Is Amir Khan Really The Better Sell?

Speculation is all that we usually have when it comes to figuring out Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. From the moment he finishes a fight the fans always ponder the question, Who’s next? After five months of debating it looks like Amir Khan is the winner. Khan is likely the fastest opponent that Mayweather has ever faced. Some experts would say his style could give Floyd a problem. So why the public outrage at the thought of a Mayweather-Khan fight? Despite his losses the wide perception in the boxing world is that styles make fights. “Styles Make Fights”, that should perhaps be the title of the fight considering it will undoubtedly be the selling point.

While the UK fans pushed Khan to the winner of Mayweather’s week long poll allowing the fans to choose between Maidana or Khan as his next foe, most US polls had Maidana winning by a long shot. ESPN, Fightnews, and RingTV all had Maidana as the clear winner. One would say Khan is the bigger draw. That Khan would make Floyd the most money. After all Floyd is on record saying that “This is a business.” He’s going to take the fight with the most money and least risk. Anyone with boxing common sense knows that. It’s not calling him a cherry-picker, because he did take on dangerous foes like Canelo and Hatton in their primes, but he also avoided the Pacquaio fight because of the danger it provided to him. Bottom line, Floyd wants to make money.

When it comes to Khan and Maidana neither poses a true threat to Mayweather inside the ring. So it comes down to who is going to generate the most PPV’s for Floyd. Fans say that Khan doesn’t deserve it. He’s lost 2 of his last 4 fights, he was knocked out in one of them, and in his last fight he was given all he can handle and put on the canvas buy a blown up Julio Diaz, a light welterweight that is well past his prime. Meanwhile Maidana has been a wrecking force. He’s 4-0 in his last 4 fights with 3 KO’s. Jesus Soto-Karass, Joseito Lopez, and Adrien Broner are all on that list of victories. Though the biggest win comes from Adrien Broner who he dropped twice in the fight and was regarded as the next best thing since Mayweather. It’s no wonder that Maidana won by a landslide in the U.S polls over Khan. He is after all more deserving.

Knowing all of this one has to truly wonder if Khan is the bigger draw than Maidana. Will he make Floyd more money? Floyd’s money regardless of what anyone thinks comes from the US PPV buys. With his Showtime deal he’s guaranteed $32 million no matter what. But don’t let that fool you, Floyd wants that extra money. While he made $41 million guaranteed for Canelo rumors say that he brought in around $80 million for the fight because it sold so well mainly with the PPV buys which was around 2.2 million. He wasn’t as successful with the Robert Guerrero outing.  According to Forbes magazine Mayweather made 32$ million for the year he fought Guerrero. Because Forbes’s year goes from June to May, the Canelo fight didn’t count for his 2013 earnings when the magazine came out in June of 2013. Judging by that, Floyd made no extra money for the Guerrero fight and Showtime likely didn’t get the income they expected. With that said Khan is a tough sell in the U.S. It’s certain that Showtime doesn’t want another Robert Guerrero type event.

The fight against Amir Khan is being scrutinized by the harcore boxing fans even more so than Guerrero was. If the hardcore boxing fans hate it then the “casual” boxing fans will not be interested in it either. Added to that, there are two PPV’s before the Mayweather fight. Canelo-Angulo on March 8th and Pacquiao-Bradley on April 12th. Both are likely to cut into Mayweather’s PPV buys against Khan especially since it is drawing little interest from the fans. Khan also has one more fight on his contract with BoxNation, meaning that unless a loophole can be found where BoxNation will charge money for a PPV fight between Mayweather-Khan allowing Mayweather to take a percentage, there is no money coming in from the UK for Floyd.

But, even with that said, would Maidana be that much bigger? It’s no secret that fan’s only want to see Floyd fight Manny Pacquiao. They may settle for Bradley if he were to beat Pacquiao on April 12th. When it comes to Maidana, though everyone agrees he is more deserving of the fight than Khan, he may not sell that much more than Khan here. Both fights would likely do less than one million buys in the US. Maidana may sell 100k-200k more than Khan. Maybe with some good promoting Maidana gets to one million.

Truth be told, neither fight is that intriguing to the boxing fans. Their anger comes from two things. One Khan not being deserving of the fight and two Mayweather not fighting Manny Pacquiao. Unless Khan punches Mayweather in the face at the opening press conference then it’s expected that this fight sells well below what Mayweather and Showtime want. However it could be worse. Mayweather could still be fighting once a year. Instead of bashing the Mayweather-Khan fight fans should take joy in it. After all, every fight can’t be a Mayweather-Canelo event.

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