Canelo Alvarez Vs Amir Khan – Preview and Prediction

Amir Khan moves up from welterweight to fight Mexican Canelo Alvarez for the WBC world middleweight title. the fight has been agreed at a catchweight of 155 lbs, closer to the light middleweight limit despite this being supposedly a 160 lb title.

Make of that what you will, but Gennady Golovkin patiently awaits the winner.

If Khan beats Alvarez it would elevate him to superstar status stateside and would have to go down as one of the biggest upsets so far this year, Khan however, arguably needs a career best performance to dethrone Alvarez this weekend.

Khan is coming in on the back of 3 fights in 3 years, having fought Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander in 2014 and then just Chris Algieri last year. While Khan won all 3 of those fights by wide unanimous decisions, you have to question whether that is enough activity and preparation to go into a fight of this magnitude, particularly with the move up in weight.

I didn’t feel Khan looked particularly sharp against Algieri and that turned out to be a very competitive fight, Algieri certainly wasn’t competitive recently against ‘The Truth’ Errol Spence Jr who demolished him in 5 rounds.

In his penultimate fight against Devon Alexander Khan looked excellent, speed, combinations, sharpness and and a real improvement in defence. However since then Devon Alexander’s performance in a loss to the limited Aron Martinez makes you question whether he was a faded fighter when he stepped in with Khan and whether that win was as good as it looked on paper at the time.

We know Khan at his best is an exceptional talent and has some of the fastest hands in boxing but the best Khan we have seen is at super lightweight, we really don’t know what Khan we are going to see at 155 lbs, will he maintain his explosive speed, stood face to face with Alvarez it’s hard to see much difference in size. However the truth is, Alvarez is fighting at his weight while Khan is adjusting his considerable, that has to be regarded as a significant disadvantage.

In Canelo Alvarez we know who we are dealing with, this fighter is more natural at the weight and has been fighting around the light middleweight limit for 5 years, since he was 21 years of age. We also know Alvarez has natural power and can throw devastating combinations, his hooks to the body can make you wince, he also cuts of the ring extremely well and is very good inside fighter.

While Alvarez can be flat footed at times, this is something I feel has improved and he still has this crafty elusiveness to his boxing which is achieved by his excellent upper body and head movement. Alvarez has good timing and is a good finisher. The one question mark hanging over Alvarez is his stamina, as he has seemed to gas in past fights but given the fact he has gone the championship distance on ten occasions and the ten round distance on several occasions also, he certainly has experience on his side.

My concern for Khan here is while skill for skill he can make this a competitive fight and I even expect him to do well in the early rounds if he can keep the fight long, he is going to have to take some big shots in this fight and I worry how he is going to deal with those.

Khan has been down a few times in his career and while there is no questioning his heart and bravery he certainly doesn’t have the chin and recovery ability of say Carl Froch.

This weekend he is dealing with a guy who has advantage in power, size and physical strength and taking into account Khan has only one stoppage victory to his name in the last 5 years against modest opposition, he likely needs to go 12 rounds and score a decision to have any chance of victory this weekend. 12 round means he is going to have to take some big shots at some point and I am not sure how or if he stands up to the periods of adversity he is likely to face against Canelo.

The bookmakers have Alvarez the favourite at around odds of 1/5 to 1/3 while Khan can be had at around the 7/2 mark best price, in all honestly while I don’t want to write Khan off here as I do see a way he wins this fight but taking into account the inactivity and move up in weight I would have Khan as a wider underdog in this fight.

The Bookmakers favor an Alvarez KO/TKO which can be had at 4/7 and you could really make a good argument that that is where the smart money should be going.

I think Khan does well in the early few rounds, he may even be winning the fight after 3 or 4 rounds but eventually Canelo is going to close the gap and he is going to begin getting caught with shots and once Canelo has him hurt I think he will end things very quickly and suddenly.

I think Canelo Alvarez scores a knockout somewhere around the 5th-8th round but there really isn’t too much value around for an Alvarez win by stoppage. However the play I am recommending is to take under 9.5 rounds its not great odds but I think it should be a profitable play.

PREDICTION: ALVAREZ KO6

BETTING TIP: £30 on under 9.5 rounds 4/6 Betfred 

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