Amir Khan is set to face Canelo Alvarez this coming Saturday in the bright lights of Las Vegas.
The British boxer has experience fighting in the boxing capital of the world, but not in a fight of this magnitude. Clearly, this is a massive fight for Khan, but being a seasoned pro, I’m sure he’ll take it all in his stride.
This contest is probably causing fight fans more mental torture trying to figure out how it might pan out than any fight I can remember in recent times.
Mayweather v Pacquiao had opinions divided but most were unwavering in who they believed would be the victor, but in this curious case, it’s almost impossible to predict!
To be honest, the possible outcomes have rattled around in my brain since the fight was announced and I’m writing this none the wiser!
This fight is big, but its Canelo’s size that’s expected to cause Khan problems. He has had time to adapt to the catch-weight of 155lbs whereas Khan has not. That, I believe, could lay the biggest part in this fight.
Khan actually possesses a reach advantage over the Mexican and is only half an inch shorter so the pair are similarly matched in dimensions, however, our guy is coming up two weight divisions to meet Saul and that’s the biggest disadvantage right there.
Khan’s speed will be key to countering Canelo’s natural bulk advantage. Having said that, Khan has bulked up to make the lowered middleweight limit, I just hope this doesn’t slow him down.
In clips of Khan’s training doing the rounds on social media, the speed looks like it’s still evident despite the weight-gain.
So, too, does Canelo’s, perhaps his own swiftness has been overlooked somewhat in this match-up? He has been a lot more elusive and light on his feet since the Mayweather loss back in 2013.
(The final pre-fight press conference recap from HBO):
Khan is known for having a fighter’s heart which has got him into trouble in the past. He wears his heart on his sleeve and comes undone for it, like we witnessed against Danny Garcia in 2012, when he was knocked out in the fourth round.
More recently he stood in the pocket and went toe-to-toe with Chris Algieri for the WBC Silver welterweight title.
Arguably, Algieri isn’t the puncher that Alvarez is, but he still managed to rock Khan less than 20 seconds into the first round with a sweet right hand, he continued to have success with the straight right, even though Khan went on to win unanimously – one judge scoring the contest just two rounds apart.
Khan clearly can’t allow Canelo that kind of success, his discipline has to be that of an SAS soldier!
When Canelo met Cotto in his last outing, I thought he was guilty of throwing too many single shots. Again, this is something he cannot afford to do against the speedy Brit.
Alvarez needs to be aggressive and get on the front foot, throwing concussive combinations. Khan will be using his sharp jab and elusiveness to keep out of harm’s way and will unleash ferociously fast combinations to ensure he gains a large points lead early on.
If his heart rules his head and he stands there and trades, then Canelo will win by KO. Khan is a fantastic fighter but he is only ever one punch away from losing.
Top trainer – Virgil Hunter needs to be credited with Khan’s revival after back-to-back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The Peterson defeat was debatable but the Garcia loss was as conclusive as you could get! Both he and Breidis Prescott – back in 2008 – have demonstrated the consequences of Khan going in with a puncher.
Whoever succeeds in dictating their style and game plan wins, in my eyes! With the highly-respected and tactical master – Virgil Hunter in his corner, I tend to favour Khan on points.
British boxing is booming right now and let’s hope the momentum continues in Vegas baby!
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