In a showcase welterweight fight designed to establish Floyd Mayweather's next potential opponent in September 2014, British star Amir Khan will take on Brooklyn native and WBA International Welterweight Champion Luis Collazo in a 12-round bout in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 3. The fight will immediately precede the Mayweather-Marcos Maidana main event.
"I'm looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas once again, and my intention on May 3 is to make a statement that I belong on this big stage," said Khan. "Luis Collazo might be coming off of a big win, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this challenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one of the best welterweights in the sport."
The veteran Collazo recently floored Victor Ortiz in January to earn a second round knockout win in a crossroads bout that has once again made him relevant in the division. Khan, meanwhile, was strongly considered as a Mayweather opponent for the May 3rd date, before being passed over for Maidana.
With the fight roughly 6 weeks away, there is an initial concern that Khan and Collazo might not have sufficient time to train properly.
Assuming training time is not issue, and assuming Mayweather is able to defeat Maidana, the real question then becomes: Does the winner of this bout truly deserve a shot at Floyd's belt?
The short answer, despite the lip service of their promoter, is "No."
"Both Amir Khan and Luis Collazo have made it known that they want a shot at the winner of the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, so what better way for them to prove that they're next in line than by fighting on "THE MOMENT" card on May 3?" said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "These are two exciting former world champions and this fight has the potential to steal the show."
Because of the promotional feud between Golden Boy and Top Rank, boxing fans, and those of us that cover the sport, are being cheated out of not seeing the best fights out there.
The obvious opponent for Mayweather should be the winner of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley bout. Both are clearly higher quality welterweights -- one an iconic star, the other undefeated -- than Khan or Collazo, but because they are aligned with Top Rank, there is an inherent obstacle to inking a fight with Mayweather.
It's an absurdity that no journalist in good conscience should let go unchecked, as too often the scribes in this industry nod along silently, conceding the manipulative talking points of the big promotional entities.
But not today. Stated plainly, Khan and Collazo are absolutely not the most deserving candidates out there for a fall Mayweather bout. In fact, it's borderline laughable. Both are good contenders yes, but certainly not front-of-the-line candidates.
Olympic 2004 silver medalist Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) has won two straight over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz since controversially losing his title to Lamont Peterson in 2011. Khan recently blasted Mayweather for failing to commit to a bout with him on May 3rd.
Despite his glass jaw, Khan admittedly has intriguing handspeed which could provide Mayweather some difficulty -- for about two rounds. But if lesser fighters such as Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia can adapt to Khan's speed, what makes anyone think that Floyd cannot do the same? It's a guaranteed win for Floyd and the public should demand a better opponent.
Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs) is a slick boxer who took nearly two years off from the ring, but has won four straight since 2011. His southpaw stance could cause some early problems for Floyd, but does anybody on the planet realistically think Mayweather's superior speed and boxing skills wouldn't produce an easy 12 round decision for the pound-for-pound king?
Well maybe one person thinks differently.
"Defeating Victor Ortiz in January was just the beginning," said Collazo. "Facing and beating Amir Khan on the biggest stage in the sport is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will take full advantage of this and put myself in the best position to face the winner of the main event. I hope Khan is ready because Brooklyn is coming to take him down."
By Mike Elliott
Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com