Amir Khan and Floyd Mayweather

Why Amir Khan and Floyd Mayweather never fought

Published On August 22, 2015 | By Niall Doran | Boxing News

A fight that was passionately chased by the UK boxing star for years, and indeed was seen as a credible name for Mayweather to take on in the eyes of many fans, alas, never came to fruition.


Wasn’t meant to be

Recently Amir’s been in the news for having a pop at Mayweather for not fighting him, bashing him almost in some quarters. His frustration in a lot of ways is quite understandable, but was he ever really going to get the fight?

It’s debatable.

One thing we all know about Floyd Mayweather at this stage is, he calls the shots personally on who he fights in recent times. Perhaps, there has never been a boxer that has had so much power outside of the ring as “Money” ever in boxing.

The question really, for many observers and fans in relation to Amir Khan is, why didn’t Mayweather take on the Bolton native?

If you go back to when this fight was mooted by Mayweather himself and (seriously) proposed last year, when he ran a public poll asking fans who they wanted to see him in with Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan, by all accounts Khan came out the winner.

Yet still no fight. That must of stung Amir, as I’m sure it what do anybody.

At the time, it almost seemed like Mayweather was playing with him, stringing him along almost, dangling the “Mayweather lottery” ticket in front of him – only to pull it away at the final hurdle.

Years of positioning

Then Khan moved up to welterweight and rattled off three wins (two of which were highly impressive against Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander) and one would have thought that from a credibility standpoint at least, that he had finally earned a shot at Mayweather.

Yet no such luck materialsed for “King Khan”, with Floyd announcing his 49th fight would be against perennial contender Andre Berto.

I think if you analyse how Mayweather has chosen opponents in recent years, and combine the fact from a speed perspective Khan would probably represent one of the quickest fighters he’s ever faced, the reason for the fight not happening could realistically be a risk vs reward assessment by the very shrewd Floyd Mayweather.

Also if you consider that Khan even hooked up with boxing kingpin adviser Al Haymon who’s star client happens to be Floyd Mayweather, and that outside of Mayweather there is no other boxer in the world who has a larger social media following across all social accounts (and arguably) is a bigger name in the sport than Khan internationally (social media number following wise at least), it’s a wonder by Mayweather’s usual logic of looking to maximise revenue as a key factor in his decision making process to select an opponent – that he never chose Khan.

But why?

Despite what Mayweather may say about Khan in the media, I think that behind the scenes he knew he’d beat Khan but out of all of the challengers remaining, he probably represented the most risk with his speed and was the closest to his prime out of the rest of the names in the hat (excluding Keith Thurman).

All the back in forth in the media between the two in 2015, including some verbal jostling between his father and Khan, was just a smoke screen, in my view.

Why it never came to fruition

I think the decision was made a long time ago by Mayweather himself to not fight Khan.

He’s coming to the end of his career now and with his pad-man/co-trainer/uncle Roger Mayweather’s health sadly declining – why would he take on the risk of a young, hungry and explosive challenger like Amir Khan?

There’s no denying that with the two sizable fan bases both Khan and Mayweather possess, a fight between the two would definitely have generated more interest than Mayweather vs Berto, that’s for sure.

But for once, Mayweather went against his usual “Money” mantra, instead opting to make less money (but still a considerable guaranteed sum) to finish on a slightly easier note.

Then again, there is also the argument that he’s earned the right to do that – at this stage of his career having fought some of the very best names of his generation.

Too much danger, too much risk and his legacy has been secured already after the Pacquiao fight – the three reasons why Mayweather never gave Khan his shot, in reality.

Too little too late for Khan, but if he keeps winning there’s no reason why other big fights won’t come his way in the coming years.

Amir Khan and Floyd Mayweather, one fight that just got away.

(Image credit: and video credit: FightHub)

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About The Author

Niall Doran
Founder of Boxing News and Views (@NiallerDoran). Writer at the Huffington Post. Digital marketing guy. Journalist. Irish tech entrepreneur. Avid Yellow M&M's hound. Favourite boxing related quote: "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

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