guaranteed at least $35 million per outing), you will hear more spin from Leonard Ellerbe and the Showtime PR machine than you have from Chris Christie regarding Bridgegate. As far as buys go, Maidana will fall far short of the numbers put up by Miguel Cotto (1.5 million) and he will likely be off by over half from the Saul Alvarez-Mayweather spectacular (2.2 million). No other business in America would claim success if a product drops more than 50 percent in sales from one quarter to the next. But watch boxing do it, and with a straight face, too. Maidana is quiet, unflappable, does not speak English, and is part of an ethnic group not widely represented in America. Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime will have to work twice as hard to rook the gullible this time around.


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Tags: AMIR KHAN Floyd Mayweather Jr. MARCOS MAIDANA

  • bleadze

    People love to hate on Floyd only reason his fight madiana is because people were saying he faked his poll so khan would win that on other polls they had madiana winning that Floyd saw an easy win against armir no chin khan

    • johnboy

      i agree that people hate on floyd a bit too much. He’s head & shoulders above everyone in the WW division. No question about that.
      I think people don’t like the fact that he’s earning ridiculous sums of money to fight hopelessly outmatched opponents.

    • thenonpareil

      I hear you. Personally, I think Mayweather would beat both Khan and Maidana on the same night, so it really doesn’t make a difference in the end.

  • TheJPF

    Hi CA

    That was brilliant stuff. Dudes like Maidana always remind of that McIlvanney line about learning to box underwater, or something along those lines. Anyway, the Skrewdriver jersey!, that’s a nice touch. Didn’t those guys start off as just a straight forward punk band? Where did it all go wrong?

    I still need to make my way to Holderlin, it’s coming.

    • thenonpareil

      JPF has returned! Good to hear from you buddy, even if it’s only for you to admit to slacking about Holderlin!

      I like Maidana, but I do agree with you/McIlvanney. The problem is that it is harder and harder to “know” who is a world-class fighter, since most fighters are network creations who are then propped up in cyberspace by SUNDAY LATE AFTERNOON BOXING. These guys do nothing for years and then sometimes face each other, which, in the end, seems to be the equation for a world-class fighter. Like Broner, who has done nothing except beat Paulie Malignaggi…so when Maidana whips Broner, it becomes some kind of significant achievement? What am I talking about…it’s too early in the morning for this…All I know is a lot of guys show up in the ring looking like they are professional tumblers.

      Skrewdriver was crazy shit, man. Going from punk to the National Front is almost as bad as being a Satanic Blogger!

  • Steve Kim

    this is why PFP(yes, PFP), Mr Acevedo is my favorite scribe. My only complaint is he doesn’t write enough. Superb writing with mastery of the subject matter. One without the other is wasted.

    Maidana is a solid fighter, one with very good credentials. But good luck selling a 14-1 underdog on May 3rd. This undercard better be stacked more than Dolly Parton in 9 to 5….

    • johnboy

      I think one of the best things that ever happened to me was being put on to this site by you steve. lol. That write up was brilliant. As are many of the other articles on this site.

      I disagree that Khan would need a special ops team to beat floyd. I think he actually has a chance to outpoint him. His chin may be stronger at 147 + the fact that floyd doesn’t ever push for a KO anyway.

      Also true points being made about khans popularity in the UK. He’s nowhere near as popular in the UK as people in the US think.

      Disclaimer: I’ve been
      a boxing fan since 2010.

    • thenonpareil

      Wow, JPF and K-9 all in the same night…where did it all go right?

      Thanks for the kind words, Steve. Now that I have that gig at Remezcla, I write more often…too much, probably. Still, I hope one day to impress Sunday Late Afternoon Boxing and the Circle of Power Clique!

      Good luck selling this card is right…I’m probably going to be watching the hockey playoffs that night. Harrumph!

  • joeluis1991

    its a Total FLOYDCOTT !!!!!!!!!!! …………. hhehehehhehehhhehehheeh

  • xXx

    What goes around comes around. Floyd is now fighting Khan’s left over in the person of Marcos Maidana but wait theres more to come, you can’t keep fooling people without getting karma in the end and karma is a bitch. I see an upset coming and when your on top it feels more painful when your’e falling all the way down.

  • Kingfor1000years

    yep this is a gross mismatch, i think Maidana is way out of his league in this fight, slower fighters have popped him all night long, too slow to counter or attack, waste of money and time. People wanted to see?? WTF of the two options Floyd laid out for them? Everyone or i think most wanted a Paquiao or Garcia fight Obviously, this ploy was so they can say the public wanted this fight what a bunch P*SSIES. Rhonda Rousey has more nuts than Mayweather promotions or Golden Boy and Mayweathers combine

  • Kingfor1000years

    Khan doesn’t have sh*t either

  • Louie Kulla

    Mayweather used to have the boxing world in the palm of his hand.. he became spoiled, he became hard to deal with. he became a Diva. THEN, Manny Pacquiao Came to the picture Stole his Thunder… Became Better than him and messed up his place in boxing history…Hence, the immediate anger of Floyd against Pacquiao… Hence, all the bad mouthing , all the discrediting , all the downplaying of Pacquiao’s achievements.

    Floyd’s reaction to Pacquiao’s Success was Envy. His damage control solution is to discredit Pacquiao as much as possible while avoiding to fight him as well.
    ( hence, the sudden racist rants. hence, the childish tantrums, all negative about Pacquiao) and people have take notice of that.

    Floyd’s Hates the attention Pacquiao gets in America… Floyd Hates he is overshadowed by a foreigner in his own country.

    American Boxing icons, experts and legends who confirms Mayweather is scared of Manny Pacquiao.
    1) Mike Tyson
    2) Roy jones jr
    3) Larry Holmes
    4) Marvin hagler
    5) Bert sugar – greatest boxing historian
    6) Michael Wilbon – espn
    7) sugar Ray Leonard
    8) Tim Bradley
    9) Oscar dela Hoya
    10) 50 cent – Boxing Promoter and best friend
    11) Max Ledermann
    12) Larry Merchant
    13) Stephen A Smith -Converted Die hard Fan.
    16) Evander Holyfield
    17) Skip Bayless
    18) so much more….

    Now, show me anyone. or any list of boxing experts more credible than this. saying Floyd is NOT afraid to face the Greatest……America is known to be the home of the brave.. Then this fagg0t coward Mayweather came along and spoiled it for everyone..