On 7 May 2016, British boxer, Amir Khan, will take on Santos Saúl Álvarez in front of a 20,000-strong crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in a battle for the WBC Middleweight belt. So what could this title fight have in store and how do the two boxer’s records compare?
Canelo Álvarez – Fighting in Front of a Supportive Crowd
The fact that this title bout is taking place on the Cinco de Mayo weekend would make an Álvarez win even more of an occasion for the Mexicans cheering on their countryman in Vegas. The 25 year old, nicknamed ‘Canelo’ on account of his red hair, will be defending the title that he took from Miguel Cotto, when he defeated the Puerto Rican on points at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on the 21st of November 2015.
With a record of 46 wins (32 by knockout), one draw and one loss to his name, Álvarez has more professional experience than Khan. Known for his powerful, close combination punches, the 5’9″ fighter was Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion in 2005 and turned pro aged just 15.
Álvarez added his first world title belt to his collection of boxing trophies in March 2011, beating Matthew Hatton at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Critics pointed out that Álvarez had the advantage before the pair even entered the ring. Hatton was fighting in the weight division above his usual one and Álvarez failed to make his own pre-agreed weight. Nonetheless, Álvarez became the youngest ever WBC Light Middleweight (154lb) Champion.
Since then, Álvarez has defeated fighters such as Ryan Rhodes, Alfonso Gomez, Kermit Cintrón, Shane Mosley and Austin Trout. His only loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr., in September 2013.
Amir Khan – Is the Underdog Set for Shock Win?
Amir Khan’s record of 31 wins (19 KOs) and three losses, whilst impressive, isn’t quite as good as that of his opponent, and the Bolton-born boxer will be fighting two weight divisions above his preferred option too.
On paper, therefore, Álvarez seems to have the advantage, but the 29 year old Brit certainly has the potential to cause an upset on the night. Former double World Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman, thinks so, at least. He told the Los Angeles Times that if the Mexican is over-confident, Khan could have the edge. “Khan is so fast and he has a knack for landing body punches, which could assure him he’ll get a 12-round decision. He’s a good body puncher”, he said.
Khan shot to fame when he won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens and he turned professional the following year. He won his first world title in July 2009 at the Manchester Arena, when he defeated Andreas Kotelnik by a unanimous decision to become the WBA Light Welterweight World Champion.
He successfully defended that title against Dmitriy Salita in October of the same year, knocking his opponent out after just 76 seconds. Khan went on to defend it again against Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana, then unified the WBA and IBF Light Welterweight titles in July 2011 with a victory over Zab Judah.
His last fight, against Chris Algieri from America, took place in May 2015, and Khan won on a unanimous decision, securing himself the WBC Silver Welterweight title for the fourth time in his career.
Do you think Amir Khan can take the title in Las Vegas or are you expecting Álvarez to win? We’d love to hear your predictions. Just leave a comment below.