Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana finally fight
LOS ANGELES -- In a year in which so many fights that boxing fans have wanted to see have not been made -- Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather, for example -- one of them is being delivered.
Junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan and interim titlist Marcos Maidana have reached agreement to meet on Dec. 11, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes both of them, told ESPN.com Wednesday. The HBO-televised fight will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
"We came to an agreement [Tuesday] night. Khan is on board. Maidana is on board and I am finalizing everything with Mandalay Bay," Schaefer said outside of Staples Center during a news conference promoting Saturday night's Shane Mosley-Sergio Mora HBO PPV card.
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It had been a hard negotiation with Khan preferring to fight in his native England and Maidana, of Argentina, wanting to fight on neutral ground in the United States. Schaefer said Maidana was willing to go England for a bigger payday, but Khan was unwilling to accommodate that.
So under the threat of a WBA-ordered purse bid on Sept. 21, which Maidana had asked for due to their impasse, the fight was finally agreed to.
"Amir wanted to have this fight in the U.K. and Maidana wanted the fight to be in the United States, but we worked on things and I was informed by Amir's lawyer that he would fight in the U.S.," Schaefer said. "There was some urgency for us to make a deal because of the purse bid coming up, but now we have a deal and I will inform the WBA that the fighters have reached agreement."
Had the fight gone to a purse bid, any promoter registered with the WBA could have won control of the fight, which Golden Boy did not want to happen, nor did Khan, who would have been entitled to 55 percent of the winning bid with 45 percent going to Maidana.
"We worked it out financially where everyone was happy," Schaefer said. "It was a difficult fight to put together but this was the fight I kept hearing from fans and media that they wanted to see. Golden Boy made some concessions and we got the fight done."
"I want this fight and the fans want to see this fight," said Khan, who had called Schaefer's cell phone from England and spoke to ESPN.com. "It's two explosive styles meeting up. It's the explosive puncher [Maidana] against the quick and explosive boxer. They say Maidana has a style to beat a boxer, so let's see how good he is. Maidana wants to stop me from having my legacy, but that is not going to happen. But let him try."
Khan, who will be making his third defense, will get at least $1.5 million, plus revenue from the television rights in the United Kingdom. Maidana will earn $550,000 plus an undisclosed bump if he wins the fight.
Khan (23-1, 17 KOs), 23, won an Olympic silver medal in 2004. In 2009, Khan claimed a 140-pound world title by easily out-boxing Andriy Kotelnik, who had handed Maidana his only loss, a decision, in the fight before losing the title to Khan.
Khan's first defense was a 76-second demolition of mandatory challenger Dmitriy Salita in December. In May, Khan made his American debut with a dominant 11th-round knockout of Paulie Malignaggi in New York, Malignaggi's hometown.
Khan said he has no problem coming back to the U.S. to fight Maidana.
"I'm coming to fight him where he wants to fight. But I want this fight, so I am going where he wants to fight," Khan said. "That's how much I want this fight."
Maidana (29-1, 27 KOs), 27, stopped Victor Ortiz in the sixth round in June 2009 to claim the interim belt. He's defended it three times, including a difficult decision win against former titlist DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley in Argentina on Aug. 28.
Schaefer said a second televised bout will be added to the card. He said it could involve Ortiz, if he wins his fight with Vivian Harris on Saturday's Mosley-Mora undercard. Another possibility, Schaefer said, could be a match involving fast-rising middleweight Gennady Golovkin, who is promoted by Universum, Golden Boy's partner on Maidana's contract.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
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