By Ivan G. Goldman
If the government of South Africa is correct, Floyd Mayweather has already taken off with his entourage for a goodwill tour there, leaving Amir Khan standing around wondering whether he’s got an opponent for May.
Mayweather has yet to confirm the fight is on or sign the contract, though various sources have been telling the British press it’s a sure thing. Before this is over, Khan, 27, will have spent a year of his life in various stages of a holding pattern, waiting for a definite go from Mayweather. He already opted out of a challenge to Devon Alexander for Alexander’s IBF welterweight title. The bout was supposed to take place last month. Originally it was set in Dubai, then Brooklyn, and was finally called off when Khan failed to sign the contract.
The Brooklyn cancellation surely can’t be blamed on Mayweather though. Khan could have taken both fights. Apparently his team worried that he could lose to Alexander and then be aced out of a multi-million-dollar purse to face Mayweather on Cinco de Mayo weekend. Shawn Porter stepped up and decisioned Alexander, walking off with his title.
Meanwhile, Englishman Khan, who says he’s already signed the contract to fight Floyd May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, waits for the champion’s signature.
We know Floyd consented to do a tour in South Africa only because the South African Ministry of Sport and Recreation told news outlets there about it. Apparently the tour will last six days. No word came from Golden Boy Promotions, which often speaks for Mayweather even though it doesn’t have the right to do so. Mayweather hires Golden Boy to handle promotional matters on a fight by fight basis.
Kelly Swanson, Mayweather’s publicist, apparently didn’t even inform fighthype.com. A writer there claims he talks with Floyd a few times a week. Could the relationship be on the rocks? Say it isn’t so!
Swanson’s main task appears to consist of saying as little as possible about her client Mayweather. Meanwhile the website carries Floyd’s raving insults against his enemies into more refined raving insults and paranoid accusations that are less likely to attract lawsuits. Skewered there are people like trainer Freddy Roach, who dares to wonder why Mayweather keeps finding excuses not to face his good friend and fighter Manny Pacquiao.
If Mayweather does sign to fight Khan, we will soon be inundated by a public relations onslaught designed to make us believe he’s a dangerous opponent. Khan, 28-3 (19 KOs), last fought in April, when he decisioned Julio Diaz. He’s been knocked out by Danny Garcia and Bredis Prescott. An aggressive opponent, he’s willing to get in the pocket and trade regardless of his glassine chin. But when he loses he tends to blame someone else, usually his trainer.
Mayweather, 45-0, (26 KOs), has slipped into the habit of signing at the absolute last minute before a marketing campaign can be launched, if he signs at all. Meanwhile the potential opponent sits home and suffers, not knowing whether he’s been wasting precious time, which for an athlete is measured like dog years.
The delaying tactics chip away at an opponent’s share of the purse money, but assuming Khan has already signed the contract, the terms have been set. That makes the strategy useful if Floyd, who turns 37 next month, really contemplates changing horses and fighting, say, Marcos Maidana instead. Mayweather has hinted he might just make the switch. But even if he’s really set on Khan, delaying finalization is still excellent psychological warfare against the poor bastard.
Forbes magazine, which calls itself the capitalist tool, figures Floyd’s six-fight contract with Showtime is worth a minimum of $250 million. Mayweather even gets to be executive producer of the mass of reality programming that CBS and Showtime put on before his fights. Floyd has used the shows to let his pals claim he didn’t do nothin’ the last time he beat up the mother of his children. After serving two months of a three-month sentence in Nevada, he drove off in a Bentley. That was in August 2012, six months before he deserted HBO to sign with Showtime.
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.