With a record of 45 unbeaten fights as a professional boxer Floyd Mayweather is entitled to be labelled as one the all-time great fighters with wins against Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya among his more illustrious defeated opponents. He is rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and is the current WBC Welterweight Champion and WBA Super Welterweight title holder, but recent announcements via his twitter account regarding his next opponent are not the sort of actions worthy of a great World champion.

Having fought only twice during 2013 with both bouts ending in favourable points decisions, it can be argued that Mayweather has not been particularly active since spending time in jail in 2012, but asking his fans to nominate his next opponent via twitter appeared more of a PR stunt.

Floyd MayweatherIt had been hoped that negotiations could be concluded for a fight with Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao who until recently was considered a real dangerous opponent for the American champion. Successive defeats against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez have somewhat tarnished the reputation of Pacquiao and there is no prospect of a fight occurring in the immediate future.

So Mayweather asked his fans to nominate either Amir Khan or Marco Maidana as his next challenger although neither can claim to be upcoming superstars with both fighters having already lost three professional bouts.

Khan did beat Maidana in 2010 and would appear to be the more suitable opponent but Miadana does fight for the same Golden Boy Promotions as Mayweather, a fact which may have exerted greater influence than the results of a twitter poll.

The poll results allegedly suggest that Khan won a majority verdict, but Mayweather has opted to fight Maidana and has offered the British challenger a fight should be beat Adrien Broner on the undercard of his title bout against Maidana. With his next opponent having already beaten Broner, one wonders if the twitter poll was actually necessary.

Amir Khan has since accused Mayweather of being running scared of him while refusing to believe that the current champion will deliver on his latest promise. Perhaps he did not believe the sincerity of the poll in the first instance and was resigned to being overlooked as the next challenger, but the more Khan raises the stakes the more likely will be the case for Mayweather to fight the British challenger by the end of the year.

Khan still has to beat Broner to justify his validity as an opponent and then his camp must conclude successful negotiations with the Mayweather entourage. Until then, there will probably be more accusations via twitter which leads to the accusation that boxing is becoming even more PR related rather than deciding who is the best boxer.

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John Welsh

A freelance sports writer specialising in football, horse racing, cycling, athletics and betting. Also, the author of book First Touch , a novel covering the exploitation of young African footballers and their experiences in Europe.
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