By Ivan G. Goldman
“I’m going to let the fans vote. Tell me who I should fight next. Khan or Maidana?”
The tweet above recently went out from Floyd Mayweather. So what’s a fan to do?
For starters, you can be grateful that in this twenty-first century there are tools that allow you to communicate your wishes to a celebrity and to do it instantly, although of course you have no guarantee your celebrity of choice handles his/her own Twitter or Instagram account. And even if the answer is yes, you must ask next whether messages like the one above will be acted on genuinely and in good faith. I mean, who’s counting the results? The Florida Election Commission?
But I took him at his word and below is how I responded in a tweet:
“Floyd, fight Pacquiao. Arum is terrible excuse. Ever hear of Leonard, Joe Louis, Duran, Ali ducking such an obvious match?”
Of course my tweet made no sense on a practical level because Mayweather’s fight date is set for May 3 on Showtime pay-per-view and Manny Pacquiao is already signed for April 12 in a rematch against WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on HBO pay-per-view. The marketing campaign officially kicks off this week at a media luncheon in Beverly Hills.
But who says tweets have to make sense?
Anyway, even if all the contractual hocus pocus could be solved, Pacquiao, who’s been stalking Mayweather for years, won’t come right back the next month to fight him for a host of athletic and marketing reasons.
So let’s look at these Maidana and Khan choices as though they’re genuine even though it’s possible Team Mayweather already made up their minds. Khan has been saying for some time that he already signed a contract for the May 3 event at the MGM in Las Vegas but that so far there’s been no signature from Mayweather, who owns pieces of the welterweight and super welterweight titles and who is acknowledged around the world as the Number One pound-for-pound fighter in the world with a record of 45-0 (26 KOs).
A long list of world-beaters on the roster of opponents came up short. They include Miguel Cotto, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, and Oscar De La Hoya.
Khan: There are many good things about this fighter. Good power, terrific speed (Freddy Roach claims he’s faster than Floyd). Very decent record of 28-3 (19 KOs). Lots of screaming British fans who will fly across the pond to Las Vegas, many of whom will do all those entertaining things British fans are known for around the world, which is why when their soccer teams go on the road the local police forces pray extra hard that they’ll get home safely to their families.
Yes, Khan can be knocked out easier than most of your world-class guys, but that makes him more fun to watch. However, in the final analysis I say no to Khan for a compelling reason. He ducked out of a Dec. 7 bout with Devon Alexander because of the possibility of this May 3 date with Mayweather.
I automatically discount any fighter who is so unsure of himself that he pulls out of a December fight so he can get another one five months later. It’s clear he feared losing to Alexander or maybe scoring a victory but still looking bad. Guys like that don’t deserve top billing.
Maidana: He’s 35-3 (31 KOs), beat the hell out of previously undefeated Mayweather suck-up Adrien Broner in December, and lost a decision to Khan in a hell of a fight three years ago in Las Vegas. He comes to fight, and at the same time I give him little chance against tricky Floyd who’s got lots of tools he can take out of his box for a toe-to-toe slugger like him.
The choice is obvious, of course, because I already disqualified Khan for not having the spine to risk it all against Alexander and maybe put a little better shine on his record.
So I vote for Maidana in May, Pacquaio around September or October, and no more crap from Mayweather about not fighting Pacquiao because he doesn’t like his promoter Bob Arum. I guarantee you that Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and lots of other great champions didn’t always like the people they dealt with. So what?
Do you like everyone you deal with in your own work? Case closed.
Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in 2013 by Potomac Books, a University of Nebraska Press imprint. It can be purchased here.