Canelo vs Khan: Prediction and keys to fightWritten by Jason Leach
This Saturday night in Las Vegas WBC / RING Magazine middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) will take on former two division champion Amir Khan (31-3,19 KOs).
Given it will be Khan’s first fight above 147 pounds and the fact he has been knocked out and down against much smaller men, he is a huge underdog in this fight. Still, Canelo can’t take Amir lightly or he’ll be on the wrong end of one of the biggest upsets in boxing over the last 10 years.
Here are the 3 keys to victory for each man.
Keys for Canelo
1. Use your size advantage - Canelo’s biggest advantage in this fight will be his size. He should utilize his size to rough up Khan early and often. Sometimes Canelo negates this advantage by trying to out box smaller fighters. He needs to force Khan to the ropes and corner and utilize his size and strength advantages.
2. Work the body- the best way for Canelo to nullify Khan’s speed advantage is to work the body. Canelo should be able to connect often to Khan’s body since Amir will likely have a high guard to protect his chin.
3. Don’t spend too much energy chasing Khan - Perhaps the biggest weakest with Canelo is his slow feet and his inability to cut off the ring. What Canelo can’t afford to do is exspend energy trying to run after Khan. Canelo fatiguing against a faster and quicker fighter may be the only way Canelo can lose this fight. Alvarez must do a better job cutting off the ring against possibly the quickest opponent of his career.
Keys for Khan
1. Box cautious- Khan has already been knocked out twice and now he’s fighting at the highest weight of his career against a really good puncher. Khan needs to be more defensive and less reckless in this fight than any fight in his career.
2. Flurry and get out the way- Khan’s biggest advantage in this fight is his hand speed. As a result, he needs to flurry by throwing three and four punch combinations and getting out of the way before Canelo can counter. Don’t be surprised if he tries a similar tactic that Sugar Ray Leonard did against Marvin Hagler by flurrying at the end of each stanza to try to steal the round.
3. Stay off the ropes- Khan will be at a huge disadvantage if the bigger Canelo is able to get him to the ropes. Khan must use his footwork to keep the fight in the center of the ring at all costs.
Canelo vs Khan Prediction- Khan will box more cautiously than usual but, in the end, will resort to his old ways of being too bold. Look for him succumb to the lure of a brawl and get into exchanges thus leaving himself open to counters.
Canelo wants to make a big statement since he’s fighting on Cinco De Mayo weekend. Look for Canelo to stop Khan in Round 5.