With four fights left until his scheduled retirement, Mayweather is still eyeing bigger payouts. “Money” has been Mayweather’s motto since he separated from Bob Arum and formed his own Mayweather Promotion. Seventeen years into his career with no losses suffered, Mayweather has become skilled in entrepreneurship and psychological warfare. He dismantled Oscar De La Hoya mentally before the fight took place, taunted “Sugar” Shane Mosley in the buildup of their meeting, and humiliated Victor Ortiz during their pre-fight conferences. Miguel Cotto remains the only boxer that he treated with respect and dignity. Like a skilled rhetorician who has to persuade his audience, Mayweather’s job is to sell pay-per-views. If his job requires gaining the confidence of the fans and providing them with entertainment, that is what he is going to do. However, much of that assault and fire in Mayweather has abated with age. Without many viable opponents, Mayweather will have difficulty generating the same pay-per-view numbers that he once used to.
To an entrepreneur, nothing can make more sense: select an opponent with good publicity so that more people will tune in on fight night. Perhaps that’s the main reason why many refuse to consider him among the greatest of all time. Much of Mayweather’s success has been overshadowed by his ingenious manipulation of business terms. His opponents’ skills are overlooked, and he is blamed of “cherry picking,” even though that might be contrary to the case. But this time, the evidence is far too great for anyone to successfully argue for his opponent’s merit. Whoever is the lucky jackpot winner—Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan—both of those fighters lack the skill to truly threaten Mayweather.
Despite the humble record of the two fighters, Mayweather is still exploiting the media to hype up his next opponent. Mayweather announced on Twitter that he would let the fans decide whom he must face. Even though Khan lucratively won the poll, there hasn’t been any official confirmation on the finalization of the deal. In fact, Khan declared on Twitter that Mayweather is likely to face Maidana on May 3.
In his last couple of fights, Khan has been on a rebound. After losing a devastating knockout to Danny Garcia, Khan changed his trainer in hope for a change in luck. In his last two bouts, Khan hasn’t looked spectacular enough to land this deal. Although he won a unanimous decision against Diaz, it was a much closer fight than what the scorecard told. Khan’s wobbly legs and glass chin have raised eyebrows. It seems very unlikely that he would upset Mayweather, although Khan does possess some attributes that might trouble Mayweather, particularly his speed and risk-seeking fight style. Without having the proper experience to judge when to stay in the pocket and exchange, Khan’s chances are minimal at best.
Maidana doesn’t provide the kind of entertainment that many would be tempted to believe that he can. Coming off a spectacular victory over Broner, Maidana is at the pinnacle of his career. Under the tutelage of Robert Garcia, he has done a good job honing his boxing skills, especially his left hook. But the fact of the matter is that an aggressive forward-coming fighter is easy picking for Mayweather. Power alone won’t provide problems to Mayweather as he demonstrated in his last bout against Alvarez. However, speed does.
Mayweather has kept everyone waiting and guessing for his next opponent. Whether it is Khan or Maidana, both fighters can hardly make a case for a fight of that magnitude. Perhaps that is exactly how Mayweather wants it.