On Saturday night, Amir Khan will go to war in his toughest fight yet with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, for the WBC, and The Ring, middleweight championship of the world.
It is the classic boxing matchup, speed vs. power. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the heavy favorite with boxing fans and bookmakers alike. He is the reigning WBC, The Ring, and lineal middleweight champion of the world, and he will be defending his titles against the British challenger at a catchweight of 155 lbs.
Amir Khan will need to be lightning fast, and clinical in both his attack and defense if he is to emerge victorious, moving in and out of his opponent and landing multi-punch combinations. Performing this without taking any of Alvarez’s lethal power punches will be his most difficult task, and one that his coach Virgil Hunter will be instilling into his fighter.
At an Age of just 25, Saul Alvarez has an impressive record of 48 fights, 46 wins (32 knockouts), 1 loss and 1 draw, with the only defeat on his professional record being a majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, winning his last four fights, most notably a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto in his last fight in November 2015, in which he won the very titles he will be defending.
After 34 fights, 31 wins (19 knockouts), 3 losses (2 knockouts), Amir Khan’s professional career has been as much a struggle as a success. Back-to-back losses in 2011, and 2012, to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia left him without a world title, and wondering whether he would ever get his shot on the world stage with an elusive fight with either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather.
It turned out, he wouldn’t get either of the fights he had pursued, and, since then, he has won five straight professional contests, retiring Carols Molina in the 10th, and unanimous decision victories of Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander, and Chris Algieri have led him to his middleweight title contest with Saul Alvarez.
Though much of the media’s focus is on the fight between Alvarez and Khan, many of the questions leading up to the fight have turned to what the likely bout for the winner would be. In all likelihood, the winner would face Gennady Golovkin in a unification fight for the middleweight titles at 155lb.
Gennady Golovkin is a dangerous fighter for either opponent, and a fight between Alvarez and Golovkin has fight of the year potential in it, as both men are hard hitting, tough middleweights. Golovkin has won all 17 of his world title defenses by knockout, he has the highest knockout rate at 91.2%, the highest any middleweight in history, and he has never hit the canvas in his professional career let alone been knocked out.
If Khan establishes his game plan early, the fight will progress into the middle rounds and he could attempt to force a majority decision victory. However, Canelo Alvarez is too good a fighter on the inside to not be able to hurt Khan, and from the 6th round onwards, if this occurs, I believe he will force a stoppage, or catch Khan and win by knockout.
(Images – RingNews24/HBO/BoxingNewsOnline/TheGuardian)