This fight appears to be a mismatch in favor of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. But as you know, looks can be deceiving. Canelo Alvarez V Amir Khan is not a mismatch. But it isn’t exactly even-money either.
And here’s why I heavily favor Alvarez in this bout, based on some key numbers.
- 155. That is the amount of pounds that this fight is being fought at. Although it’s for the lineal middleweight championship of the world, the bout is being fought at a catch-weight, five pounds below the 160-pound limit. Some would think that bleeding down to 155 would be a challenge for Alvarez, but I think the greater challenge will be Khan moving up “one-and-a-half” weight divisions from his more comfortable 147-pound (welterweight) fighting weight.
- 25 & 29. Both boxers are young and in/close to their physical primes. But not only is Canelo younger in years, he’s younger in boxing years, suffering far less damage in the ring. Although he’s an action fighter, he’s taken very little damage in his 48 fights to-date. Khan, on the other hand has been in wars in some of his wins (i.e. to Marcos Rene Maidana) as well as his losses (i.e. to Danny Garcia).
- 46–1–1 > 31–3–0. Alvarez’s 46 wins are amazing given that he’s only 25 years old. And it’s not just the number of wins, it’s who they are against. He’s already defeated Shane Mosley (albeit past his prime), Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, and most recently Miguel Cotto. That’s a killer list. Khan has some very good wins against Zab Judah, the aforementioned Maidana (probably his best win), Paul Malignaggi and Devon Alexander. Not a bad list but not as formidable as Alvarez’s.
- 67% > 56%. These are the fighters’ knockout percentages. I believe that these numbers will ultimately tell the story in this fight, which I do not believe will go the distance. Both guys are boxer-punchers, but Canelo has a higher KO percentage, is the naturally bigger man, while Khan has been stopped twice and hurt on other occasions. The combination of Alvarez’s punching power and Khan’s less-than-sturdy chin are a potential recipe for an explosive, definitive ending in this bout.
I’m not here to rain on Amir Khan’s parade. However, I don’t see many advantages for him in this fight. Khan does have a strong jab, good boxing skills, and a gameplan (Floyd Mayweather’s winning blueprint against Alvarez) that he can (try to) replicate. I say try to, because he doesn’t have the footwork nor stamina that Mayweather has.
Alvarez seems to have everything going for him entering this bout. He’s fresh off of a career-defining win over the past-prime, but still very able, Miguel Cotto as well as a highlight-reel knockout victory over the “hard to stop” James Kirkland.
Given the aforementioned “numbers” in Canelo Alvarez’s favor and the momentum that he’s riding coming into this fight, look for him to emerge victorious via a 7th round TKO, retaining his lineal middleweight belt in the process.