Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faces an unwinnable situation against Amir “King” Khan.
If he wins, critics will downgrade his choice of opponent. If he loses, they will say he was a shuck all along.
Either way, WBC middleweight titlist Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 K0s) meets Great Britain’s very talented Khan (31-3, 19 K0s) on Saturday May 7, at the new T-Mobile Arena, knowing full well these conditions. The HBO pay-per-view event can only ensure a good bag of money for the redhead.
It’s a touchy subject whenever two words come out of someone’s mouth: “Triple G.” Alvarez must have nightmares hearing those two words over and over again.
The boxing world demands that Canelo fight Triple G and they don’t want to hear excuses. Well, some people demand. Others are quite content to enjoy Cinco de Mayo weekend with the popular Mexican champion leading the parade.
Fans will fill the seats at the new arena located off the Las Vegas Boulevard Strip. Mexican fans will arrive toting sombreros, Mexican flags, and beers in their hands. Hopefully British fans will arrive in large numbers as they did when Ricky Hatton fought Floyd Mayweather back in December 2007. The British fans rocked and rollicked like Vegas never saw before.
That’s what some hope to see.
Otherwise, this matchup between Alvarez and Khan is dangerous for the Mexican fighter simply because of the talent of the British prizefighter.
Khan has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“This is a massive fight, fighting Canelo. He is a big name around the world. Beating Canelo will definitely take me back to the top where I want to be,” said Khan, 29, who trained in Oakland, Calif. “I’ve always dreamed of being one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, and I think by beating Canelo that will definitely get me there. That is why I took this fight.”
Golden Boy Promotions’ president Oscar De La Hoya knows the worst that could happen would be a loss by Alvarez to Khan. But it was the lesser poison of the two choices. The other was to meet Gennady Golovkin.
“Amir is a very talented fighter. I think he has matured, grown in his knowledge and ring IQ and that will impact how he fights on May 7. I think the fans can count on Amir giving it everything he has in the ring on May 7, which will make for an exciting and explosive fight with Canelo,” said De La Hoya about the pay-per-view fight.
A loss by Alvarez would also leave Golovkin without a credible dance partner for a mega fight.
“I want my belt,” said Golovkin after his win last week. “I need my belt.”
Golovkin wants the green belt of the WBC to put a monopoly on the middleweight world championship.
Alvarez, if you know anything about the Mexican redhead, does not lack confidence. He truly believes he can defeat Golovkin. But business-wise, the Golden Boy think tank knows it’s not a sure thing. Nothing in boxing is a sure thing. Even a win over Khan is not a sure thing.
Injuries, like head butts during a fight, happen quite frequently. A misplaced punch can result in a broken wrist, knuckle or hand. A misplaced step can result in a dislocated knee, torn meniscus or broken ankle. Anything can happen in the ring that can change the outcome, besides a knockout or decision loss.
Boxing has no sure thing.
Alvarez will be facing one of the speediest prizefighters on the planet in Khan.
“I never underestimate anyone in the ring because anything can happen in the ring. My job is to be prepared, to be ready for the best possible fighter so I can give a great performance,” said Alvarez during his telephone conference call. “I want to fight three times this year. That’s my goal. That’s my plan. But anything can happen in this fight with Amir Khan. So sometimes you have a plan and it changes, so I’m focused 100 percent on Amir Khan and we’ll see right after that.”
The Mexican hero has tenuous hold on the WBC middleweight title and Khan wants to rip it away like a thief in the night.
Will Mexican fans be tossing their sombreros in the air or will British followers be waving the Jack?
It’s boxing. There are no sure things.