The Blog

Khan Vs Alvarez: The Matador and the Bull?

So, one of these men is exaggerated and we are about to discover which. Amir Khan against Mexican Champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez for the World Middleweight Title is set for May the 7th and it makes for an intriguing matchup. The British man Khan still calls himself 'King' despite three losses, (two by knockout) and all three by second and third tier fighters at best. True, he has beaten some good guys too-but no one great or in their prime. He has huge ego and at times seems more concerned with money and courting celebrity than being a great fighter. Why else would he take this huge weight disadvantaged gamble? He has also had long periods of inactivity. These factors combined could well be his downfall on this occasion. Khan would have us believe that this will play out like the fight between Mayweather Vs Baldomir in 2006 that was truly the Bull against the Matador. This was a punch perfect performance by Mayweather who hit and moved all night in what was a boxing exhibition. Someone once said perfection has no place in boxing if you want to thrill the fans; they want fighters to stand and trade. In any case Khan is no Mayweather by any stretch but he is very fast and will no doubt be formulating his strategy on how Floyd beat Alvarez. He will also be hoping the extra weight he is now carrying will put some more mustard on his punches so he can discourage Alvarez coming forward as Mayweather did.

But can Khan truly be described as the Matador in this fight then? He certainly has the speed of punch required but is often found guilty of putting his great skills on display in little set pieces rather than following a strategy to win a fight. He can also be inconsistent, is not entirely elusive and most worryingly, he has a very fragile chin. This means he has a tendency to lose his shape and fall apart when hurt.

Canelo by contrast does not show off but he always shows up. He is a solid performer and is teak tough. He has fairly impressive victories over Cotto, Austin Trout (who had beaten Cotto) James Kirkland, Shane Mosley and Carlos Baldomir and he has lost only once on points to Mayweather which carries no shame at all. Alvarez also seems to have improved since that loss and must be considered as much more than a mere 'Bull' in the ring but can he effectively cut the ring off on someone with quick feet like Khan within twelve rounds? It's these intangibles that make this fight very interesting. There is a lot at stake. Having said that, and perhaps we're all hardened by the brawl that passes for debate on this website's comments section but this being called a 'Superfight' really should be referred to trading standards. Khan really hasn't beaten anyone grand and even Canelo's greatest victory was a debatable decision over a faded Miguel Cotto. Yet it still seems quite an uncharacteristically smart move by Khan has he appears to have the least to lose and yet the most to gain.

I personally put Khan in the same category as several other deluded idiots in boxing such as Adrien Broner, Tyson Fury, Audley Harrison, etc, in as much as while he doesn't exactly spout such juvenile rhetoric as those guys do he does have an excuse for every loss he has suffered, he says great fighters are ducking him out of fear and he goes through trainers like most people change their socks.

However, in the final analysis, If Khan gets knocked out in this fight no one will be really that surprised. Canelo has the power and the talent to do so and no excuse if he does not. Remember, even the crude Danny Garcia, who telegraphs every punch he throws managed to connect with Khan's chin when his concentration lapsed. But, if Amir has improved to the degree that he and his great trainer tells us that he has and manages to beat Canelo Alvarez the humiliation for him can barely be contemplated.

What would be the future for the Mexican superstar? It's all hanging in the balance......