(Reuters) – With the date and venue already inked in, five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. has asked his fans on social media to choose his next opponent from either Britain’s Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana of Argentina.
Mayweather, who outboxed Mexican Saul Canelo Alvarez in his most recent bout in September, has a perfect 45-0 record and is expected to announce shortly who he will fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 3.
“I’m going to let the fans vote. Tell me who I should fight next. Khan or Maidana?” Mayweather posted on his personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday.
Nicknamed “Money” for his flamboyant and often extravagant lifestyle, Mayweather is known for his creative stunts and his taking to social networks for advice on his next opponent comes as no surprise.
Though many boxing fans would love to see Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao take on the American in what has long been a heavily anticipated matchup, Khan and Maidana now appear to be the two most logical options.
Pacquiao lost much of his appeal after successive defeats to American Timothy Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, prompting talk of his possible retirement, while Khan and Maidana both have time on their side.
Englishman Khan, a 27-year-old who is a two-time world champion, has compiled a 28-3 record with 20 knockouts and is known for his hand and foot speed, as well as his charisma.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, who used to coach Khan, believes the Briton has all the attributes needed to hand Mayweather his first ever defeat as a professional.
“I’ve always said Amir has the right style to beat Floyd if he fights correctly and doesn’t stay in the pocket too long,” Roach told reporters earlier this year. “I always thought he could beat him with his speed.
“I think he’s faster than Mayweather and that’s what it takes to beat him. Floyd might have his hands full on the night.”
Maidana, 30, has a professional record of 35-3 with 31 knockouts and won his most recent bout in December with a unanimous decision against the heavily favored American Adrien Broner to claim the WBA welterweight title.
Whether Mayweather’s next opponent is Khan or Maidana, or perhaps someone else, that boxer will face a daunting task against one of the best defensive fighters of all time.
Aged 36, Mayweather is known for his conditioning and meticulous preparation, and produced a masterclass when he beat Alvarez by majority decision at the MGM Grand to take the Mexican’s WBA and WBC super welterweight titles.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)