It’s all everybody in boxing circles is talking about. Amir Khan today announced his next opponent – a step up in weight to face the dangerous Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the 7th of May in Las Vegas.
Following the announcement, it didn’t take long for the tirades of abuse to arrive. Nobody is giving Amir Khan a chance in hell, with the public consensus being that Canelo will shatter his ‘glass jaw’ with his size and power advantage. But do people have a point? Does Amir Khan genuinely have no chance whatsoever?
Almost all factors do point towards a Canelo knockout. Khan is stepping up into unknown territory after long periods of inactivity, and given his susceptibility to being put onto the canvas, you’d have to fancy the man with more power in his hands, and more experience at the weight.
In spite of being a fine technical operator and one of the most feared fighters on the planet, however, Canelo is beatable. You’d have to expect the Mexican to stalk Khan from the first bell, looking to cut off the ring at every opportunity before building pressure on the inside. What happens next depends entirely on Khan’s preparation.
Should he follow the blueprint laid out by Floyd Mayweather by staying on the outside and using his superior hand and foot speed, he has every chance.
Canelo has absolutely no reach advantage over Khan, and the Brit is certainly the quicker of the two. Should Khan decide to stand and trade in the middle of the ring (which he definitely isn’t stupid enough to do), he wouldn’t make it past three rounds.
Obviously it goes without saying that Khan isn’t as technically gifted as Mayweather (few are), but he is more than capable of going the distance and stealing a decision win behind a crisp jab and well-constructed, carefully-measured combinations.
Forget his two knockout defeats, questionable inactivity and lack of experience at 155 lbs – Khan has a real chance if he refuses to let Canelo close off the ring and get on the inside.
Don’t write him off just yet. Speed kills, after all…