Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mayweather Likely to Line Up Khan

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mayweather Likely to Line Up Khan

Article excerpt

Brace yourselves for a Khan job, fight fans.

Now that he has pocketed another $32 million-plus for winning an unnecessary rematch against Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will spend part of the next several months pretending to consider his options for a May return to the ring.

Don't buy it. The undefeated five-division champion's mind is made up.

Mayweather will fight Amir Khan next.

Not Keith Thurman. And certainly not Manny Pacquiao.

Khan doesn't represent the path of least resistance, just less resistance than Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) or Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs). Mayweather would be favored to defeat them, too, but both bouts would be more intriguing than a fight against England's Khan (29-3, 19 KOs).

The public's continual fascination with a Mayweather-Pacquiao clash still probably would make it the greatest-grossing fight in the sport's history. And Thurman's skill, power and sturdy chin make him more of a risk than Khan to upset Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs).

Regardless, Khan is a huge star in England and talented enough offensively to sell the former junior welterweight champion as a true threat to Mayweather's unblemished record. Khan's hand speed, athleticism and punch output make him an entirely different challenge than the powerful, wild Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs), whom Khan defeated by unanimous decision in December 2010.

Khan's defensive flaws and chin still should make him the type of "easy work" Mayweather prefers, even as the Grand Rapids, Mich., native approaches his 38th birthday.

LAMP-SHAME: Much of Jim Lampley's criticism of Mayweather during the newest episode of his HBO show was fair.

Lampley lambasted Mayweather for his increasingly crude behavior in the closing comments of "The Fight Game With Jim Lampley," which debuted Tuesday night. He concluded that Mayweather's retirement "cannot come a moment too soon" for boxing's betterment. …

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