Las Vegas is traditionally a home-arena advantage for Mexican boxers over the years. This will be a major advantage for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the WBC, Ring Magazine, and Lineal Middleweight Boxing Champion, who should benefit from the momentum of “Cinco de Mayo” celebrations over the weekend.
His opponent, Amir “King” Khan, will bring on May 7th, a chin that has failed him often but a heart and boxing skill-set that often covers this sole weakness in his game. This should be a classic speed vs power duel.
“I never underestimate anyone in the ring because anything can happen,”
Canelo responded to the question of why he is fighting a smaller fighter in Khan.
“Well, he’s a fighter that’s very fast. He’s explosive.
He’s a very, very good fighter. That’s why I’m training so hard.”
Canelo holds the pole position as lead attraction for Golden Boy Promotions and boxing at large with his decision victory over Miguel Cotto. That win restored a lot of the lost prestige he suffered in his decision loss to Floyd Mayweather. Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, already feels, especially with Mayweather and Pacquiao in the twilight of their careers, that Canelo is the draw.
“He’s already proved it,”
Oscar pointed out,
“He broke records when he fought Mayweather, so he’s already there.”
Canelo agreed that criticism is part of this process.
“They are always going to have tests and I have to pass different tests,”
Canelo admitted, “I don’t think I lost any credibility. I lost to a guy that nobody beat. As far as beating Cotto, what it did, it gave me confidence.”
Coming off wins over Kirkland and Cotto has restored much of the luster but an impressve win over Khan should do a lot to set up a delicious match-in-waiting with Gennady Golovkin.
As Canelo, 25, continues to improve at his game, he has many lofty goals in mind. Canelo wants a stature in boxing that remains very much ahead of him. He understands this.
“I just have to concentrate more and keep working hard at my craft,”
Canelo’s people recognize that Khan brings a style that may not be a good fit for Alvarez. But at this point he is a self-professed complete fighter now and speaks like a fighter that believes in his body of work and how it will prepare him for someone like Khan.
“I’ve faced people like that that are fast, elusive,”
“I have the experience to be victorious May 7th.”