Espinoza explains why Khan and Brook didn’t get Mayweather fight

By Boxing News - 09/10/2015 - Comments

khanBy Scott Gilfoid: If you’re wondering why Floyd Mayweather Jr. passed over Kell Brook and Amir Khan for his upcoming fight on Saturday night, it was a simple matter of neither of them being suitable for the fight.

According to Showtime vice president of sports Stephen Espinoza, Andre Berto was the best choice for Mayweather’s fight rather than the likes of Khan and Brook. Khan had Ramadan that kept him fasting until July. Khan would have had to get in training camp immediately after fasting, and be ready to fight by September 12th.

It would have been real hardship for Khan, and he likely wouldn’t have been at his best. As for Brook, he’s not well-known enough in the United States, as he’s only fought over there once during his career. He’s not known by the casual boxing fans of the sport.

Yeah, the hardcore boxing fans know Brook, but the casual fans don’t, and they’re the one who will be purchasing the fights in high numbers on pay-per-view.

“It would have been a turnaround of eight weeks,” Espinoza told BBC.com about Khan having come out of Ramadan. “Having fasted for 30 days, it wasn’t going to be the top Amir Khan.”

Espinoza is right. It wouldn’t have been a top Khan under those circumstances. It would have likely been a weakened one, and that wouldn’t be good for the boxing public. The last thing that Mayweather needs right now is to face another listless opponent with a ready-made excuse if he loses.

I’d like to think that Khan wouldn’t start yapping about how weakened he was, but I think that’s what he likely would have done. This in turn would have cheapened Mayweather’s win by making it seem like he was facing a guy who wasn’t physically ready for the fight. As such, Khan could then talk about how Mayweather should give him a rematch so that he could fight him when he’s absolutely 100 percent.

It would be the same thing that Mayweather just finished going through with his fight against Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather beat Pacquiao last May by a 12 round decision. But after the fight, Pacquiao said he came into the contest with a bad shoulder that he’d injured in training camp.

Pacquiao’s fans then latched onto his injury excuse by saying that Mayweather hadn’t beaten a healthy Pacquiao, and that he should give him a rematch so that he can fight Pacquiao when he’s 100%. It’s a no-win situation for Mayweather. If he fights Khan, he would have likely had to listen to him whining after the fight about his weakened condition, and it wouldn’t have been a good deal.

“What is a better business decision for the casual fan? The hardcore fans knows Kell Brook, but the mid-range fan and the casual fan probably doesn’t,” Espinoza said. “Brook has only fought once before in the United States, and there is far more name recognition with Andre Berto.”

I totally agree with Espinoza. I’m been saying the same thing for ages now. The casual boxing fans don’t have clue one who Kell Brook is, which is why it makes no sense for Mayweather to fight him. It doesn’t matter that Brook is the IBF welterweight champion, and is popular in the UK.

The fact of the matter is most of Mayweather’s pay-per-view sales come from the U.S. market. So if the casual fans don’t know who Brook is, then they’re likely not going to purchase his fight. That’s why Mayweather was better off facing Berto than Khan or Brook. It makes better business sense to fight Berto because he’s well-known by both the casual and the hardcore boxing fans. The reason why is Berto’s fights have been televised in the U.S for at least nine years.



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