Fight fans have waited for months to see who will fight unbeaten US welterweight star Floyd Mayweather Jr next, but rival Adrien Broner might have already made the decision for him.
And it could set the stage for a Mayweather showdown with Britain’s Amir Khan in May.
Broner revealed on Monday that he has exercised a rematch clause in his contract to again face Argentina’s Marcos Maidana, who took the WBA crown from him by unanimous decision on Dec. 14 in San Antonio, Texas.
“Minor set back for a major come back,” Broner said on his Twitter page. “This rematch will be great.”
Mayweather has hinted that either Maidana or Khan would be his next opponent for a planned May 3 bout in Las Vegas, while denying reports that he might make a deal to fight Philippine icon Manny Pacquiao, whose promoter Bob Arum is someone Mayweather has vowed not to work with.
Mayweather, 45-0 with 26 knockouts, beat Mexico’s previously undefeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by unanimous decision in September last year for the WBA and WBC light middleweight titles, setting pay-per-view income records in the process.
ESPN reported on its Web site that Golden Boy Promotions is looking at an April 19 or April 26 rematch date in Los Angeles or San Antonio, which would take Maidana out of the running to face Mayweather in early May.
Broner exercised his rematch option of Friday, ESPN said, but Maidana posted a Twitter message on Saturday saying nothing was settled.
“We don’t have anything confirmed for next fight,” Maidana posted. “Not a rival, not a date. Now it’s resting time and evaluation of best options.”
Maidana, 35-3 with 31 knockouts, twice knocked down Broner, 27-1 with 22 knockouts, in their meeting last month.
Khan, 28-3 with 19 knockouts, withdrew from a planned fight in December last year with US southpaw Devon Alexander, fueling speculation he would be the next foe for Mayweather. The 27-year-old Englishman has not fought since beating Julio Diaz in England in April last year.