Canelo Alvarez produced an emphatic sixth-round knockout win over Amir Khan at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
In what was the most highly-anticipated fight of the year so far, Alvarez put his WBC world middleweight title on the line at a 155lbs catchweight, with Khan stepping up two divisions in his bid to finally land a major fight.
Billed as ‘Power vs Speed’, it certainly lived up to the tag in the early stages as Khan made a fast start and appeared to settle into his game plan well by taking the opening two rounds.
Opinion differed between broadcasters thereafter, with the HBO panel, and namely Harold Lederman, giving the next three rounds to Canelo. Meanwhile, Boxnation’s commentary team were convinced it was more 4-1 in Khan’s favour.
Nevertheless, it all became irrelevant in the sixth, as with the champion warming to the task and stalking his opponent around the ring, he eventually caught him with a heavy right that caught Khan flush on the chin.
The Brit had slowly stopped flicking his jab out and left himself completely open to the shot, and he appeared to be in real distress in the minutes that followed as he took his time to get back to his feet.
Alvarez was certainly settling after a difficult opening two rounds, but the fight was shaping up well as the two men continued to stick to the game plan in an intriguing match up.
It wasn’t to be for Khan though, as he was never going to recover from the brutal knockdown, with referee Kenny Bayless waving it off as soon as the challenger’s head bounced off the canvas.
So, what did we learn? Khan deserves an enormous amount of credit for stepping up and taking this fight. For two rounds at least, he looked like he had what it took to spring a huge surprise, but there’s no denying that Alvarez was gradually improving and that was always a question mark over the challenger.
It remains unknown as to how the night would have played out had it gone further, but Alvarez ensured that there was an emphatic conclusion with a Knockout of the Year contender.
For Khan, a move back down in weight would be the most sensible decision, but he should take some time off and assess things first. As for Canelo, he addressed talk of a unification clash with Gennady Golovkin after the fight: “I invited him [GGG)] to come to the ring because like we say in Mexico, ‘We don’t f**k around!’
“I don’t fear anyone and we don’t come to play in this sport. I’d put on the gloves again [and fight right now].”
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