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Canelo vs Khan Trashed by Critics: Is Size Everything?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Many in the boxing community, including Julio Ceasr Chavez Jr and Paul Malignaggi, are voicing their displeasure over Canelo vs Khan.

The prevailing tone among fight enthusiasts is Canelo is too big and too strong for the presumably smaller, weak-chinned challenger.  In fact, one boxing writer suggested Gennady Golovkin vs Dominic Wade, which will take place a few weeks earlier, will be the more compelling fight.

(Image courtesy of BoxingEgo)

In-step with the fight's critics, former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (49-2-1, 32 KOs) thinks the middleweight title fight between Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez, which will be fought at a 155 lb catchweight, should not be sanctioned.

“Canelo fight with all due respect is an embarrassment to the middleweight,” Chavez Jr. wrote via Twitter. “A 140 (pounds) fighting at that weight (155 lbs) dishonors box (sic). We all know who wins.”

And another active, former champion agrees.

“I feel that weight classes should be respected a lot more,” Paul Malignaggi recently told Fight Hype. 

It’s a tough situation to win and you can get hurt. From Canelo’s standpoint, it’s not much of a risk of a fight."

"Just because you put two big names in with one another doesn’t mean they should be fighting each other because they’re in vastly different weight classes."

"Canelo, already being a big puncher, and now he’s fighting a smaller guy. I think his punching power can be even more devastating."

They make weight classes for a reason, and I think this fight is a waste of time. It’s easy pickings for him [Canelo], and it keeps him moving in the right direction."


Floyd Mayweather was considerably smaller than Canelo, too. Manny Pacquiao was much smaller than Antonio Margarito. Sugar Ray Leonard was dwarfed by Donny LaLonde and Roberto Duran was naturally smaller than Iran Barkley.

Roy Jones dominated a much larger John Ruiz while Evander Holyfield, a puffed-up cruiserweight, defeated a slew of top heavyweights.

 And remember how Pernell Whitaker, a natural lightweight, rose from the deck to defeat jr middleweight champion Julio Cesar Vasquez (then 53-1) to capture the latter's title?


It's not terribly uncommon for a great little man to defeat a very good big man. On occasion, it happens. 

And no one seemed to have a problem with Mayweather, Pacquiao, Jones, Whitaker and Holyfield fighting much larger opponents. 

...But, of course, they are also all-time greats.

Perhaps the criticism of Canelo vs Khan is a partial indictment of Amir's abilities, in addition to the fighters' difference in natural size?

On May 7, perhaps we'll find out if Amir Khan is, in fact, great.


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