Steve Bunce on Boxing: 2014 will be all about cash as Amir Khan waits for jackpot shot in 'Mayweather sweepstakes'


Floyd Mayweather is looking for somebody to make rich in 2014, knowing that he will leave somebody else frustrated and poorer at the snub.

There is every chance that in 2014 more fights that should happen will not happen because of the sums that are available in certain fights with certain fighters. A lot of boxers will simply sit, wait and hope for the call from one of the lucrative world champions.

There are also fights that simply refuse to get made because the boxers are too precious, their handlers too vain and their television backers too stubborn. The ongoing farce between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather enters its sixth year of open and closed negotiations and is still no closer to happening. It is possible that during the last six or seven years about 12 fighters have received their biggest purses in fights against either Pacquiao or Mayweather; the pair remain boxing's bank.

Mayweather makes far more money than any other American sportsman and the opponents he selects instantly get a position in sport's top 10 earners. Mayweather calls the selection process the "Mayweather sweepstakes" and everybody wants a lucky ticket.

In 2014, good heavyweights will fight for world titles and split less than 10 per cent of what Mayweather receives, which explains why a dozen or more top fighters crowd the ringside whenever Mayweather fights. They look and act like preening teenage girls at a boy-band autograph session but it is worth the shameless behaviour if their number comes up.

In 2013, Mayweather's two victims, Saul Alvarez and Robert Guerrero, probably banked a combined total in excess of $25m (£15m). Mayweather paid himself more than $40m last time out and his opponent, Alvarez, was on a guarantee of $12m. It is thought Ricky Hatton left Las Vegas in 2007 with more than $17m in his pocket after losing to Mayweather. In the next two weeks, another Lancastrian, Amir Khan, will find out if he has the ticket for a fight in May against Mayweather. Khan withdrew from a world-title fight last month to secure the Mayweather money, which was a sensible move but one that denies fans other fights.

Speculation about a move from Las Vegas is interesting because Mayweather's last 10 fights have taken place in Las Vegas. His last fight away from the gambling city was in 2005 and talk of New York or Miami or Los Angeles as fight venues next time could be an acknowledgement that the old fight city is running short of dollars.

It could also simply mean that Mayweather wants to take his brand, which nobody can really explain in detail, on the road; it could also mean that there is no real desire to leave Las Vegas but that he has every intention of making the casino operators dig a bit deeper into their silk pockets to make him stay. Khan is still a player on American television, he will attract travelling British fans to any American city and he will help sell the fight to the pay-per-view public. Khan, like most of Mayweather's 45 opponents, will start as an underdog but he has the ability and Mayweather is getting older, slower and more careless.

All of the very best fighters lose when they forget some basics, take it easy in the gym and enter the ring with a sloppy head; Khan knows that Mayweather will need to play his part in any shock victory by making mistakes before and during the fight. "Mayweather is not the first unbeatable fighter to lose," said Khan. He is right and Khan is not the first fighter to wait, stay inactive and take the money.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before