Within the next year and a half, Floyd Mayweather will be fighting in the United Kingdom, or at least that is the tentative plan.
Such thinking would seem to look past Saturday’s opponent, Robert Guerrero, but the Mayweather camp is talking about it anyway.
Leonard Ellerbe, who is the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, has called a UK trip “a very strong possibility” and is very quick to bring up Mayweather’s fan base in Great Britain, which became bigger after he beat Ricky Hatton back in 2007.
“I’m talking to a couple people now and they’re giving me options,” Ellerbe says, “and Floyd will definitely be coming to the UK.”
Such an event would be big indeed, as Floyd has never fought outside of the United States. But he has to fill Showtime dates, and presumably the spectacle of the man who is considered by many to be the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, perhaps against a favorite son, might be enough to secure for him the “safe” opponent he is looking for as he follows the yellow brick road to the $200 million that has been made available from the network.
Naturally, whenever the subject of Mayweather and the United Kingdom is brought up, that is going to bring up the name of Amir Khan, who is about as “favorite” as a son could get over there. Khan, who lost a controversial decision to Lamont Peterson in December 2011, then was stopped by Danny Garcia seven months later, has been rehabilitating his career, and doing a decent job of it, stopping Carlos Molina last December and just recently scoring a competitive but unanimous decision over Julio Diaz.
Whether Mayweather would give Khan such a big “home field advantage” is a legitimate question to ask, but it would be something Golden Boy Promotions (which promotes Khan) wouldn’t mind at all. They have long been visualizing this fight as a possibility, which is one of the reasons the former Olympian was brought to the United States. At the moment Khan, who has wins over Paul Malignaggi (the WBA welter champ) and Zab Judah (who just lost to Garcia for the WBA crown at 140 pounds) is the #2 welterweight in the WBC ratings, sitting right behind Luis Carlos Abregu. The other major sanctioning bodies have him rated in the junior welterweight (140-pound) division.
Khan would by no means be the only option. There are other welterweights of some note in the UK who may be very suitable for Mayweather’s purposes. One of them is Kell Brook, currently an IBF #1 contender who is 29-0 but is largely untested, and whose most notable win may have come against Matthew Hatton, the brother of Ricky.
Then there’s Frankie Gavin, ranked #9 by the WBO and unbeaten in 15 fights, with a victory over former world champion Junior Witter late last year. Denton Vassell isn’t in anyone’s top ten at the moment, but he is 20-0, a Commonwealth welterweight champion, and has a win over Lee Purdy, yet another UK welter, who sports a record of 20-3-1 and is scheduled to challenge Devon Alexander for the IBF title on May 18.
Alexander, in case you have been following the rumor mill, is said to be the next guy Mayweather has on his plate for September, which means that if Purdy could manage to pull off an upset in Atlantic City, Pretty Boy Floyd could well find himself in London, or thereabouts, a little sooner than he thinks, seeking unification.
Again, however, all of this would seem to be contingent upon Mayweather winning against Guerrero, who stands to pose more of a formidable challenge than any of the names that have just been mentioned, with the possible exception of Khan.