Boxing Preview: Saul Alvarez vs Amir Khan Set For May – Opening Lines

khan8_2679592The news hit the boxing world like a shockwave last Tuesday night. Mexico’s box-office hero Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had chosen his opponent for the “Cinco de Mayo” celebrations, as he will be fighting Britain’s Amir Khan at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7th. Alvarez has been linked to a super-fight with Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin, but the most recent news had that fight being pushed back to later in the year. Alvarez was given mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson by the WBC, but Johnson was hurt. With Floyd Mayweather retiring, Alvarez was scheduling his next fight for the coveted “Cinco de Mayo” week and his opponent needed to be a big name – big enough to get cable giant HBO’s blessing on a pay-per-view. How can HBO and Oscar De La Hoya at Golden Boy (Alvarez’ promoter) be confused enough to think that Khan is going to be a big draw for a PPV? Two of Khan’s three losses have come in the United States, and he has never really done anything impressive in front of this audience. His last outing, a lackluster performance against Chris Algieri, erased all the good his win over Devon Alexander may have built up. Alexander was considered a decent win at the time, but the long layoff for Khan and follow-up loss for Alexander give that win little value. And now Khan is moving up to fight at 155 lbs, eight pounds heavier than he has ever weighed for a fight. Khan is fond of talking about his speed, but that could also be affected with the added weight. Khan has always been a long, rangy fighter and though he will have height and reach advantages against “Canelo”, those differences are less and less in his favor as time goes on. Khan likes to consider himself a highly technical fighter, and fighters like Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather Jr have given Alvarez his toughest fights. The problem is the only one who compares Khan to Mayweather Jr or Lara is Khan, as he has been hit in a lot of fights and is not nearly as elusive as he thinks. The benefits to Khan are obvious. Part of his inactivity over the years has been his insistence that he is worthy of a big fight, and he has been passed over time and time again. Here, he finally scores a big payday, which is what Khan wants first and foremost. He is going to be given credit for pursuing a hard fight and for going up a weight class, and if he wins, he will certainly find himself on top of the world. Likewise, a loss to Alvarez would not really harm Khan’s stock. Incredibly, the sport books have opened Alvarez a mere -335 favorite, with Khan coming back at +275. The match could potentially go the distance if Khan fights from a completely defensive posture, but even then, Alvarez is going to probably get to him eventually.

Written by Miguel

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