Canelo Surges On, But What’s Next For Amir Khan?
By: Oz Ozkaya
Miraculous From The Mexican
Coming into this hugely awaited Vegas showdown, Mexican man Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez held a very impressive record of 46-1-1 over Amir Khan’s 31-3-0. The odds were heavily staked against Khan for this fight with a lot of bookmakers offering a win price for Khan at 4-1 and an 18-1 outside price of beating Canelo by a knockout. Having said this, the likes of Lennox Lewis, Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins all offered Khan some support prior to this fight, with all three former world champions stating that if he could stay out of Canelo’s range and box him for 12 rounds then he would almost certainly be the front runner to win on a points decision.
Just before the bell, as the referee gave his final instructions, Khan seemed to appear quite nervous, jumping and shaking as he gazed across at his opponent. Canelo however, refusing to give hardly any eye contact to his counterpart, looked completely stoic as they waited for the go ahead.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Both fighters were straight out of the traps and Khan struck first with a combined couple of quick left and rights, still Canelo didn’t look to have taken any damage.
Continuing his impressive start Khan kept the razor sharp combos coming, but Canelo still looked unfazed by his efforts. At this point you are thinking that Khan’s Jab looks strong, and that he may be more up for this than previously predicted.
The rounds ticked by after an uptight start, Khan returned to his corner each time to his trainer Virgil Hunter who would offer him praise and words of wisdom in an attempt to keep Englishman focused. The abundance of Mexicans in the arena didn’t seem too worried by Khan’s strong start, as they giddily continued to brew a lively atmosphere in the brand new 20,000 Las Vegas arena.
Coming into the 6th Khan was by far ahead 4-1 and 5-0 on some peoples score cards. Into the 6th and out of nowhere, a lightening quick Jab to khan would send a shock to the brain and BANG before you could even digest the previous punch Canelo landed a rapturous right hand that was probably felt all the way across the Atlantic in Khan’s home town of Bolton,U.K. Within a millisecond of the punch Khan crashed to the deck, immediately unconscious upon connection.
The crowd ware on their feet; their Mexican king delivered once again. And as a touch of class Canelo headed over to console his opponent as soon as the bell rung, just to see if Khan was okay. The referee was perched over Khan, trying to wake him up, and just as you thought the worst for that split second, you could see Khan’s eyes fall back into alignment and his lips start to move.
Khan’s performance was simply breathtaking, and for a little while everyone thought that it might have just not been Canelo’s night. But that should never have stopped the believers from believing, as Canelo’s record continued to speak for itself.
Canelo was announced victor by the ring announcer, the arena got louder as his name was bellowed through the arena speakers, and the Mexican audience continued to go wild knowing that they were about to embark on perfect public holiday weekend as Canelo’s victory stirred them into euphoria.
So, What Next For Amir Khan?
Prior to the epic showdown with Canelo, much of Khan’s past potential-fight speculation had been around whether he could arrange a big money fight with Floyd Mayweather, or if he would accept a challenge to do battle with Sheffield-Born long standing rival, and IBF Welterweight world champion, Kell Brook.
Having said this, there has also been a lot of talk into whether Khan may make a dramatic switch to the UFC in a bid to revitalize his sporting popularity in the octagon. However, may its because Khan knows the big money fights in boxing are rapidly drying up.
But for Kell Brook, whose promoter Eddie Hearn claimed that Khan tried to price himself out of a potential fight with Brook, will now be rubbing his hands with excitement, as its look ominous that the Khan fight will go ahead, and to Khan’s dismay probably with a 50/50 split too.
For British boxing fans it will be one of those fights that many will be eagerly awaiting, not just because of the grand occasion, but because a lot of those Khan haters in the U.K know that he is weary of Brook and they also know that Brook will most likely have a good chance of knocking the Lancashire man out.
Brook himself, who has been IBF welterweight champion for just under two years now, hasn’t really fought any reputable opponents since his remarkable victory over Shawn Porter. Opponents aside, this must surely be the next best thing for Khan. A huge return fight in the UK, against the undefeated Kell Brook will have the promoters of both camps, and the fans of both sides in a fit of tantalization.
One stone that cannot go unturned though is the physical and psychological health of Khan. This is now the third heavy KO defeat of his career, and questions will be raised as to weather he can continue to compete at this level. Contrary to scientific doubts, optimistic Promoter Oscar De La Hoya said: “Amir Khan is one of the bravest fighters on the planet. He didn’t lose anything today. He will come back.”
Maybe Khan will bite the bullet and take on Brook, and if profits are his main motive then a clash at Wembley Stadium against Brook will certainly tick that box. It’ll also be a good chance for Khan to give something back to his loyal British fans, having only fought once in England in the last five years.
All that we do know for now is that Kell Brook wants the fight badly. As soon as the fight had finished on the early hours of Sunday morning, Brook was quick to let his thoughts be known via twitter: Im here, all British showdown @amirkingkhan. As of yet Khan is yet to show any kind of response to his tweet.
Can We Rule Out Mayweather?
The answer to that is most likely, a big fat yes. For Mayweather it would be a pointless outing, and it wouldn’t prove anything to his critics. The real shame of the scenario is, that if Mayweather were to get in the ring with Khan, it would definitely be an interesting fight.
With Floyd never really being a brutish puncher like Canelo, but more a technically gifted and defensively equipped fighter, Khan probably would fare better against Mayweather than he did with the fight against Canelo.
However, all of our time would be wasted speculating about a Khan v Mayweather showdown. Mayweather at the moment seems to be embroiled in some kind of rumour mill with Irishman, and UFC fighter Connor McGregor.
If the undefeated Mayweather does decide to come out of retirement, and with recent reports suggesting that he will, it will only be for that one thing; “the money”. The fight with McGregor has the potential generate a lot of money, and the figures being thrown around recently in the media suggest it will be for an awful lot at that.