5 Reasons Why Khan Will Defeat Mayweather Jr

by Fran on May 8, 2014

Having watched Floyd Mayweather Jr and Amir Khan both defeat very capable adversaries over the weekend (Marcos Maidana and Luis Collazo respectively) it dawned on me that if the two were to meet any time in the next 12 months then Khan would emerge as the victor.

I don’t make this statement lightly. In fact, quite the contrary. Over the last few of years I have watched both guys perform, but more relevantly I have written a number of technical analysis articles on each. The process of writing these articles has caused me to get very familiar with the boxing style of both Khan and Mayweather Jr.

Given the work I have put in on understanding the styles of both boxers, I am not ‘shooting from the hip’ here. In fact, when Floyd announced that ‘the fans’ had chosen Marcos Maidana as his next opponent rather than Amir Khan I was quite disappointed. I have felt for the last year or so that a Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Amir Khan bill-topper is one of the most interesting fights not yet to have happened.

In this article I am going to explain the logic for what many might consider a rash statement at best, just plain old crazy talk at worst. Once you read the article I would be really interested to get your view as to my state of mind, whether I should seek a job as a boxing adviser to a global betting syndicate or whether I should simply increase my medication.

There are 4 parts to the article:

  • The ‘MyBoxingCoach’ history of articles on each fighter.
  • My observations of the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Marcos Maidana fight.
  • My observations of the Amir Khan vs Luis Collazo fight.
  • My 5 reasons why Khan wins.

Mayweather Jr and Khan – The Story So Far…

My admiration for Floyd Mayweather Jr’s boxing capabilities is as high as any fighter I have watched in the last 30 years. In 2010 I wrote an article in which I presented my (then) list of 10 Greatest Boxers of all time. At the time of writing Mayweather Jr did not make the final 10, although he did get an honourable mention as one of those fighters that pained me to leave out of the list. Many who commented on the list did count Floyd in their ’10 greatest’ list and to be honest if I updated my list then Floyd could well be a contender given his last 4 years of operation (albeit taking into account his apparent avoidance of Manny Pacquiao).

In 2013 I produced an article on the boxing style of Floyd Mayweather Jr, examining his 2009 domination of the brilliant Mexican pugilist Juan Manuel Marquez. In that bout Floyd exhibited the full extent of his amazing boxing brain and skills. He confounded Marquez with a mix of speed, defensive acumen, ring generalship and tactics coupled with blistering attacks. It was a truly mind-blowing performance that for me he has subsequently built upon by outclassing Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez in the light middleweight category.

As one of the greatest fighters of the modern era, Mayweather Jr is most definitely a firm favourite of mine.

In terms of Amir Khan, I have produced 5 in-depth articles that have examined the development as Khan in the pro ranks. Khan has always sought to develop and improve himself as a fighter. Basing himself in the UK initially, his career faltered when he was blown away by Columbian Breidis Prescott. This loss may have finished a less confident character, but Khan made changes.

Transferring stateside, Amir Khan joined-up with Freddie Roach at the Wildcard gym. This led to a series of technical improvements to his style, ironing out some fundamental flaws that has developed during his transition from the amateur to the pro ranks. I subsequently produced an analysis of Amir Khan vs Marcos Maidana and followed that up with a round-by-round analysis of his controversial loss to Lamont Peterson in 2011.

The most recent article that I wrote was an analysis of Amir Khan’s first performance under new trainer Virgil Hunter. I examined his fight with Carlos Molina and tried to identify any changes that Hunter had made to the Khan fighting style following the Brit’s departure from Freddie Roach. Regardless of whether you like the style of Amir Khan, I believe that the technical analysis of a fighter over a 4-year period provides a great learning resource and as a boxing trainer it has been fascinating to undertake that process.

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Marcos Maidana

In the opening round Maidana made a very fast start whilst Floyd gave ground as required. Maidana basically threw tons of wild, swinging downward right hay makers, and when I say wild they really were! Floyd was happy to sit on the ropes for 30 seconds or so but continued to land his own much cleaner shots and then subsequently pushed Maidana to the ropes – and this was the key. Floyd was polished, Marcos was raw.

In subsequent rounds, Mayweather Jr used his wide stance, stayed at long range and didn’t look to simply back away. Floyd maintained pressure on Maidana by showing his perfect understanding of range in the boxing ring.

Maidana has a good stance at long range, but when he gets up close and goes really square to unload power shots. Whilst power is increased, this square stance reduces not only the capability to combination punch but also the ability to be dynamic with the feet in order to open up effective punching angles. Floyd simply continues to score well at long range, whilst Maidana remains pretty wild and in my opinion doesn’t really land consistently on the target area (the opponent’s spinal column does not constitute the target area.)

Interestingly after the fight Maidana insisted that Mayweather Jr didn’t “Fight like a man”.  For me, Floyd did fight like a man, just not a man who took many shots, there is a difference. Mayweather Jr exhibited superb fighting technique in the 5th. Using left hooks on the retreat and switching his attacks to the body really effectively.

From the 6th onwards though, Floyd began to take more shots at long range than I have seen him take in previous fights.  Maidana was finding success with his jab. Again though, lot’s of Maidana’s work was simply not landing on the scoring area.

From the 8th, Floyd was working his trademark layback followed by the right cross, but the consistency of this technique working (that is the punch success rate) in this fight appeared to me to have reduced from previous fights. This to me represents evidence that Floyd’s reflexes and speed are diminishing as the way in which Floyd uses this technique is dependent upon reflexes. This may be slight, but it is diminishment regardless at at the highest level of sport tiny percentages matter.

To be honest, I was never really inspired by the prospect of Floyd meeting Maidana in the ring. Sure it was a decent fight. Sure there were some close rounds and some rounds that went Maidana’s way. I felt Floyd won by at least a couple of rounds, with his quality work distinguishing him from the Argentine brawler.  Fact is, Floyd Mayweather Jr has been dealing with the Maidana-type style since he was 10 years old. Aside from the intensity of attack and unpredictability of what shot comes next, Floyd could pretty much handle this kind of opponent in his sleep.

However, what I did notice more than anything else is that Floyd’s long range game seems to be waning. There were times in this match that he was getting out-jabbed by Maidana; that’s just not something about which Team Mayweather should be comfortable. Floyd’s conditioning was excellent as usual (he’s one of the hardest-working fighters out there when it comes to gym time), but for me his reflexes and overall speed seemed to be slightly dimmed. Maybe this was a one-off, but worryingly for Floyd maybe it isn’t and maybe it’s simply Father Time a-visiting. Question is, can Floyd ‘Do a Hopkins’ and compensate for any age-related constraints by putting that boxing-brain super-computer to work?

Amir Khan vs Luis Collazo

Amir was tackling a strong southpaw in the form of tough American Luis Collazo. From the 1st round his strategy was spot on. Moving to right and slightly backwards he was aggressive in bursts, cautious and looking to manage range between him and Collazo. He covered up well up close and didn’t look to grab at the first sign of trouble, which to me indicates a fighter who is becoming more comfortable on the inside.

Khan demonstrated a nice high guard and always looking to capitalise on Collazo missing. He was purposeful and direct and showed really good body movement and fast and sharp bursts of punches. Another interesting exchange took place up close in the 2nd round.  Collazo attempted to hold whilst Khan simply smashed him twice in the face with his unfettered right hand. Khan was not looking to hold, guard maintained and began roughing Collazo up with his forearms.

The first time that Khan held was in the 3rd round. In the 4th Khan dropped Collazo with a couple of well-placed and fast shots. From this point there was an interesting change of strategy by Luis Collazo; walk forward with your hands by your sides. Maybe he was trying to prove a point but if I were in his corner I would have suggested he not do that again…ever!

In the 5th there was more of the same, Khan smashing home long range shots and Collazo marching forlornly forward. Khan began getting cute up close with his little tricks; holding strong with one arm and rubbing his forehead in Collazo’s face.

In overview, there was a superb work rate from Khan through rounds 1 – 6. Collazo continued to march and Khan continued to ‘stick and move’ to great effect, seldom being caught with anything but the draught from Collazo’s punches. Very one-dimensional from Luis. Khan simply retreated, fired 2 or 3 shots and then pivoted off to the side to deflect the Collazo attack. All very easy for the Brit. Collazo became increasingly frustrated resulting in a deducted point for low blows (followed up with Khan getting a deduction for holding).

Post 6th round the fight just became a bit Groundhog Day, apart that is from the 10th. Khan backed Luis to the ropes. Little bit of clinching, following which Khan holds Collazo’s lead right hand and smashes home a short right uppercut to the body at close range. I don’t recall Khan ever dropping an opponent at close range as in the past he simply sought to hold on in a messy and uncontrolled way. Khan roughing-up and dumping the opponent in such a way is a first – An infighting awakening. An incredible volume of punches were thrown by Khan in an attempt to finish the bout, superb endurance.

Khan cruised the 11th whilst Collazo smashed in a cynically low punch with real intent – his frustration levels were through the roof. Khan takes his rest with that low-blow showing good ‘ring smarts’.

This was a great performance by Khan and showed plenty of development and improvement from previous performances. Whilst doubts remain as to his punch resistance he showed a degree of toughness and resilience in this fight, learning what it takes to ‘win dirty’ as necessary.

So, without further ado onto my 5 reasons why Amir Khan defeats Floyd Mayweather Jr should they meet (and Floyd doesn’t take the easy option of a return with Maidana).

5 Reasons Why Khan Wins

Reason #1 – Floyd’s reflexes have dimmed and his speed has diminished. Not by much, but by enough to really matter against a speed demon like Khan.

Reason #2 – Partly related to Reason #1, Floyd’s long-range boxing game has become less effective. This means that Khan will be likely to hold the aces in the exchange of long range punches.

Reason #3 – Amir Khan has become a more ‘street-wise’ fighter up-close, mixing attack with defence in a coherent and sensible way. This means that Floyd will be less inclined to mix it at close range (hats off to Virgil Hunter)

Reason #4 – Khan appears to have struck the correct balance between caution and risk-taking. He doesn’t over-commit as he did in many earlier fights.

Reason #5 – Floyd will need to become ‘the fighter’ if he meets Khan by going on the front-foot. I’m not convinced that he can undertake that role with the effectiveness of his more considered style, especially given the fact that he is now 37.

In closing

Floyd Mayweather Jr is one of the best fighters I have ever seen, on that I am unmovable. In presenting the views in this article I am not saying that Amir Khan is better than Floyd. Amir does not make it even close to my top 10 greatest, nor will he ever. I just believe that he will take a points decision, judging controversies aside 🙂

All I am stating here is that I believe that circumstances have come together to make Floyd Mayweather Jr vulnerable to defeat by a fighter of Khan’s skill, speed, strength and stamina. Does this mean that say the Amir Khan of ‘now’ would have defeated the Floyd of a couple of fights ago? No. Does it mean that Khan is a better fighter than Mayweather Jr? That doesn’t even deserve a response!

I am really eager to understand the various views on this, or even on any other Floyd-related ramblings. Just to ‘throw another lit match into the petrol pond’, I actually think that if Floyd was offered the choice of Khan or Pacquiao in his next outing, my view is that Team Mayweather would choose the Filipino every day of the week.

Please get the discussion going in the comment boxes below, I look forward to my beating 🙂

Cheers

Fran

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Zak May 18, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Erislandy Lara vs FMJ Jr. thoughts?

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Alexander.L November 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Hi Fran, good discussion here. Focussed much on the same points. So I will diversify, by saying that FM has had a few ‘ups and downs’ recently with his trainers changing. This over the period of the Maidana fight onward.

His influential Uncle Roger, who was a strong trainer, as regards ‘jab, counter, combo’, having been side-lined, due to developing ‘cognitive issues’. To be replaced by his dad, a life time influence of course, whom they same was emphasising ‘more defence than counter attack’. As was reflected in the Maidana fight until around 6th or 7th round, when he got off the ropes and began moving in, consistent with what some of your commentators have said.

But, then of course, some buddy, will say FM is his own boss, and dictates his own tactics, and uses his family as coaches, mainly to keep the ‘big promoters’ out of the formula, and out of his wallet. So I don’t know. But as you seem to say, maybe this is just the ‘senior years’ kicking in, and Team Mayweather’ may just be progressing past its ‘best sell by date’. As with FM’s Uncle Jeff, my favourite, who recently joined the ‘heart attack club’. A great coach.

This is just rumour of course, or locker room talk, so I would like to hear any views on this. But regardless I would say Team FM has a lot of life and guile in it yet. And will make ‘mince meat’ out of Amir, even now, one way or another. Alex.L

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Fran November 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Excellent angle Alexander, I had simply not considered the relative upheaval that Floyd has faced in relation to his trainers and how this may have affected recent performances. This could well be a factor to consider.

I always liked watching Roger box, he was nothing like Floyd but was explosive nonetheless.

I am really intrigued to see Khan’s next outing against Devon Alexander to be honest. You never know whether Khan could get iced and turn his whole career on it’s head!!!!

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Jay October 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

It’s definitely the fight I want to see but I just can’t see Amir khan to be the man to do the job. One point is would Amir’s fast hands and combinations be too fast for Floyd to counter as seen in the first Maidana fight when Maidana was the aggressor. When Floyd catches Amir clean with a short sharp left hook will he be able to take it? Timing and precision=power. Mayweather has defeated the elite I just don’t see how Khan who loses to the likes of Danny Garcia an average boxer/puncher could deal with the boxing brain and counter punches of Mayweather.

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Fran October 6, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Good stuff Jay, nice one. Whilst I speak to lots of boxing people who want to see the Khan-Mayweather fight, I think that we all are just really curious to see Floyd take on something a bit different. Pugilistic curiosity. Just doesn’t seem like a fight that the mainstream wants. Shame really.

Thanks again Jay.

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Mike Brien September 29, 2014 at 12:06 am

This is the fight I want to see. I still do not understand why there was a second Maidana fight. I didn’t even bother to watch it. If Mayweather were to repeat a fight I would have liked to see Cotto have another crack.
Without your thorough analisys I still came to a conclusion that Kahn would be able to bring something new to the table. I even mentioned this at the gym but received some very odd looks from the lads.
Mayweather is such a formidable talent but Kahn is my choice at the moment as the boxer who has the skill set to overcome all that Mayweather has. Hope it happens.

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Fran October 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Yes Mike, I’ve had some odd looks too! I was really disappointed that the Maidana rematch was made, but it was the easiest option for Floyd I think. We’ll see what happens next year. Would love to see him take on Pac or Floyd – big fights. Thanks for the comment.

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Matt June 5, 2014 at 10:37 am

I would potentially agree with you there, Fran. One thing which I would like to add to your analysis as a reason for a Khan victory, is being the boxer against Mayweather. I have been thinking for a while now that Mayweather has had such overwhelming success throughout his career because very few fighters aphave actually tried to box him. As a defensive purist, his style is tailor-made for those fighters who come forward and attack. But the reason they adopt such a strategy, even the ones who are more boxers than brawlers, is because they go into the fight thinking that they cannot outbox Floyd, who is a superior boxer. However, this plays staight into Floyd’s hands, as his style works best when fighters come forward and attack. For a while now I have been thinking to myself ‘Why doesn’t anyone ever try to box Floyd?’ An in-and-out style, predominantly in the back foot from long range would take Floyd out of his comfort zone for three reasons: 1. He would have to go on the front foot to fight. This is something that he is underrated for in my opinion, and successfully when he was forced to close down Zab Judah in their fight who, up until Floyd changed tactics, was having great success with this hit-and-run strategy. 2. Floyd is a mid-range puncher. His shots are most effective either when an opponent is walking in or when Floyd can catch them on the back end of their own shot with a short right hand or left hook 3.Floyd’s stance. As we all know Floyd employs that shoulder roll defence very effectively. However, at long range a potential problem of this is that, with his left arm across his waist, he has no ‘reach’ to counter an opponent who stays at long lange, throwing long range straight shots (like Amir Khan). In fact, for 6 rounds we saw how effective all three of these criteria were against Floyd in his razor-close fight with De La Hoya in 2007. De La Hoya’s effective use of the jab at long range, particularly to Mayweather’s left shoulder, was causing him significant problems. Not only was Mayweather unable to get off his own short range right hands against that long jab, but De La Hoya’s jabs to the shoulder were effectively squaring Mayweather’s body up against De La Hoya, both pushing him off balance and leaving him wide open for the straight cross.

If Khan were able to employ all these variables against Mayweather – force him to come forward, keep him off balance with the jab, and keep turning him as he was able to do so effectively against Collazo, I think he would have a real chance of winning.

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Davy Jones June 4, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Jajajajaja I read the first part and I will continue reading, but I tell you that you should increase your medication, amir khan ajajajaj could not ever beat floyd, is an invention, Greetings

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Fran June 6, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thanks Davy – I shall make my way to the tranquillisers!

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Zane May 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Good article fran! I agree mayweather certainly looks like age is catching him up and amir khan is looking the best he has ever has looked technically and physically in my opinion. Only thing that worries me about khan is that I feel it’s inevitable mayweather will catch him with a shot or flurry of shots and when he does will khan take it in his stride or will it prove to much for him?

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Fran May 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Thanks Zane. Yes, the doubt with Khan will always be his propensity to wobble when hit. Floyd is incredibly accurate so if Amir doesn’t keep it together when nailed (which will happen at some point if they meet) then Mayweather could well get the stoppage. Ifs, buts and maybes eh 🙂

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Vicente Pajaro May 19, 2014 at 5:31 am

Oooops sorry typo I mean If Manny Pacquiao and Finally floyd Mayweather would finally fight who do you think will win there?

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Vicente Pajaro May 19, 2014 at 5:28 am

If Manny Pacquiao and Finally figloyd Mayweather would finally fight who do you think will win there?

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Fran May 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Floyd every day of the week Vicente. I’ve always thought he had too much for Pac, as great a fighter as Manny is. That’s not to say that Khan is better than Pac by the way, styles make fights and I think that Floyd could handle Pac’s style.

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Paul Smith May 12, 2014 at 1:44 am

Cool article Fran……I have to say though, that I thought Collazzo fought too lacklustre against Khan….with his hands down and stalking and walking into shots…..he was almost like a human punching bag.

Maidana otoh, really took it to Floyd and impressed me greatly. Floyd’s talent did help him to win, but it didn’t seem as easy as many would have believed possible.

I am now a huge fan of El Chino since he humbled the insufferable Adrian Broner and gave Floyd his toughest fight in years.

Cheers Coach.

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Fran May 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Cheers Paul. Hope you are well mate.

The Argentine certainly won some friends doing Broner the way he did, and it was a tough fight for Floyd most definitely. Probably a lesson for Maidana though; it’s great being intense in attack, but that intensity has to last!

Good scrap though.

Thanks Paul.

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Toby May 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Hey Fran

Great and interesting article. It’s a tough one to call!

I think the extent to which the first two reasons are true are the key. And I’m not too sure how true they are. I thought Floyd actually fought pretty well on the outside against Maidana (I felt that where Mayweather struggled was in his inability in preventing Maidana getting in close, it looked to me like he troubled Floyd – look how much Floyd had to hold on the inside). And even his long range fighting wasn’t as good as normal, then fighters can have off days (or maybe Floyd took Maidana too lightly during the training camp).

So I think the jury is still out on whether Floyd’s speed really has decreased in a way that would have a material impact. If it hasn’t, then the fifth reason may not hold either (Floyd could have the speed and reflexes to allow him to continue to counterpunch).

I completely agree with reasons 3 and 4 – but am not sure that they are enough to give Khan the edge.

And for me a big point in Mayweather’s favour is that, even where fighters have had an edge on him in one department, he has always been able to turn the fight in to one that suits him and one that allows him to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses. It’s a close one, but I’d back Mayweather to do just that to Khan!

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Fran May 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Thanks Toby. Great comment to go with a host of others., I appreciate you taking the time.

BTW – If Mayweather offers another Twitter vote on who to fight next and if Khan is one of the options, let’s do ourselves a favour and vote for Khan, especially if the opponent is Pacquiao. FLoyd beats Manny every time 🙂

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Dave Waterman May 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

Finally got round to commenting on this, Fran. Here are my thoughts:

Like you, I’ve always liked Amir Khan’s work. His speed, footwork and combination punching are all superb, not to mention his heart. However, these are balanced against an occasional fragile chin and a propensity to fire back when hurt instead of covering up or getting on his bike.

Khan’s shortcomings that I list here won’t be revelatory to anyone of course and Virgil Hunter has been doing his work to correct these. I think we saw a more complete fighter against Collazo although I believe the New Yorker fought entirely the wrong fight and allowed Khan to put on a master class. One thing’s for sure and that is Khan is rarely, if ever, in a boring fight and always gives value for money.

On to Mayweather: I had a niggling notion that Maidana might achieve something unsuspected although my head told me that Mayweather’s dealings with marauding fighters has historically resulted in an early night. My most recent comparison would be Ricky Hatton’s valiant but unsuccessful attempt in 2007.

Despite Maidana’s punches often landing illegally, or not at all, he put it on Mayweather for six rounds and clearly took the champion to a place he’s rarely visited. Tony Weeks remained largely uninvolved which I think troubled Mayweather (by comparison the champ enjoyed Joe Cortez’s frequent interventions against Hatton whenever our man got the opportunity to rough him up). I had Maidana winning going into the seventh and I thought an upset might be on the cards. At the end of the fight I thought Mayweather had done enough to win by two or three rounds. But more importantly, did we see a slower, less resilient version of the champion? Arguably, yes and it was most troubling that Maidana had some success with the long range work. But it could have just been an off night for Floyd; consider the claims that Pacquiao was finished before his brilliant performance in the rematch with Bradley. Both are obviously going to suffer the effects of age but Pacquiao proves that the genius that was there a few years ago can still be resurgent.

So, is Mayweather ready to be taken and will Amir Khan be the man to dethrone him?

I’ve thought for a while that Khan would be a live opponent for Mayweather but ultimately would deliver another ‘w’ for the Champ. But after the pair’s most recent performances has my opinion changed and does it chime with yours, Fran?

No, it doesn’t, and here’s why: Khan will elect to box against Mayweather because that’s what he does. He won’t become a swarming, brawling fighter over night and trouble Mayweather in the way that Maidana did. He’s a brilliant combination puncher and looks fantastic landing three or four punches before pivoting or pushing away. Mayweather on the other hand uses range excellently and lands single counters, rarely going on the offensive and hunting his opponent. And that’s the only way I can see Khan winning: if Mayweather comes forward looking for him and gets caught by our man’s flurries just like Collazo did. The fact is Mayweather simply has too many ring smarts to do that.

Khan will allow his heart to rule his head and will come after Floyd, because to box elusively will simply make for a boring fight. The champion will box his way to a healthy points win, not caring if he’s labelled boring or safety first, while Khan will make a fight of it like he always does, but will come away a valiant loser.

Those are my thoughts but I respect your own immensely, Fran.

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Fran May 12, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Hey mate.

Great comment, read’s like a cultured article as usual with smart boxing thinking and logic behind it.

For me, we just need to see the fight! When you see the breadth of views in the comments section it brings it home for me. Collazo did himself no favours, but to be honest I’m really basing my thoughts on Khan’s development over time rather than this fight in particular. In this one I just recognised some of those improvements. Chinny? Always will be. Reckless? Always the potential as you say. So who knows, that’s the Khan-roundabout!

I think that you’ve recognised the key factor that will influence the result, who performs the most effectively at long range. Neither Floyd nor Amir are natural front foot fighters so neither will want to be forced to do that. My sense is that Khan’s style, speed and intensity might prove decisive, but I must admit to feeling more than a bit uncomfortable betting against Floyd. The only way we’ll find out is for the fight to happen. Just think, it could turn into one of those old fashioned computer scored amateur type of bouts…remember them 🙂

Thanks for the comment mate, hope all is well at the gym.

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Greg May 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

I can understand why people are now giving Khan a chance off the back of last weekends action but personally i still don’t see Khan winning and in my opinion you can’t base a prediction on one nights action.

Yes, Floyd’s legs have gone a bit, his work rate has dropped and he’s lost a bit of hand speed but he was still excellent on the outside in his last few contests (especially Alvarez) and he’s still a quality counterpuncher. The fact he’s had a hard nights work with Maidana is redundant in terms of giving people hope if another fighter can’t replicate his style. In terms of the way they fight, Maidana and Khan are a million miles apart.

Khan boxed neatly against Collazo but essentially had target practice due to Collazo’s odd tactics. I feel he thought he could walk down/through Amir as the ‘true’ welterweight and he failed to change tact when it was very quickly obvious it wasn’t working. Khan was more disciplined than previously but i simply can’t ignore how awful he’s looked since beating Zab Judah 3 years ago.

Khan still has a propensity to arm punch and ‘sell’ his flurries which i feel play into Floyd’s hands if he chooses to sit and counter – particularly with the right hand. Despite not scoring a legitimate stoppage for what seems like an age, i still feel Floyd possesses enough pop in his punches to hurt Khan who has always been vulnerable.

It would be a big fight in terms of numbers but a potential Mayweather-Khan fight doesn’t really excite me as a spectacle as i don’t feel either would really press the action.

It won’t happen but i would love to see a Khan-Maidana rematch now they’re both at 147.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Hey Greg

Nice comment, very well put together. As well as his performance against Alvarez, I thought Floyd was simply brilliant against Cotto, I mean genuinely outstanding. But the fact is, I think he’s one of the finest boxers I’ve ever seen. In real terms, Amir is not fit to lace his boots. I suppose the point I am making is that right here, right now Khan could really challenge Floyd. His style is different to what Floyd has faced, and if the fight is played out at long range then Floyd could really struggle.

One slight (very subjective) disagreement, I do actually get excited about the prospect of Khan vs Mayweather. It would be a great match of skills. Let’s remember that Khan got a silver in the Olympics at the age of 17, only losing out to one of the finest amateurs ever. Of course we can say that that doesn’t really matter in the pro ranks, but to win a medal at the Olympics (and to get so close to a gold) takes a quality boxer.

Thanks for the comment Greg, really appreciate it.

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Ivan May 9, 2014 at 5:09 am

Great article. Speaking (writing) your mind always looks good and when you make a strong point you’ll get a lot of response, pros and cons or just chit-chat.
Floyd was made to fight like a man, he had no option in the first 5 rounds and he wasn’t very good at it. When Maidana inevitably gassed out, Floyd started to do his number and won the fight by a point or two.
Maidana’s wildly telegraphed shots were no surprise , the surprise was he landed so many of them. When he got tired, he produced a great jab that bewildered Floyd at times. It was almost not fair, a brawler and swarmer suddenly bringing into play a fluid and effective jab that interfered with his opponent’s intentions at long range. I found myself pulling for Floyd to out-jab Maidana and put him in his place – how come a good ex-amateur would let a common lackluster campaigner pass himself for a boxer?
Something happened to the shoulder roll, it was missing from the fight, perhaps Maidana scared it away. Some people could realize now it’s not a valid defense but just a gimmick.
Khan has the style to give Mayweather a run for his money and even outrun him if he can bear the stress and maintain discipline.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Hey Ivan

Thanks for spotting that it was simply an attempt to put some of my thoughts down, I’ve had some fairly aggressive emails on the subject to be honest!

Interesting, I thought Floyd’s performance against Cotto showed that he could outfight a fighter. But what you mention on the Maidana jab really stood out to me. I couldn’t believe that Mayweather was getting tagged with that so regularly.

Your last sentence lines up with what others commenting have pointed out, Khan’s ability to not get carried away, get on an ego trip and get put away.

Thanks for the comment Ivan. I hope that you are well.

Cheers

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 11:09 pm

You’re right on the ‘shoulder roll’ as well. Floyd only seemed to perform that move in times of limited threat. That is, when he new he could get away with it. That’s not to detract from his super talent, but he’s a super salesman too!

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Dan May 9, 2014 at 3:23 am

Two things a trainer can’t teach :1) a good chin 2) your mental state on the night. Apart from FMJ being technically gifted, the bloke is obviously a champion because of the stuff between his ears. I can’t see him losing, his ego wouldn’t allow it and he’s always up for it.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Short and to the point Dan. Like the observations about what a trainer can’t do, really interesting angle. And true, ego has won many a fight!!!

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pug May 9, 2014 at 2:20 am

Now Fran, are sure you don’t want to declare any conflicts of interest here. heh, heh. Methinks the analysis may be a promotional argument from the outside. Every littlle bit helps, huh! Note my tongue is planted firmly in cheek!
Otherwise, interesting analysis as usual but I can’t say that I agree with you on this one coach. I don’t see MM having to adopt the fighter/aggressor role. He wears the crown. It would be up to AK to come and get it. Know what I mean? Also see cover of June Ring Magazine. MM quote, “I chose the better man”. That is, Maidana over AK. To quote from the article, ..”Certainly it’s difficult to fathom any reason he’d be fearful of Khan, whose chin has proven less than resilient and who would struggle to find a way to land a combination on Mayweather”.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hey Ric

This calls for a drink, we’ve found something to disagree on, it’s only taken us 3 years 🙂

Fair point on the the challenger having to take the title from the champ. I felt the same back in in ’87 when Sugar Ray ‘took’ Marvin’s title.

As for whether Floyd chose the better man, Khan did get a result against Maidana and indeed took an awful lot of his best shots. Maybe I’m indulging myself with this a little, I don’t know.

It’s funny Ric, Whilst I think that Khan could take a points decision from Floyd I’ve never once thought that Pacquiao could, and Pac is by far the more complete fighter than Khan. Weird game.

Thanks for the comment mate, take care.

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James Morgan May 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm

FMJ has looked so good for so long. That even a slight off night would make anyone say that he is in decline. Is that true? Well, he’s been declining for years and he’s still u/d.

He didn’t look himself, but he still looked good.

As for Khan, he looked excellent I’m just not sure he could handle it mentally before and during the fight. It must be draining. He has a habit of throwing the plan out the window and trying to win the tough guy image. It’s his ring IQ which doesn’t hold up against Floyd.

Not convinced he could beat him.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Hey James, nice to hear from you.

You and Grampro both have pointed out the same point on Khan i.e. his propensity to ‘get carried away’ rather than remain disciplined. One thing is for sure, if it came down to purely a match up of boxing IQ then Khan would get nowhere.

It’s Khan’s style and intensity that I think Floyd would find a challenge. He’s been smashing ‘fighters’ for years (in the mould of Maidana), but I don’t recall him ever tackling someone who ‘shoots-and-scoots’ like Khan, it’s an unknown quantity for me and maybe that’s why I’m so eager to see the match made.

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grampro May 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm

fran i wasnt thoroughly impressed by khan @ all, he was holding tooo much 4 me & in my opinion it kind of put a serious limit to what he could of done offensively. Also he looked like he was using a lot of unnessasary energy burning movement which is why he probably was holding so much. And lastly a lot of his punches didnt look sharp crisp & clean like mayweather’s punches do. its like his wrist are bent while landing shots or some dont land flush & compact with the knuckles put in there. oh i forgot his defense, khan is not polished enough in this area as he doesnt have the complete package as i think he should. He should look to make a guy miss by ducking & slipping or taking a half step back instead of just holding both hands up & letting a guy tee off on him, he has to add more facets to this part of his game. it doesnt take a man to stand there & let the guy keep his momentum & balance intact while landing punches on him. i was taught to make a guy miss completely so to make him gas out, over commit, lose momentum then make him pay 4 putting him self out there. khan just fought better than collazo did getting off & then moving while collazo was just walking foward & getting hit 4 not having respect for his self or the art of boxing, regardless whether he felt khan is not a big enough puncher to really affect him hence which is why he was going after him with his hands down. it costed collazo too, for that is the reason he was getting knocked down. also look @ khan face after the fight & @ the post fight presser which shows you he needs to make more improvement in the defensive aspect of boxing. so with all i mentioned floyd still beats khan just better overall ring iq cleaner with his punches & movement so you just might need your meds lol! take care brother.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment Gram, some excellent insights. I would just counter with a couple of points (although your rationale for Floyd winning is perfectly reasonable). I felt that in comparison to previous Khan outings he actually held a lot less in this fight, he was just more effective when he did so i.e. doing it at the right time and adding in a bit of ‘dirtiness’. Not condoning it but in the pro game it happens, Floyd certainly does it well when he needs to :-). In fact, even in the amateurs the rule changes have resulted in boxers being left to grapple and hold, which I really don’t like – but that’s another article.

Second point, after a 12 round fight some bumps and bruises have to be expected so I wouldn’t read too much into that.

Great comment though Gram, I very much appreciate you taking the time. Now, where’s my ritalin…

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julian May 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

You people all make me laugh saying the same old stuff about someone beating mayweather before he fights and yet he” Always” wins….change the record and pick something else to say! He is champion and probably the best boxer of our generation for a reason.you will notice that he has said several times he will always find a way to win so saying Khan would beat him this way and that way is simply stupid and irrelevant because we are talking abt Floyd mayweather especially when Khan cannot take a punch so what are you all talking abt !

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Fran May 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

My my Julian, you are quite irritated by the discussion aren’t you. Clearly you have failed to read anything I’ve written here or in previous articles. This is the 1st time I’ve said that Mayweather could be beaten by anyone out there – you will not find anything else on this site that even implies that I think Floyd could be beaten. I don’t need YOU to tell ME how good Floyd Mayweather is, I know how good he is. If anything, you are the one who is blinded by subjectivity. What, you think he can go on forever? The likelihood of Floyd being beaten goes up signficantly with every fight he has because that is the nature of age and boxing. So, try to challenge with something other than “He’s not been beaten before so he won’t be beaten now”, I’d hate for people to think your argument “stupid and irrelevant”.

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Chris May 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Interesting thought, a fellow Brit beating Mayweather. My only problem with Khan is that he seems to go off the reservation at times and forget the game plan. If he can stay disciplined maybe he can win but a big if although I’d love to see him do it. Of course Mayweather has got to agree to the match up first and as good as he is he does tend to dodge the difficult mathes.

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Fran May 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

You are spot on in terms of Khan’s discipline and sticking to a game plan Chris, it’s something I didn’t mention in the article. There seemed to be an improvement in that department against Collazo. Hopefully we’ll see the fight come off, I just think it would be a really interesting prospect and one I’d stay up until the wee small hours to watch. Thanks Chris.

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Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Agreed; its all about timing and I agree that If Mayweather fights Khan next the time is right for a Khan victory. I think Mayweather knows this and he will take a rematch with Medina. Watch this space. 🙂

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Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Good article as always Fran. I agree, I think Khan has a good shot at beating Mayweather. I think he would be more likely to lose to Thurman, Bradley, Porter and Pac than Mayweather, i.e. against welterweights who would choose to fight as well as box (not that I necessarily subsrcribe to all the “glass chin” talk.) I’m not saying he would lose to all of those guys either, just that they would be more dangerous fights for him than Mayweather.

Some random thoughts :

Shocking job by the ref Drakulis (normally pretty good I think), he should have deducted a point early for Khan’s pushing and pulling and got it under control. Getting to be a habit, a little spoiling is par for the course in the pros but Khan is a bit OTT.

Not to take away from a very impressive performance and footwork by Khan but shocking job by Collazo, failing to cut the ring off or at least try to come in behind a jab!

Maidana is much improved with Garcia and probably was at his most motivated ever with a crazy brawling work-rate against Mayweather. However, I seem to remember Khan teeing off on him pretty much at will for many rounds (before almost getting knocked out!) in their fight and Devon Alexander teeing off on him all night and completely befudling him all night when they fought.

I also think Maidana is a chubby welterweight!

Not sure about Khan’s power at welterweight. Never a big puncher but his speed, work-rate and accuracy broke down plenty of guys over the rounds in the lighter divisions. Collazo is admittedly tough and did get knocked down but did not really seem bothered by the punches for the most part.

I always enjoy seeing Khan fight and am glad he seems to still be relevant near the top of the sport. He can certainly be a bit irritating personality-wise but like you, not sure why the out-and-out hatred from many.

Cheers,
Andy

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Fran May 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Thanks Andy, good comment.

I hope that I’ve come across as being objective in the analysis, I have genuinely tried to be. I would love to see the fight, certainly more than I want to see Floyd beat Pac (which I have always said he surely would). Just think it would be something interesting rather than rolling up another Latin American for Floyd to disassemble.

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david May 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Actually,Maidana said “Floyd never fought a man like me”.The spanish translator translated wrong.Nice article though.

Dave

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Fran May 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Ahhh, thanks for the correction. It did surprise me because Mayweather held his ground pretty much throughout.

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Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

100% percent agree with you Fran, I had actually made this statement after watching both fights and thought that Khans style improvement was remarkably noticeable to say the least and the Rockyesque words of ‘he aint so bad’ had applied to Mayweathers performance that night!
I would consider myself unbiased as I wud not have been a fan of either fighter and the last performance of Khan must have been the Peterson one and I was not impressed to say the least, I can actually remember laughing at the thought of a Mayweather Khan counter, thinking Khan would be doing well to get a payday before hanging up his gloves and that that would be all it would have been, oh how things have changed, would you contribute Khan’s roundabout turn to the change of trainer, I thought I could see slight traits of Ward’s ring smarts in there, (head control etc) anyhow what a difference, I can now say that I will look forward to seeing Amir in action again and Floyd… even less than ever!

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Fran May 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for the comment. Interesting, I’ve had a couple of very defensive emails regarding this article making out that I am having a go on a personal level at Mayweather Jr – I am absolutely not and I’m glad to see that those who make a comment recognise it. It’s a view based purely on the technical aspects of what I saw at the weekend coupled with the progression of both fighters over recent years.

I said a while back that Khan’s inability to fight on the inside was going to restrict his development. Hunter seems to have done something about that. I am really looking forward to see how he develops. It might also be the case the Floyd would opt for Pac than Khan, who knows. He’s definitely running out of ‘easier’ options that’s for sure.

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