Britain’s Amir Khan has stepped up to the plate, both in terms of class and weight, as he takes on Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for the WBC, Ring and lineal middleweight titles in Las Vegas on the 7th of May. This eagerly awaited encounter has brought in a high volume of anticipation across the world. Both boxers bring lot’s of experience to the ring, with 82 fights between them.
The favourite for this encounter is certainly Canelo, attracting fans from the US, and of course, a huge audience in his home country. The power-punching middleweight only has one loss to his name, coming back in 2013 against none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since then, Canelo has had four fights, displaying his class in all four contests. His most recent victory was when he claimed the titles in November last year, where he defeated the ageing Miguel Cotto in terrific fashion. Out of his 48 contests, Canelo has won an impressive 46, with just the one draw and loss. He has quickly developed into one of the most feared fighters on the planet, his record providing evidence to suggest this.
Bolton born Amir ‘King’ Khan has earned a lot of praise for stepping up two weight divisions to take on this incredible challenge. Since back-to-back losses against Americans Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan has gone five fights in a row tasting success. Winning the WBC Silver welterweight title in May last year, Khan showcased his qualities against Chris Algieri, who is no push over. With a clash between him and fellow Brit Kell Brook fading away for the time being, Khan has decided to take on this challenge, surprising many boxing experts around the world. David Haye has had his say on the bout, stating that Khan will be an “all-time great” if he wins the contest. Talking to WorldBoxingNews, Haye also claimed “the only person on the planet who can match Floyd (Mayweather) for speed is our boy, Amir Khan.” It seems as though Khan has people right behind him, well a former WBA heavyweight champion of the world anyway, so it can’t be bad.
With the catchweight at 155 pounds it is almost certain that Canelo will exceed this weight when he enters the ring on the 7th. Usually, the Mexican goes into fights at around 170 pounds, him being at least 15 pounds heavier than the weigh-in limit. Khan believes that he himself will be in the same position as his opponent on fight night, indicating he will be in the region of 165 pounds. This will be an unusual feeling for the Brit, as it is the first time he has ever stepped up to this weight category.
Power meets speed would be a suitable headline for this encounter, with both men having their own different styles. The age difference is four years, with both men yet to reach 30. Khan at 29 could be seen as having more experience, but although Canelo is just 25, he has had more fights and been in far greater scenarios than the Brit. The only way I can see Khan causing a huge upset in this fight is if he uses his own style on the Mexican and controls the tempo. It should be an interesting watch, and I predict a lively start in the opening rounds, with the favourite ultimately coming out on top in dramatic fashion.
Two names have been thrown around for both fighters that seem the most likely opponents later down the line, with ‘Triple G’ Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook for each fighter respectively. This would mean that Khan would have to come back down to welterweight for an all British clash against Brook, as I very much doubt he would want to take on the 34-0 Kazakhstan middleweight. Golovkin v Canelo already seems like a mouthwatering unification showdown at middleweight, and will surely happen some time next year. With just a matter of days to go before Canelo v Khan is staged at the T-Mobile Arena in the States, all eyes will be purely focused on this. I’m optimistic for an intriguing fight and I really hope that Khan can at least make a fight out of it.
Written by Joe Dutton.
Sources: David Haye Quote – Daily Mail
Images – Boxing Scene, Odds Shark, Telegraph, Huffington Post and Sky Sports