Canelo Alvarez will defend his WBC middleweight title against Amir Khan at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
This clash is undoubtedly the most highly-anticipated fight of the year as the boxing world was left stunned when the official announcement came in February.
Alvarez [46-1-1, 32KOs] was still fresh from his win over Miguel Cotto last November, while Khan [31-3, 19KOs] was looking for his major fight after being shunned by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
That ultimately led to this bout being made, and although the middleweight world title is on the line, it will be contested at a 155lbs catchweight.
It’s no surprise that this fight has been billed as ‘Power vs Speed’, with Alvarez proving in his previous outings that he possesses knockout power, while Khan’s rapid hands remain his biggest weapon.
Nevertheless, both men have weaknesses and they have been well documented over the years. From Canelo’s struggles with quick and tricky fighters to Khan’s chin being brought into question after some devastating losses, all these factors merely add to why this is such a fascinating fight.
Add to the mix the question marks over Khan’s ability to step up two weight divisions and having been out of the ring for a year, will he cope with a fighter that is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport?
In contrast, Alvarez has struggled against the likes of Erislandy Lara and particularly Floyd Mayweather. The blueprint for how to beat the Mexican has been produced by the latter, who exposed Canelo’s flaws in that fight with his superior speed, reflexes and defensive skills.
It’s easier said than done to suggest that Khan merely has to follow in his footsteps, as ultimately the Brit is no Mayweather.
Prediction: Canelo by stoppage between rounds 6-9. Expect Khan to remain elusive in the early rounds and produce some flashy work as Canelo walks him down and settles into the fight.
However, through a combination of Alvarez catching him with some occasional heavy shots and Khan’s inexperience fighting at this weight, the challenger could slow down as the fight goes on and that will leave him open to dangerous situations.
This isn’t going to be an easy fight for Alvarez by any means, but a combination of his power and timing will eventually see him produce a spectacular end to the fight.
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