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.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable