Canelo vs Khan: Match-up was legitWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Recently, Amir Khan announced he'll face Phil Lo Greco on April 21 in what'll be the former's first fight in two years.
The British star and former world champion hasn't fought since early May 2016 when he was devoured in one punch by Canelo Alvarez.
Was it a mistake for Khan, a welterweight, to bolt up to middleweight to fight a bigger, stronger opponent like Canelo?
Today, Amir seems to think so.
“Honestly, it’s a fight I should never have gone into because he was physically too big. I had my chances, I thought I could outbox him and be smart and not get hit but obviously he got me with a big shot," Khan told Boxing News.
Despite Khan's after-the-fact decree, fighters moving up in weight up for challenges against larger, stronger opponents is nothing new in boxing. Billy Conn vs Joe Louis...Michael Spinks vs Larry Holmes... Sugar Ray Robinson vs Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson vs Joey Maxim, Roy Jones vs John Ruiz, Marlon Starling vs Michael Nunn, Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito, Henry Armstrong vs Barney Ross, Bob Foster vs Joe Frazier and so on.
Amir Khan, with his speed, skills and athleticism, had the tools to make a fight with Alvarez interesting. In fact, I had Khan ahead at the time of the knockout.
Although a good big man usually beats a good little man, smaller men have used speed and ring guile to befuddle – and topple – larger opponents of comparable pedigrees.
Khan added, "But as an experience if I’d never taken that fight I would always have thought, ‘What would have happened?’ Now I’ve done it I can say I tried it, it didn’t work for me and that’s not going to happen again – where I move up in weight and make the same mistake.”
Canelo vs Khan shouldn't be a considered a "mistake" because Khan, the smaller man, lost as most predicted. Amir made a fine account of himself and the match-up, which pitted speed and agility versus size and power, certainly made things interesting from a fan perspective.
It was a risk worth taking.