Sunday 8th May. 1AM. Box Nation
After nearly a year away from the ring, British favourite Amir Khan is back in Las Vegas as he attempts to win the WBC, The Ring and lineal middleweight titles against Mexican champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Khan has stepped up two weight classes for this one, although a catchweight of 155lb will be in place for this bout at the T-Mobile Arena, and knows this will be one of his toughest tests to date. But Canelo hasn’t picked an easy first defence either.
It should be a fascinating bout between two highly talented stars. Will Khan become King? Or is Canelo destined to take another step en route to greatness?
Champ In Great Shape
Saul Alvarez might not be a household name in Britain, but he’s one of the most respected names in boxing circles and is a superstar back in his homeland. After 48 professional fights, a majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather is the only defeat on his record. That in itself is testimony to his skill.
The experienced 25-year-old won the vacant WBC title with a masterclass against Miguel Cotto back in November, and his punching power could be a key asset once again here. Quite frankly, this is an area where Khan doesn’t match up, and Canero will be looking to follow a similar blueprint as he did in that last victory.
If Alvarez gets inside on a regular basis, his size should let him dictate the fight. That’s a lot easier said than done, but he is a far better mover than some give him credit for, and he’ll be confident of walking away with the belts inside the distance.
Canelo will be ready, but he should expect a war from the challenger.
Khan Set For Biggest Night Ever
Bolton’s prodigal son hasn’t had it easy away from the ring in recent years, with many touted battles falling away during negotiation stages. But he now arrives at the biggest fight of his life, and taking the title from Alvarez would surely propel King to the top table of boxing royalty.
Khan enters as the underdog for good reason as he prepares for his first bout at this weight. However, his lightning speed will pose problems, and this could be his key to stamping an authority on proceedings.
The big danger is getting caught in exchanges. The questions that still surround Khan’s chin might be a little harsh, but trading blows against a hard-hitter could end in curtains. If the challenger is to win the titles, he’ll need to box with class.
Khan is capable, but Canelo will be ready to pounce on any mistakes. One way or the other, it should be explosive.
Canelo v Khan Betting
From a bookie’s perspective, the champ is favoured to retain the belts at 1/5 with Bet365 while Khan is the 7/2 underdog.
Whilst it’s hard to argue against Alvarez, it can be a far more entertaining contest than the odds may suggest. It’s not simply a battle of speed versus power, but those attributes should provide a fascinating contrast.
It’s hard to see this one going the distance, and Khan could edge the early exchanges. Alvarez is likely to let his class shine through as the contest continues, though, and we expect him to have it done well inside the distance.