Boxing analyst Larry Merchant believes unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather made the correct decision in picking Argentina’s Marcos Maidana as his opponent for his May 3 fight date.
Mayweather was choosing between Maidana and Britain’s Amir Khan, and eventually went with the hard-hitting Argentine partly because of his sensational victory over Mayweather protégé Adrien Broner last year.
“I think it was the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do, in that Khan has been so idle and that there was a lot of cynicism about the fight,” Merchant said in a Boxing Scene interview.
Unlike Maidana, Khan has been largely inactive, last fighting in December 2012.
“With Maidana’s performance against Broner, I think that it’s a more buzz-worthy fight for the American audience,” Merchant added.
It is important for the Mayweather-Maidana bout to create some buzz, especially since there is another big fight leading up to it – the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley on April 12.
“That’s important, because a few weeks before is Pacquiao-Bradley,” said Merchant. “A few weeks after that fight is (Sergio) Martinez-(Miguel) Cotto. Both (fights) are of high interest. So I think Maidana was the right choice.”
Another analyst, longtime HBO ringside scorer Harold Lederman, agrees.
“The truth probably is Marcos Maidana is the better fight, and I believe it is. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a terrific fight,” Lederman said in a separate Boxing Scene interview.
Lederman was impressed with Maidana’s performance against Broner, which saw the Argentine win in 12 rounds.
“Maidana’s the tougher guy. You can’t take it away from him. Sensational performance against Adrien Broner. He took it right to Broner, who you know, we all considered as one of the best up-and-coming fighters in the world,” said Lederman.
“On the other hand, Khan’s just been losing,” he added.