MANILA – British boxer Amir “King” Khan does not deserve a big money fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr., as he has done nothing to earn it, said strength and conditioning trainer Alex Ariza.
Khan was the front-runner to land a Mayweather fight for months, but the pound-for-pound king eventually chose Argentine Marcos Maidana, whom Ariza now works for.
“I love Amir as a person, but as a fighter, he hasn’t really done what I thought he should be able to do and that he still can be able to do,” Ariza said in an interview with Fight Hype.
Ariza compared Khan and Maidana’s recent results and pointed out that his fighter has been far more impressive than the Briton.
“(Khan) had a bad fight against smaller fighters that were moving up in weight. He didn’t look great against Julio Diaz. I thought it was very close and he got hurt and dropped with some shots that I personally don’t think would have ever dropped him in the past,” said Ariza.
In contrast, Maidana has simply been “blasting everybody out there,” said Ariza. He specified Maidana’s stunning performance against the erstwhile unbeaten Adrien Broner, where the Argentine entered as an underdog but thoroughly dominated the 12-rounder.
“He doesn’t just beat (Broner). He gave the dude a beating and he never took it easy. He took changes every round,” Ariza said. “He put himself in harm’s way every minute of every round, and Broner’s not an easy dude to hit.”
“You have to work, man, and he worked hard for that win and he worked for that victory,” he added.
It was in fact Maidana’s victory over Broner that put him in Mayweather’s radar.
“He worked,” Ariza said of Maidana, “and he won that spot to fight Floyd. You gotta earn that spot, man. You really do.”
Khan was so confident that he would get a shot against Mayweather that he called off a December 2013 bout against Devon Alexander, but wound up on the outside looking in.
Alexander’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham, has no sympathy for Khan and agrees that Maidana earned the right to face Mayweather.
“I think Maidana earned the Mayweather fight more so than Amir Khan. What has Amir Khan done to deserve the Mayweather fight?” he said in a Boxing Scene interview.
“He beat that little lightweight kid Carlos Molina, who had 16 fights, and then fought old, washed-up Julio Diaz. That shouldn’t earn you a Mayweather fight,” he added “I think the right guy got the fight.”