Amir Khan has joined the lengthening queue to get a piece of the Floyd Mayweather money-making extravaganza, but the Bolton fighter says he has a Christmas commitment before that payday, and will have to wait until May or September next year for his chance.
"Obviously I would love to fight him," Khan said in Las Vegas, where he is relaxing after watching the 36-year-old Mayweather dazzle Robert Guerrero with all his old speed over 12 rounds to retain his WBC welterweight title.
Khan described Mayweather's performance as "a work of art" and said only an opponent with similar speed stood any chance against him.
While the champion rests the battered right hand he bounced off the Californian's head almost at will at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night to extend his unbeaten run to 44 fights, Khan looks forward to a final performance at light-welter in Las Vegas on 7 December against either Danny Garcia, who took his title from him last year, or the winner of Lamont Peterson v Lucas Matthysse.
Because of Ramadan, which runs for a month from early July, Khan was never going to be ready for a 14 September fight against Mayweather, who is still considering the challenge of the exciting Mexican Saúl "Canelo" Alvarez, the world light-middleweight champion, on that date.
The earliest Khan could fight Mayweather would be next May and, if he wants to fit in a tune-up bout at welter before then, he would be looking at September 2014. "If we can get the fight, I will take it, no question. I would be proud to fight him."
A quicker route to Mayweather would be to move up to welterweight in December and take on Devon Alexander, who defends his IBF 10st 7lb title against Britain's Lee Purdy, a late replacement for Kell Brook, on 18 May. The winner in December would then be ideally placed to challenge Mayweather in May.
It is the eternal paradox that fighters scramble most enthusiastically for bouts that present the most danger, usually because that opponent is in a position to generate the biggest purse. If Khan were to land a fight against Mayweather, he would share probably the quarter or fifth slice of a pot worth upwards of $50m (£32m).
Mayweather earned a record $32m, plus pay-per-view and residual spin-offs worth possibly another $10m, on Saturday night. Khan admitted he took a serious dip down from his usual $1m-plus purses for his last fight, in Sheffield against Julio Díaz, but he is still in favour with his American partners, Golden Boy Promotions, who also work with Mayweather, and the champion's new cable station, Showtime, with whom Mayweather has five fights left over the next 30 months.
Khan is realistic about his prospects against the finest pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and one of the greatest of all time. "I am full of admiration for him," he said, "and I can't understand people booing him at the end because he didn't knock Guerrero out. It was a terrific performance, a work of art.
"He is the best boxer in the world, without question. If someone is going to have a chance against him, it is someone with speed, and that is my best asset. So I do have a chance – with my speed and explosiveness. I would trouble him.
"It was good for him to have his father [Floyd Sr, whom Khan considered joining three years ago when he moved to America], because his defence is back. It is the best he has looked in two or three years.
"Remarkably, maybe prison [two months last year for domestic violence] was good for him. People forget that boxing is the art of self-defence, ideally hit and not be hit – and maybe we should all think about that a bit more.
"We like to entertain, but it is not our duty to do so. I have had a lot of exciting fights and been hit way too much, so that is something to think about."
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