at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
If Miguel Cotto springs the surprise he is threatening tonight, Amir Khan could be as big a loser as Floyd Mayweather.
Khan has been assured that, if he wins his world title rematch against Lamont Peterson here in a fortnight, he will be within touching distance of a mega-fight against Mayweather.
If he gains revenge for that controversial defeat in Peterson’s home city of Washington in spectacular fashion, that multi-million dollar pay-day could come as early as this autumn, after Mayweather finishes his three-month spell in prison.
But Cotto, the Puerto Rican hard man, will scupper a lot of expensively-laid plans if he puts an end to Mayweather’s perfect 42-win record.
That would kill off any remaining chance of a $200million Fight of the Century between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao — and Khan would also be a victim.
Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy promotions, who manage Khan (below), says: ‘Amir will be in line for a fight with Floyd so long as he comes through this tough battle with Peterson.
We are looking for him to move up to welterweight for one fight before taking on Floyd.
‘But if he looks sensational in regaining his light-welter title from Peterson, he could go straight to Mayweather later this year.’
First, Mayweather must fulfil his end of the deal. Cotto’s only defeats in a multi-world title career came against Antonio Margarito, whose gloves were ‘loaded’, and in a beating from Pacquiao, when he struggled to make the weight. But he looked rejuvenated when taking revenge against Margarito in a fair fight.
Mayweather has come up to the full light-middleweight poundage to fight for Cotto’s WBA world title, accepting a physical disadvantage which gives hope to the thousands of Latin American fans who will throng the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The outside chance of an upset is also predicted to draw a huge pay-per-view audience here in America. I expect Mayweather to extend his unbeaten record, picking off the aggressive Cotto to record a late stoppage or points victory.
Mayweather reassures his followers: ‘Cotto has good movement but I will be sharper and quicker and keep him where I want him. I will beat him.’
Khan will be hoping he is right but it is likely to take time. – Daily Mail