Why Amir Khan Is No Match for Floyd Mayweather

Amir Khan defeated Chris Algieri by unanimous decision over the weekend in a fight that showed all the reasons why he’s one of the worst possible choices for Floyd Mayweather’s next bout, assumed to be September 12 on Showtime pay-per-view. Should the bout be signed, as most boxing insiders seem to believe will happen, I will be less interested in a Mayweather fight than any other time over the course of his career, except for maybe his ridiculous pairing with Robert Guerrero in 2013.

There is nothing wrong with Khan as a fighter. He’s one of the better welterweights in the world today who Mayweather has not yet faced, and there is a lot to like about him inside the ring. His greatest attribute is his exceptional hand-speed. In fact, the 28-year-old just might possess the most blazingly fast hands in the sport today. That, or he is a close second to featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. for the honor. Either way, he’s The Flash and other fighters are mere mortals.

Regardless, there ends the list of things for which Khan could hope to rely on in a potential Mayweather fight. In boxing, good timing is paramount to speed, something Russell Jr. learned in his loss to Vasyl Lomachenko and something Khan would surely learn against Mayweather, too.

And Khan has already been taught that lesson at least twice before. He was knocked cold in 2008 by Breidis Prescott and again four years later against Danny Garcia. In both fights, as well as every other moment of trouble in his career, Khan has showed his fast hands are susceptible to an opponent’s good timing.

Yes, speed kills. But timing kills speed even better.

Mayweather has many great attributes and good timing might be No. 1 on the list. He is an incredible counterpuncher and might be the most relaxed athlete in the entire world within the confines of his sport. When a bell rings on fight night, Mayweather sits atop the throne of his kingdom. He is the best.

There is simply nothing in Khan’s history which suggests he could do anything against Mayweather but get walked down and countered into oblivion. Mayweather would either win a wide points decision or knock Khan out, the outcome largely depending on what kind of mood Mayweather was in that night. Moreover, Khan’s chin is suspect, and his power at welterweight is negligible.

Most importantly, though, Khan hasn’t accomplished anything good enough yet to warrant the fight. His best win as a professional prizefighter might be his unanimous decision win over Devon Alexander last year. Other than that, he’s mostly avoided other top level welterweights after marginal success at 140. Besides Algieri and Alexander, Khan’s other two victories at 147 came against Joel Diaz and Luis Collazo.

The hype train will come along soon and tell you Mayweather-Khan is the best fight Mayweather can make right now. Some will participate based on the notion that styles make fights. Notable boxing writers Lee Wylie and Cliff Rold are among those who believe Khan might give Mayweather a stern test.

But here’s something else to consider as we head toward September. A feather-fisted Algieri, who thus far in his career has plied his trade as a slick boxer, walked Khan down on Saturday night to the point of making Khan incredibly uncomfortable. Under new trainer John David Jackson for the very first time, Algieri’s counter right-hands landed flush on Khan’s chin enough, in at least my eyes, to expose Khan for what he is in regards to a potential Mayweather showdown: a fraud.

Why in the world would we want to see Mayweather face someone his previous opponent, Pacquiao, knocked to the canvas six times just one fight prior? It was so easy for Pacquiao to slap Algieri around the ring last year that the popular Filipino looked bored for most of the fight. And Mayweather shut Pacquiao down on May 2 as if the 35-year-old had not been considered one of the best offensive fighters in boxing over the course of his career.

Khan is simply no match for Mayweather. And while the cupboard might appear bare for the lineal champion at 147 and 154, a star as big as Mayweather should have no trouble finding a suitable replacement. The top two contenders he hasn’t yet faced at 147 are Timothy Bradley and Kell Brook. The former is at least more likely to give Mayweather problems than Khan, and the latter is at least dangerous enough to have been steadily avoided by the fellow Englishman to date. At 154, Mayweather could fight either Erislandy Lara or Demetrius Andrade. Both are naturally larger southpaws with longer reaches than Mayweather, something the latter has never faced in a prizefighting ring.

Finally, Mayweather has options at middleweight that would be better than Khan, too. A rematch with Miguel Cotto, who Mayweather defeated in 2012, would give him the chance to become lineal champion in three divisions simultaneously. It would also give Mayweather the opportunity to earn his fifth divisional lineal championship overall, something no other fighter has ever done before.

And if Mayweather really wanted to prove himself as “The Best Ever,” something he so often likes to proclaim, he could fight WBA titleholder Gennady Golovkin. Against Golovkin, Mayweather might actually find himself the underdog in a fight, something all fighters should be at least once or twice during their careers. After all, how great can someone really be if it never looked like they might lose?

Nonetheless, whoever Mayweather chooses for September, it absolutely shouldn’t be Khan. There are far better options for the world’s best pugilist as he winds down his impressive career. Yes, Mayweather deserves credit for finally facing Pacquiao and defeating him. Yes, Mayweather is the biggest star in the sport who fans will want to see fight no matter who he chooses. Yes, Mayweather has the wherewithal at this point to call his own shots.

But Mayweather-Khan isn’t nearly the best choice on the list of admittedly imperfect options for September. If anything, it’s the worst.



-#1 PacFan :

Very well written. The more and more we say no to May-Khan the more likely it'll happen. Bradley or Brook are good options for Floyd but why not Thurman or Mathysse? If you can't find a better opponent than Khan then you might as well retire because why end your career with an easy fight when going for 49-0. Everyone will remember the fighter you beat that got you to 49-0. Please don't mention 3G because if Floyd was to take that fight I will catapult him atop the ATGlist(top 10 for sure). I just dont see it that happening because of how long it took for him to face Manny.

-Radam G :

Amir Khan is delusional to da max. He says that Money May picked the easier bout against Da Manny for May 2. WTF! Khan should try telling the true. Money May picked the richest scrap. Khan has issues. He and Paulie have an incredible dislike and jealousy of Da Manny. These c+ pugs need to shut da double fudge up. Neither one of them could beat Da Manny or Lil Floyd. Holla!

-deepwater2 :

Khan is sounding like a high school kid begging a girl to go to the prom with him. Either you have it or you don't Khan. It was silly hearing the announcers during the Algieri fight,talk about Khan wearing blue crocodile trunks with fancy crystals in them. What is going on here Khan? Trying to match Floyd in the absurdly expensive and ugly ring attire?

-Kid Blast :

If this pretender wants to make some quid, he needs to fight DeGale

-MCM :

Mayweather isn't looking for the most competitive fight, he's looking for the most compelling. Had Algieri won, he would have made an ideal opponent for demographic reasons. From the chatter around is family, it was clear they were thinking similarly. Kahn doesn't pose a threat to Floyd, and that's a mark in his favor, I think. I was surprised by all the vociferous Kahn supporters in Brooklyn -they were louder than the Algieri fans. A US vs UK matchup would sell tix. Not only that, there's a growing population of Muslim fans who were very much in evidence Friday at Barclays and have made themselves heard at all the Sadam Ali fights I've attended. So, would I be shocked to hear Kahn announced as the chosen one? Disappointed, yes, but shocked, no.

-Matthew :

I wouldn't be surprised if Khan got the call to fight Mayweather in September. No way would I pay to see it. In fact, the only opponent I would pay to see Mayweather face is Golovkin, and we know there's no chance of that happening. While Khan showed improvement in his time with Roach, he still has aspects of his game that are very amateurish. His hands are fast, but I don't really see him sitting down on his punches, at least not at welterweight. He runs and holds a little too much for my liking as well. We all know that his chin is beyond suspect. I was impressed with his performance against Alexander, but the rest of his efforts at 147 have been pedestrian, in my estimation. In sum, he has all the things that Mayweather looks for in an opponent: low risk, high yield. A potential Mayweather-Khan fight might have a little more intrigue if it were staged across the pond, but Mayweather won't leave Vegas.

-Radam G :

Amir Khan has lost his mind. He is now talking about being the number one pound-for-pound in the world even if Money May ignore his arse in September to fight Marquez. YUP! That is right! The pugvine is buzzing about Money May fighting the aged Marquez next. I figured that Money May would pull this. It is prizefighting. And he makes more dough fighting Marquez, who be full of DAT syet. And will morph into Hulkquez. Holla!