Canelo Alvarez knocks out Amir Khan, Golovkin on the horizon
Photo Credit: John Lochner, AP Photo

Canelo Alvarez knocks out Amir Khan, Golovkin on the horizon

Canelo vs. Khan may have been the most important fight of 2016, not for the fight itself but for its implications on the boxing world.

marc-mccormack
Marc McCormack

Not many people, even those sympathetic to Amir Khan’s underdog narrative, are surprised by the result of Canelo vs. Khan in the T-Mobile Arena. Khan was surprisingly efficient through the first few rounds, but in the end it was the big puncher who was able to do what he did best, land the big punch.

Khan comes out strong early

Throughout the first two rounds of the bout, Amir Khan was the undisputed winner. He moved, he jabbed, and at times he actually seemed to hurt Canelo Alvarez, something that some very good boxers have not been able to do against the Mexican Middleweight. The third through fifth rounds were a bit more contested, but a case could have been made for Khan in two of the three rounds.

Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez battling it out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez battling it out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In these rounds, Canelo’s boxing vastly improved and he was able to chip away at Khan’s body. It may have not bore immediate fruits like Khan’s jabs to the head were, but they set up a knockout that was somehow cleaner than Canelo’s KO of James Kirkland a year earlier. Canelo landed a ferocious right hand to the face of Khan as the Brit fell to the floor immediately.

The fight was an interesting one: Canelo was the clear winner but Khan looked better in defeat than he has in his last five victories combined. The post-fight, however, happened so quickly that it almost made the fight itself an afterthought. 

First and foremost, a posse of trainers, doctors, and Canelo himself crowded around the out-cold Khan to make sure the British fighter was okay. Once he was up and breathing, the post-fight proceedings began.  Gennady Golovkin, a fellow Middlweight titleist and boxing’s current Pound-for-Pound King, stepped into the ring. Canelo all but gave confirmation that the fight would happen, and as icing on the cake Amir Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter himself both agreed that a fight between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin should happen next. 

In his post-fight interview, Hunter mentioned that Khan-Canelo should be a precedent of boxing returning to its roots; fighters fighting each other instead of ducking out the way. It was an interesting moment that topped off a post-fight sequence almost as gripping as the fight itself, no easy task considering how competitive the fight was.

For Khan, another big boxing payday is likely on the horizon, probably at his more natural weight of 147. 

Gennady Golovkin on the way?

For Canelo, however, the fight proved a gigantic step towards boxing superstardom. But before he reaches it, he has to fight the one man still in his way: Gennady Golovkin.  

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