Latest news out of Vegas is that Amir Khan is in deep negotiations with Mayweather for the proposed September fight. While Miguel Cotto is on a short-list of sorts Money Team sources confirm that Khan is their first choice and has been since well before the MayPac fight in early May.
Sources do indicate however, that negotiations will turn on Khan’s expected financial remuneration. Khan’s negotiating team has been given marching orders to remain firm on a series of demands including guaranteed money and percentage of pay-per-view profits. Khan’s position is that he will bring to the table good numbers from fans in not only Great Britain but an impressive American following as well as the obvious fans in the Arab and Islamic communities worldwide. These numbers, if the promotion is conducted with finesse, may prove to be massive.
In relative terms, with the new standard of what massive is being the MayPac fight, expectations are more realistic. That said, the pay-per-view possibilities could be rather impressive. With that understanding Khan has a certain leverage going into the negotiations and is less inclined to be the push-over, in terms of negotiations, so many of Mayweather’s past opponents ended up being.
As Amir Khan swims into the uncharted territory of deep negotiations with Mayweather he does need to be aware that the self-styled best-ever does have a backup plan that will be explicitly on the table during negotiations from the get-go. That is, as well-trusted insiders confirm, names like Cotto and Alvarez are possible candidates that have communicated their willingness to make themselves available for a September fight if circumstances dictate. If Khan gets too heavy-handed, Mayweather will threaten to walk.
The problem with walking however is that there are already powerful vested interests already deep into Cotto-Alvarez negotiations and a contract in principle, together with a verbal agreement has already been effected. If either Cotto or Alvarez were to walk away from the explicit agreement that has been effected, it will raise the spectre of an ugly series of aggressive litigation.
Indeed, Khan is in the driver’s seat here and, knowing that in advance of the negotiations, is a potentially monetizing advantage. This together with the already confirmed agreement Al Haymon has with Khan that he will do his best to make the Mayweather fight makes the fight an almost certain one. If the fight were not to be consummated, Khan, who has a huge future ahead of him with Haymon at the helm, would surely revolt putting future Haymon earnings at risk. This later fact is also a well-known factor amongst Khan-insiders.
After the Algieri fight Mayweather Team insiders have expressed a certain relief. Prior to Khan’s relatively poor performance against Algieri there was concern expressed about Khan’s speed and the power that speed generated. Algieri established a blueprint that Mayweather is sure to follow. That is, Khan seemed unusually open to Algieri’s right hand. Khan appeared, at times, to be confused, slow and lacking in power.
Indeed, if the Khan that showed up against Algieri shows up in September the feeling is that Mayweather has a good chance of ending the fight with a knockout. On top of that, Team Mayweather is confident of the fight’s outcome as they have former Khan strength and conditioning trainer Alex Ariza in their corner. As in the MayPac fight buildup, Ariza is expected to play a heavy role in crafting a strategy to exploit Khan’s tendencies and weaknesses.
As Amir Khan enters deep negotiations with Mayweather fans can expect an announcement in coming weeks. Both camps hope that negotiations can be completed in time to begin an intensive international promotional campaign that will take the principals to many of the great cities around the world. Such is the vision of this particular promotion, that it will capture the hearts and minds of an ever-increasing, internationally-based, fan-base. Expect the charismatic and talkative Khan to play a heavy role in that promotion.
Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows
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Photo Courtesy of Bryan Horowitz’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License