Mayweather sets up Maidana bout

Salisbury Journal: Floyd Mayweather will return to the ring in May Floyd Mayweather will return to the ring in May

Floyd Mayweather will face Marcos Maidana in a welterweight unification contest on May 3, quashing Amir Khan's hopes of being the WBC champion's next opponent.

Khan, 27, signed a contract in December that put him in line for a possible super-fight with Mayweather this year but admitted last week on Twitter that he did not think the fight would take place.

And now promoters Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions have confirmed that the 37-year-old will face Argentinian WBA champion Maidana instead.

"After weeks of speculation, including feedback from fans across an array of social media platforms, boxing's pound-for-pound superstar, pay-per-view king and WBC Welterweight World Champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather will face the dangerous, power-punching WBA Welterweight World Champion Marcos "El Chino" Maidana on Saturday, May 3," read the statement.

Undefeated Mayweather (45-0) launched a social media campaign earlier this month asking fans to decide which of the two men he should take on in his next bout.

"Marcos Maidana's last performance immediately brought him to my attention," said Mayweather.

"He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring.

"I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him - beat me."

Maidana (35-3), who lost to Khan in 2010, claimed the WBA belt in December with an impressive win over the previously unbeaten Adrien Broner and is confident he can dismantle another perfect record against Mayweather.

"I am extremely happy to be facing Floyd Mayweather because it will give me the opportunity to show the world that I am the best welterweight in the division," he said.

"I just handed a great defensive fighter his first loss and I plan to do the same to Mayweather. I don't care whether he's the best and undefeated."

Missing out on the Mayweather fight will come as a blow to Khan who had been holding out for a lucrative clash with the pound-for-pound number one since suffering a scare in his last fight against Julio Diaz in Sheffield last April.

The Bolton fighter had been in line to face Devon Alexander for the IBF title on December 7 but suggested on Twitter on Friday that he had delayed that for the chance to take on the Michigan native.

"No response from Mayweather or his team. Fights not happening. I should of taken the title fight last December against Alexander," he said.

"Very disrespected by his team. Wasted my time.

"Good luck to Maidana, against mayweather."

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