Photos: Will Hart
By Frank Della Femina
It’s not your average day in Las Vegas when tourists and locals alike are greeted by a wet, sub-60 degree day. But then, it isn’t your average fight when one combatant finds himself jumping two weight classes, either.
After a week of fight festivities and months of preparation, Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez stepped on the scales outside the newly-built T-Mobile Arena, the enthusiasm of the fans in attendance not dampened by the constant threat of rain. If measured in terms of head count, the crowd was likely a 70-30 split in favor of Canelo. If measured in rowdiness: well, the British fan base travels well, and we’ll leave it at that.
Khan, the man stepping up two classes for Saturday’s PPV match, tipped the scales at an even 155, and Canelo weighed in at the same mark. Where Canelo looked taught and tight, sporting a six-pack and flat stomach, Khan carried his extra midsection weight in the form of, for lack of better words, padding.
And so the question remains as we close in on fight night. Does this remain a tale of power vs. speed, or will Khan find ways of leveling the playing field by using his new weight to an advantage?
“Punches in bunches” is what Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya expects to see Saturday night. CompuBox numbers would appear to support that claim, as both fighters combine for nearly 100 punches thrown per round. And while Khan is confident in his power and speed, he has said during fight-week events that he’s not looking for the knockout, but won’t ignore the opportunity if it presents itself.
The general sentiment on media row suggests that Khan’s best bet is to survive the full 12 rounds – that, should it go to the cards, assuming he wasn’t completely dominated, then perhaps he has a betting chance. This consensus comes not only from a lack of confidence in Khan’s power relative to his opponents, but also in consideration of the fact that his last knockout came five years ago against a diminished Zab Judah.
As for Canelo, fresh off a year in which he earned a decision victory over Miguel Cotto and a destructive KO3 win against James Kirkland, little is in doubt. Beaming with confidence and appearing no different than before any of his previous wins, he would appear to be set for business as usual. We’ll find out for certain come Saturday night.
Official weights from Vegas:
Canelo Alvarez: 155 lbs.
Amir Khan: 155 lbs.