Can Amir Khan shock the boxing world and upset Canelo Alvarez?
By Gil Quinones
Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan is set for May 7 in the brand new T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The announcement created a buzz all over social media and will continue to generate buzz until fight night. For many, it came as a surprise as Khan campaigns at 147 and has never fought above the welterweight limit in his professional career. In fact, Khan recently moved up to the welterweight division in 2014 and has only fought 3 times at 147, with his last fight coming against Chris Algieri where he looked vulnerable and struggled with Algieri’s pressure at points in the fight. It gets better, Canelo-Khan will be for the WBC middleweight title. Yup, you read that right, Amir Khan will be jumping up two weight classes and surpassing many middleweights and even junior middleweights who were chomping at the bit and trying to secure their shot at Canelo and the middleweight title.
Aside from that, on paper, this fight makes a lot of sense from a promotional standpoint. Speaking from a boxing fan's perspective, there are no bigger fan bases in boxing than the Mexican fans and the UK fans. Some of the best atmospheres in boxing have been created by these fan bases and I expect May 7th to be no different. Golden Boy Promotions (GPB), took the fight that would sell the most tickets aside from a fight with GGG, and this will pay off big for them. Canelo is coming off a career-defining victory over future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto and prior to that he filled Minute Maid Park vs. Kirkland and the Alamodome vs. Trout. Golden Boy Promotions realizes the marketability of Canelo and are also aware of the great boxing fan base across the pond and are looking to tap into that fan base. Khan may not have the following of Ricky Hatton but you can guarantee that on May 7th T-Mobile arena will have its fair share of UK fans rooting for Khan.
Now to the fight itself, Canelo Alvarez has shown continuous progress and development as a fighter. Canelo is definitely not the same fighter that stepped in the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. 3 years ago. Canelo has worked on many aspects of his game and has improved his jab, head movement and counter punching significantly since his fight with Mayweather. Even more impressive was the fact that Canelo did not fade during the Cotto fight as many predicted he would in the later rounds. Canelo was able to continue coming forward and fight toe to toe for 12 rounds with a world class fighter. Canelo has added many layers to his fight game and has made himself a dangerous opponent for whoever he chooses to step in the ring against.
As for Amir Khan, the thing that comes to mind when you hear his name is SPEED. Khan has arguably the fastest hands in boxing. If there is one advantage that Amir will undoubtedly have against Canelo it will be his hand speed. Khan can put combinations together when other fighters would normally throw a jab or one-two. When Khan lets his hands go, it is truly a sight to see. Another aspect that Khan will have the advantage in is his boxing ability. Khan can box with the best of them and moves well when he chooses to box and he will need to do just that against the bigger, stronger Canelo.
My prediction, Canelo by stoppage in the mid to late rounds. I think Khan can cause trouble for Canelo as we have witnessed many slick boxers do as they confused Canelo and made him chase them rather than cutting off the ring but I think Canelo’s size and power will be the determining factors in this fight. I have been wrong before and would not be shocked if Khan pulls off the upset because this is boxing and as we have seen many times, anything can happen.