No matter what you may think about the recent announcement that Amir Khan will face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at a catchweight of 155 pounds for Canelo’s WBC middleweight title on May 7, it sure has had the boxing world buzzing. So much, in fact, that Khan rode his own hyperbole hype train in an interview with Ring Magazine and suggested that his fight is garnering more attention than the record breaking showdown last May between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
“I believe this fight between Canelo and I is getting more a
ttention than a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight,” Khan said. “The hype for this fight has just been unexpected. No one knew of this fight taking place or of any negotiations taking place… It’s nice to catch fans by surprise with a fight of this magnitude.”
While this fight certainly has had the boxing world talking, trying to compare this to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight that smashed PPV viewership in the United States with over 4.6 million buys and raking in over $410 million in revenue can be summed up as ambitiously overselling unrealistic expectations. But one area that this fight could surpass Mayweather-Pacquiao would certainly have to be excitement. Last year’s superfight left a bitter taste in the mouths of boxing fans after Mayweather won a relatively uneventful 12-round unanimous decision in a fight that lacked both drama and action. Khan hopes to bring the excitement and win a fight that most don’t see him having much of a chance in.
“My fight with Canelo Alvarez will be the biggest fight of the year, including the biggest upset of the year,” Khan said.
The Brit has fought as a welterweight three times in the past couple of years with victories over Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri. However, the size discrepancy may prove to be insurmountable. Although the agreed-upon weight is 155 pounds – eight more pounds than Khan is used to fighting at – it is rumored that Canelo could enter the ring at a weight of 170 pounds. In his last fight against Miguel Cotto, Canelo dwarfed his opponent and used his size advantages to negate Cotto’s power. There is concern that fighting a smaller man in Khan will yield the same results.
Obviously, Khan does not share those same sentiments.
“My boxing skills will win this fight,” Khan said. “Weight will not win this fight…My speed and athleticism will be the key factors to winning this fight.”
One person who doesn’t think it is a good idea for Khan to make the jump in weight is the man who repeatedly shunned Khan for a fight, Floyd Mayweather. While touring the UK, Mayweather addressed the upcoming showdown.
“I think that Amir Khan should have fought Kell Brook,” Mayweather said.
Mayweather suggested that the size differential would present a major issue and that Khan should have instead faced Brook for his IBF welterweight title. But the retired boxer just chalked it up to Khan attempting to surpass his achievements by moving up in weight to capture a world title.
“The reason why Amir Khan took the fight with Canelo is because he thinks that he's going to be able to do the same thing that I did,” Mayweather said. “It’s totally different. Canelo is young, strong and very, very big…I know how to make adjustments and adapt to any style. "
Khan said that he could have made more money facing Brook but opted for the bigger challenge in Canelo after negotiations with Brook stalled. “When it came down to sign (Brook) didn’t want the fight. They wanted an easy fight. And it just proves to the world that Amir Khan will fight anybody and I am not afraid of anyone.”
Ultimately, should he pull off the upset, Khan sees this as his opportunity to become the biggest name in boxing with Mayweather retired and Pacquiao soon to follow.
“Someone has to take that spot and once I beat Canelo Alvarez I will be the top guy in the world of boxing.”