How Maidan ‘upstaged’ Khan as Mayweather opponent
Published On February 28, 2014 » 3055 Views» By Administrator Times » Columns, Sports
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RINGTALKTHE biggest news making the headlines this past week was the surprising decision by undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr who seemed to go against the grain of many fans by opting to fight Argentina’s Marcos Maidana instead of Britain’s Amir Khan on May 3.
All along, it had been thought that Khan, who is believed to match, if not edge, Floyd for speed of hand and foot has some silky skills of his own, would be the obvious choice for Mayweather in what would be a super fight.
Khan even refused to fight Devon Alexander, a former champion, in hopes of landing a lucrative Mayweather date-the dream of all these fighters who not only want to be the first to remove the ‘0’ from Floyd’s record in a career-defining fight, but, more importantly, win or lose, take home the biggest pay of their lives.
When Floyd visited South Africa recently, Super sport’s Robert Maroka asked him whether he was going to fight Khan whose announcement about having signed a contract with Mayweather went viral, but he said it was mere speculation.
And so, the speculation and guessing game continued, reaching a point of crescendo, about his next opponent until Mayweather himself twitted to ask fans to choose his next opponent.
At first the poll was in favour of Maidana, but it tilted towards Khan who even after being overlooked, still believes he’s more deserving of a shot than Maidana.
It is, however, reported that Khan’s undoing were the accumulation of more than 100,000 votes on various on-line polls, more than 100,000 comments on Mayweather’s Facebook and instagram pages, and non-stop fan tweets that swayed the pendulum in Maidana’s favour.
Coming off a stellar performance against Mayweather clone Adrien Broner, Maidana ‘assaulted,’ shoved, hustled and out-punched Broner before solving the man who calls himself “The Problem” via a unanimous points decision recently.
According to Mayweather, Maidana became attractive as a foe because “he’s an extremely skilled fighter who brings knock out danger to the ring”  and could test the 45-0, KO26 American and give the fans a good fight.
Maidana is a brawling, come-forward fighter who throws a clubbing right overhand frequently as he rips the body and could, at least on paper, initially pose a threat to Mayweather, the defensive master who isn’t easy to hit.
Against Mayweather, Ricky Hatton fought more or less like Maidana with relentless pressure, but Mayweather, gifted with an unmatched ring IQ, is on record as saying the only man who can beat him is one who can out-think him in the ring. Rugged Maidana may posses knockout power, and I doubt if he’s that man.
His boxing skills against slick Mayweather could turn out to be his undoing. It looks like Mayweather is going to do to Maidana  what he did to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guererro-give him a tutorial on the mechanics of the sweet science.
By contrast, although Broner fights like Mayewather, there are important differences between them. First, Broner will never be a Mayweather.
Mayweather has lateral movement and controls the distance well between him and his opponent, creating difficult angles from where he potshots hits them. He makes them look stupid as, when they try to hit him, he has gone in and out in a flash and they hit the air.
His timing is superlative, let alone his defence. Broner doesn’t move much and that’s why Maidana had good moments with him dropping him twice enroute to his biggest victory to date.
Khan, who has a suspected glass chin, meanwhile, is rueful at Mayweather’s delayed announcement of his decision which he says will affect  his career. Fans have watched Maidana and Khan and the 27-year-old Englishman’s recent performances were far from being impressive.
Although he has been snubbed this time, Khan should bid his time for a future date and drop the verbal jabs that Mayweather has ducked him.
Khan has good wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Maidana himself.

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