Canelo Alvarez KOs Amir Khan in Round 6 on Saturday
If you watched the fight on Saturday night or looked at the scorecards, you’d see that this was a fairly even fight up until round 6. Amir Khan had the speed advantage, everyone knew this going into the bout. Considered a huge underdog, most believed he would have to be perfect in order to take the title from Saul Canelo Alvarez.
The “cinnamon haired” pride of Mexico, fighting on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo, was a near unanimous favorite. In a matchup of power vs. speed, many times all it takes is one good shot and one good shot is exactly what stopped this fight.
The monster right hand punch in the 6th round left Khan on the flat of his back, motionless — a scene reminiscent of Manny Pacquiao’s knockout of Ricky Hatton in 2009. Up until that point, two scorecards had Alvarez ahead 49-46 and 48-47 and the third had Khan with the 48-47 advantage, so this was no landslide.
Khan moved lightly on his feet and picked his spots. He essentially went into this fight with a mindset that he would attempt to duplicate the blueprint laid by Floyd Mayweather Jr. against Canelo in 2014. Speed, defense and counter punching are the keys to success against the Mexican power puncher, but Khan is no Mayweather and this 25 year old version of Canelo is just entering his prime, unlike when he faced Mayweather.
Canelo has now become a far better boxer than he was in the past, using more of the sweet science rather than relying on sheer power. He is able to adjust and adapt to what his opponent is doing so that he can win a number of ways depending on what the fight dictates. He was a little more precise on this night, landing 64 punches to Khan’s 48 and with a 38% success rate to Khan’s 29%. Having thrown only 4 more punches throughout the fight, it was clear Alvarez was more focused on picking his spots rather than chasing Khan around the ring and punching himself out.
Canelo Alvares vs. Gennady Golovkin? Possible..
After the fight, Canelo invited ringside spectator two-belt middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin into the ring. Golovkin has made it known that he wanted to fight the winner of this bout so that he could amass all the belts in the division. Short of a definitive yes, Canelo seemed willing to accept the challenge. His words after the fight: “Like I said in Mexico, ‘We don’t f— around.’ We don’t come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport. I’ll fight him right now. Let’s put the gloves on and get in there with him.”
Of course, it remains to be seen if this will actually happen. GGG has had trouble getting people to step into the ring with him. With a 35-0 record, 16 consecutive title defenses and a 22 KO streak, it’s not hard to see why fighters are reluctant to face the Kazakh crusher.
Canelo is a power puncher, but GGG is on another level. Alvarez does not want to trade blows with him because he will not like the outcome. Hopefully the politics don’t get in the way of the most logical and highly anticipated big money fight, short of a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch.
The WBC president has already declared GGG to be the mandatory opponent in order for Canelo to hold his belt. Sadly, it would surprise no one if he just relinquished the belt and went the route of a Cotto rematch, which his camp — Golden Boy Promotions — has already been discussing.
De La Hoya was quoted saying “Golovkin, make sure you answer your phone tomorrow morning, we will call you. Make sure you answer your phone tomorrow.” This sounds great, but could merely be lip service giving the public what they want to hear.
After watching this dance between Mayweather and Pacquiao for 6 years before they finally made it happen in 2015, I am reluctant to believe a fight of this magnitude will happen until the contract is signed. Mayweather-Pacquiao happened several years after their best boxing was behind them. The ages of these two boxers do not create as much of a ticking clock, but there’s no denying this is the fight everyone wants to see right now and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.
(Canelo Alvarez KOs Amir Khan in Round 6)