When Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring on Saturday May 3rd for his fight against Marcos Maidana, he will try to keep his impressive, and controversial, record of 45-0 unblemished, while simultaneously attempting to keep his self-given title of “TBE” (The Best Ever), intact.
Saturday’s bout on Showtime, dubbed “The Moment”, gives opponents three more opportunities to try to break what Mayweather creatively describes as the “MayVinci Code”, and these opportunities could fall into the lap of a victor whose bout precedes the main event.
The fight card for “The Moment” features the return of Adrien Broner, who steps back into the ring for the first time since suffering his loss to Marcos Maidana last December. It also features an intriguing matchup between WBC Silver Light Welterweight titleholder Amir Khan and WBA International Welterweight Title holder, Luis Collazo. With Khan coming off a unanimous decision shut out over Julio Diaz last April 2013, and Collazo coming off a thunderous second round KO win over Victor Ortiz, this matchup has the makings of America’s Next Top Contender for Money Mayweather.
Khan, along with Maidana, was considered to be the next opponent for Mayweather after “TBE” performed a boxing clinic on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. In a poll on Mayweather’s website the question of who should be the next opponent was posed to the fans and initially Khan was looking like the favorite. However, in the end Maidana was crowned the victor, leaving Khan in the wings both bitter and hopeful for a matchup in the future.
“I think it was bad for the sport to be honest with you, it was disrespectful I think to the opponents,” said Khan. “Mayweather said his official poll was the official poll and I think if that was, Maidana was going to win quite easily. I haven’t fought in a couple months and he’s just coming off a good win against Broner so people remember his last performance and people were all talking about that fight. ‘Oh he beat Broner so lets see how he does against Mayweather. His own website’s poll was the official poll, I mean that was the only one that I tweeted, I told everyone about. Even if we won that its just one of those things where maybe things happen for a reason but it’s disrespectful for the fighters but also to fans.”
Khan defeated Maidana via unanimous decision back in 2010, retaining his WBA Light Welterweight Title. In addition, Khan’s vast fan base in the United Kingdom and the Middle East seemed like a no brainer for Khan to receive the matchup when looking on paper. However, Khan is willing to wait and let Maidana have his turn.
“Look, Maidana is going to give Mayweather whatever’s he’s got until Mayweather walks him down and picks him apart really. I think it’s going to be a walk in the park for Mayweather but it only puts Mayweather in a position to fight me and I think people would want to see that fight. I mean he’s fought someone who I’ve beaten and I think like I said its all about just getting us qualified in a quick fashion and then taking it from there.”
First he will have to go through Luis Collazo, whose name has been buzzing since defeating Victor Ortiz in impressive fashion.
“I was off the radar for quite some time and they gave me a big opportunity to fight Victor Ortiz and I won in dramatic fashion,” said Collazo. “A lot of people didn’t count me in they had me as the underdog. They thought Victor Ortiz was just going to walk over me but you know like I say, I’m the type of fighter that you can’t count me out, you ‘ve got to give me the credit for even going in there with such opponents and veterans. I’m an old school fighter. I just want to give the fans what they want- some excitement and that’s what I do. I give it my all every time I go out there in that ring.”
Of Collazo’s 40 fights, he has compiled a record of 35-5, with 18 of those wins coming via KO. He lost the WBA Welterweight title to Ricky Hatton back in 2006 and his losses to Andre Berto and Shane Mosley were both unanimous decisions. However, Collazo has been relatively under the radar until his last win and certainly a victory over Khan puts him in the conversation for a potential Mayweather fight down the line.
“I haven’t been in the mainstream in quite some time since 2009 since I fought Andre Berto and I’ve been off the radar for quite sometime and they know the young faces nowadays,” said Collazo. “This is to me probably one of my biggest fights for my career right now because Amir Khan’s got a huge name and he’s got a big buzz in the boxing world especially in the U.K. He’s got a lot of UK fans; that’s where he’s from. He’s one of the top guys to be reckoned with right now he’s moving up in the welterweight division and why not welcome him into the welterweight division and give him a fight that I don’t know if he’s ready for.”
Khan looks at Collazo as a stepping stone to get to Mayweather, and it is clear that he is still focused on the cache a Mayweather matchup would bring; but the respect for Collazo is there.
“It’s against a powerful guy at 147lbs and he’s a big 147 and it’s going to be an exciting fight,” said Khan. “He just had a good win against Victor Ortiz so I really believe that he’s the one who I can shine against and look really good at as I move within the division. He has power, he hits pretty hard, he has good movement, he puts its together quite well and he’s beaten some big names and he’s a tough guy so I mean its good to know that. He’s fighting someone game and who’s still young in the sport of boxing because there’s not that many young challengers left to fight.