Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!
By Glenn Cowan
All eyes will be on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the evening of the 7th May as Briton Amir Khan goes up against Saul Alvarez for the World Middleweight Title.
Boxing fans could well be in for a treat as Khan has moved up two weight divisions to take on the Mexican. In the early pre-fight talk, Kahn is even going so far as to suggest that Alvarez, better known by fans as Canelo will be a tougher fight than either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. Personally, I am not sure quite how he can make the comparison, having failed in his bid to take on either the pound-for-pound king or Pac Man before they hung up their gloves ! It might just be a bit of reverse psychology from the Khan camp in light of the fact that their man has jumped two weight divisions to take on what in fairness can only be described as the stronger man.
Khan’s message to his fans is that they don’t have to fear him sacrificing his trademark speed, but he knows it will be a tough fight. One thing is for sure, despite previous setbacks, the lad from Bolton firmly believed that he would always get a shot at the big time!
A Fight too far?
Despite Kahn’s impressive professional record of 19 wins by KO in 34 fights, with only 3 defeats, this Middleweight contest could backfire badly on him.To be fair, Khan has bounced back from those two defeats on the bounce back in 2011/12 when he lost to Lamont Peterson & Danny Garcia respectively. Although Khan relinquished belts in both cases, he was later re-installed as Champion by the WBA as Peterson failed a drug test.
It’s easy to understand why the Briton is brimming with confidence as he put aside the challenges of Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri in his last 5 fights.However, stepping up 2 divisions could well be his undoing. He might well be lightening fast, but his jaw will need to be made out of something other than glass if he is to deflect the power of Canelo.
Canelo’s record is no less than Khan’s with 32 KO’s coming from his 46 wins, incidentally the only two non-positive results show as a draw against Jorge Juarez, back in 2006 and a points defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
Personally I have no malice for Khan, even though back 2005 / 2006 he and his entourage rocked up to a MINI dealership that I was running in Bolton and played the old “do you know who I am” line. Sadly for Khan, I was less than impressed and declined his offer of big discount on a new car!
Whatever happens on the night of the 7th will be a defining moment for Khan. Either he will finally get the recognition he craves, or will be planning his retirement speech.
Quigley Going Quickly!
Another fight to watch out for is on the undercard of the main event in May. Unbeaten Jason Quigley will be looking to enhance his already growing reputation and gain an 11th straight win. The former Sky Sports Scholar will be taking on another tough Mexican, in the form of James De La Rosa. It should be remembered that De la Rosa took Alfredo Angulo the distance.
If Quigley does what is required he is planning a ringside seat for the main event! After all, it is likely that he will need to do some homework on a future fight with the winner.He has given his own prediction for the big fight. Khan fans look away now as the lad from Donegal is suggesting that although Khan is likely to cause problems for Canelo, due to his speed, it is very likely that the Mexican will wear his opponent down. Once Canelo is able to get inside then the extra strength and weight are likely to take it’s toll. Quigley expects the fight to go late, but for the Ref to raise Canelo’s arm with a late stoppage in his favour.
When is old too old?
In other boxing news, chatter is not dying down about a possible Nigel Benn & Chris Eubank get together. Whether this is just press talk and there is no real chance of the 52 year old “Dark Destroyer” stepping back in the right against 49 year old “Simply the Best” Eubank, it has certainly generated a degree of interest!
Another ex-pro and much loved hero has also potentially slung his hat back in the ring too!
Big Frank Bruno has muted a return to the ring, but there is definitely a huge number of people that wouldn’t want Frank putting his body and mind on the line one more time. Perhaps the most influential party on Frank’s return will be the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) as they will get the final rule over whether or not Bruno is given the all important licence to fight.
Klitschko - No Respect!
In the heavyweight end of things, the rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko has been cranked up another notch.You will all remember the lesson Fury handed out to the Ukranian back in November. Was that a one off ? Or will Fury have what it takes when the pair meetup in Manchester on July 9th ?.
The talk has started very early on this one, with Fury labeling his opponent as a “no risk taker”, and one that offers little or no entertainment in his fights.
Klitschko has gone on record to describe Fury as a “clown”, which as you might expect didn’t go too well in the Manchester lads camp.The Ukrainian has also recently stated that he has “no respect” for any of the current belt holders in his division.
Keen boxing fans will be able to follow events closely in any one of a number of great locations around Pattaya. Where are you planning to watch these big night fights?