Ripe For An Upset: “King” Khan vs Canelo Alvarez
A Cinco de Mayo Event: Amir Khan vs Canelo Alvarez
In this years battle of Cinco de Mayo, Amir “King” Khan of England takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in what could either be the knockout or upset of the year. Khan vs Canelo has the potential to be a fight of the year candidate if both men implement the right game plan.
David vs Goliath
Well maybe that’s a little bit of an overstatement, but in terms of boxing, not really. Khan, who has only fought a few times above junior welterweight, is as much of a ‘David’ in this scenario as a modern day boxer (who isn’t Pacquiao) gets. Amir Khan will step into the ring on May 7th without the ability to gain much weight between the weigh in and fight night.
Weight Disadvantage Canelo?
Canelo Alvarez on the other hand will probably weigh AT LEAST a little over 170 lbs when he’s across the ring from Khan. This has worked well for him in the past, most recently allowing him to bully Miguel Cotto in a unanimous decision victory.
It may not work well for him against Khan for 2 reasons.
Canelo Alvarez is not the fastest fighter. Moving down in weight to fight lighter competition makes that fact much more obvious.
Amir Khan was considered fast at 140. Although Khan’s speed has been exploited, as he is not defensive minded when throwing combinations, Canelo may lose rounds quickly due to punch volume.
Look for Canelo to time the punches and catch and shoot counters (Especially Khan’s 1-2-1-2 combination where he leads slightly with his head, look for a counter uppercut from Canelo).
War of Attrition
Canelo has been known to fade in the later rounds, which may be a symptom of dehydration to make weight. Whatever the reason, it may be even more of an issue with a volume puncher like Khan.
If Canelo tries to match Khan’s output in the earlier rounds it may spell trouble for him past round 7. He won’t be able to afford to take any rounds off with Amir Khan.
Khan vs Canelo Keys to Victory
Canelo: Timing is key! Catch Khan in exchanges when he tends to have his non punching hand down and use the uppercut when Khan is leading with his head. Don’t try to ‘outvolume’ Khan early; instead slow Khan down by jabbing to his chest, cutting the ring off, and crowding punches. When no clear shot is available, punches to the shoulder and hip would not be a bad idea.
Khan: Jab, jab, jab! All combinations off the jab. Set the pace early and try to skate away with the first few rounds. Do not throw reckless combinations! Slow down from time to time when throwing combinations in anticipation of the counter. Make Canelo miss with his counters and the fight is yours. Exit combinations with a cleanup punch and don’t get drawn into exchanges. Box intelligently!
Amir Khan is the clear underdog and for good reason. Moving up in weight, a suspect chin, and fighting a heavy puncher all give the betting man reason to wager it all on Canelo. However, I’m picking the underdog, Amir Khan, to win this matchup by split decision. The combination of pressures of not losing on Cinco de Mayo weekend and being recently appointed boxing’s king in the absence of Mayweather and Pacquiao may be enough of a hole for Amir “King” Khan to speed through. Please note though, I will not be betting any money on this one.