A Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Amir Khan fight, set most likely for September 12, could be no more than two weeks from being finalized — at least according to Khan himself, who has lobbied hard to face Mayweather in what the undefeated American says will be his final bout after defeating Manny Pacquiao on May 2.
But there could be a snag, as another boxing great, Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, could look to make Mayweather's farewell fight his own swan song as well. The 41-year-old not only defeated Pacquiao in the last of their four fights, he knocked the Phillippines hero out cold in the sixth round — exactly the sort of ending that fight fans wanted to see Mayweather deliver, or at least attempt.
Marquez fought Mayweather in 2009, losing a lopsided unanimous decision and appearing totally outclassed. But Marquez's next fight will be his 65th — he holds a record of 56-7-1 — and the aging warrior would be making his own farewell to his fight-mad Mexican fans.
Add to that fact, the September 12 date set aside for the final fight on Mayweather's contract with premium cable network Showtime coincides with the annual Mexican independence celebrations, meaning that Marquez's followers would be in a festive mood and could bring a significant box-office appeal to a Mayweather vs. Marquez rematch.
That, anyway, is what Marquez's manager, Fernando Beltran, will propose to the Mayweather camp, according to a report in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
But Britain's own boxing icon, Amir Khan, who has been angling to get in the ring with Mayweather for years, believes that after his solid if uninspiring win over lightly-regarded Chris Algieri at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, last Friday, that September 12 date with Floyd Mayweather Jr, is reserved for him.
In fact, he now says, a final deal may be worked out by mid-June.
"I don't think I have ever been closer to getting the fight with Floyd Mayweather than I am at this moment," Khan told the British media on Monday. "The indications are that I have strengthened my case with my win over Algieri and I believe there is every chance the fight could be confirmed within the next two weeks."The 28-year-old native of Bolton, Lancashire, England, has passed up previous fight opportunities as he waited for either Mayweather or Pacquiao to turn his way, but it never happened.
Mayweather, however, has yet to express any preference for who his September 12 opponent will be, except to rule out a rematch with Pacquiao. The fight that hardcore boxing fans would likely vote for pits Mayweather against Kazakhstan-born knockout specialist Gennady Golovkin, but experts say that Mayweather is unwilling to take the risk of suffering a KO in his last bout.
If he does not choose to fight Amir Khan or Juan Manuel Marquez, a rematch against current middleweight champ Miguel Cotto remains a strong possibility for the final test in the incredible career of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
[Images: Al Bello/Getty Images]