Two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will make the first defense of his WBC Middleweight world championship on Saturday night against former Jr. Welterweight world champion Amir Khan at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight, which will be fought at a catchweight of 155lbs. will be Khan’s first above the 147lb. Welterweight division.
Although most would consider Khan an underdog as this fight approaches he is a fighter with quick hands and solid lateral movement. In thinking of how Khan can be successful in this fight, this observer feels that it would perhaps be to Khan’s advantage that he look to establish himself as an elusive target from the outset and look to out box Alvarez over the course of the twelve round championship bout. Khan however, has been known in the past for his willingness to engage with opponents, which has led to his downfall in fights against Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia.
Even though there is no disputing Khan’s skills and championship pedigree, the possibility certainly exists that if he chooses to be a stationary target that he could get caught in exchanges with Alvarez, who is a solid counter puncher and will likely have an edge in terms of punching power. Khan was most notably caught in exchanges against Danny Garcia at 140lbs. and was subsequently knocked out in four rounds.
For a fighter in Khan, who has failed to secure lucrative fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the past, this opportunity against Saul Alvarez should be considered the biggest fight of his career as well as an opportunity to establish himself as a pay-per-view draw as this will be the first time the British star Khan will headline a pay-per-view card in the United States. Based on both the struggle he has faced in securing a lucrative fight against a star of the sport as well as moving up in weight that Khan will look to impose a tactical fight plan and may not be as willing to exchange with Alvarez as has been the case in other fights in his career.
It is logical to assume that the champion Alvarez will look to impose his will on Khan from the opening bell as well as look to neutralize the challenger’s movement by cutting the ring off and applying pressure. Alvarez, who has won forty-six of forty-eight professional fights has a career knockout percentage of nearly 68% and is coming off of a unanimous decision over former multi-division world champion Miguel Cotto in November of last year where he won the WBC Middleweight world championship.
Alvarez is also known for his Boxing ability as well as his ability to score knockouts. It will be interesting to see if Khan’s noted hand speed might be effected by the move up in weight. If Khan can be as effective a combination puncher as has been the case as a Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight it could pose an interesting challenge for Alvarez, who is a very compact fight both offensively and defensively.
Alvarez-Khan will headline a four fight pay-per-view card broadcast in the United States by HBO Pay-Per-View. The official bout sheet for the card is as follows.
Main Event: WBC Middleweight world championship – 12 Rds.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (Champion)
Amir Khan (Challenger/former unified WBA/IBF Jr.Welterweight world champion)
Vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) Middleweight Title – 10Rds.
Vacant WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title – 10Rds.
Welterweight – 10Rds.
An interesting question that surrounds Alvarez-Khan no matter is will the winner agree to face undefeated WBA/IBO/IBF Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin, who also holds interim championship status in the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) Middleweight ratings per his victory in a title defense over previous WBC number one contender Marco Antonio Rubio in October 2014 has moved himself into position as being regarded as the number one fighter in the Middleweight division after sixteen successful title defenses, successfully unifying three of five recognized world titles in the division, and twenty-two consecutive knockouts. Although Alvarez-Khan figures to be an intriguing battle between two world-class fighters, no matter who emerges victorious Boxing fans and experts alike will likely call for the victor to agree to a fight with Golovkin later this year. We will see what happens when Alvarez and Khan square off on Saturday night.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Alvarez vs. Khan takes place tonight (Saturday, May 7th) at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. In the United States and Canada the fight card will be televised on a pay-per-view basis by HBO Pay-Per-View as well as online at www.CaneloKhan.com at 9PM ET/6PM PT for $69.95 HD/$59.95 (Standard Definition). Contact your local cable/satellite provider or visit: www.CaneloKhan.com for ordering information. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the card can be seen on BoxNation at 1:30AM (Sunday, May 8th Local UK Time.)
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