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As Mayweather opponents, both Maidana and Khan are intriguing

Amir Khan's durability is suspect, but he is a suitably charismatic opponent for Floyd Mayweather.
Amir Khan's durability is suspect, but he is a suitably charismatic opponent for Floyd Mayweather.
SCOTT HEAVEY --GETTY IMAGES

Floyd Mayweather probably will fight on May 3, as he nearly always does on the Saturday of Cinco de Mayo. Since he certainly won’t be fighting Manny Pacquiao then, the most interesting prospective opponents seem to be Marcos Maidana and Amir Khan.

Although neither has been a welterweight as long as Mayweather has, Maidana and Khan are arguably the two most attractive darkhorses in boxing.

Khan held on to beat Maidana in 2010 and knocked him down in the first round, but there’s probably more demand for Maidana-Mayweather in the wake of the Argentinian’s sensational December victory over Adrien Broner, who seemed to be the second coming of Mayweather until that night.

Andre Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, became Khan’s trainer after the apparently glass-jawed Briton was stopped by now pre-eminent 140-pounder Danny Garcia in 2012. Hunter says Khan could beat Mayweather, but really, Khan’s body of work is so weak that his 2009 win over washed-up Marco Antonio Barrera may be his signature victory, and he hasn’t fared well since the Maidana fight.

Whereas Nonito Donaire’s trainer, Robert Garcia, clearly has reformed Maidana to the point that it’s hard to believe he was thoroughly outclassed by Devon Alexander only two years ago. Maidana also has wins over Victor Ortiz, Eric Morales and Josesito Lopez.

Khan is one of the quickest welterweights and might be able to crack Floyd once or twice in the first or second round. But Mayweather is quite capable of knocking Khan out.

Mayweather also is capable of schooling Maidana more thoroughly than Alexander did. But when Maidana knocked Broner down in the first round, he seemed capable of reaching anyone, even Mayweather, and that’s why Maidana probably will get the shot.