It seemed a matter of time. Each second, each minute, each round, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez kept getting closer and closer to his prey. Amir Khan’s time was winding down—and slam!—just like that it was over.
Alvarez stopped Khan at 2:37 of the sixth round to retain the WBC middleweight title, and then threw a pile of wood on the burning speculation that Alvarez would face Gennady “GGG” Golovkin this fall.
Alvarez (47-1-1, 33) said he invited Golovkin into the ring after stopping Khan. He did it for a reason: To prove he’s not afraid of the Kazakhstan knockout machine.
“He’s a fast fighter and I knew things would come in my favor,” Alvarez said about Khan. “Many people focus on my power but I like to surprise everyone. I have boxing skills. If someone wants to box, I’ll box. Someone that comes to attack, it gives you a very nice fight.”
And then Alvarez’s demeanor changed. His face scrounged up as if he was ready to fight again. It’s when GGG appeared inside the ring.
“I invited (GGG) to the ring,” Alvarez said. “They say in Mexico, we don’t (expletive) around. I don’t fear anyone. I fear no one in this sport.”
Related » Canelo-Khan Round-by-Round Scoring
Punch stats showed Alvarez landed 64 of 170 total shots (37.6%). Khan connected on 48 of 166 (28.9%). The power shots was gaping difference. Canelo connected on 42-of-83 (50.6%) to Khan’s 28-of-78 (35.9%).
Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) started well, connected with a few jabs, and then went up top to hit Alvarez with a straight right to the cheek in the first minute. Alvarez cracked Khan with a left hook as he neared him, and Khan took it well. It took some time, but Alvarez began timing Khan better by the end of the round. Khan got the better of the first round, though the looming question was whether to not Khan would be able to keep his energy level.
In the second, Khan again started well, peppering Alvarez with jabs and landed another straight right. He was frustrating Alvarez over the first six minutes. Alvarez, meanwhile, had trouble getting off. Alvarez handled another left hook from Canelo without little harm.
After two, Khan had a good lead.
By the third, Alvarez began closing the distance. Alvarez seemed to reach in this round. His punches were thrown wide. With roughly :30 left in the round, Alvarez had Khan against the ropes and let him escape. Though after three, Khan seemed in control. Everything he worked on was working. His footwork was getting out of trouble, and you didn’t have to be a boxing expert to see Khan’s quickness was winning the fight.
Alvarez crept ever closer in the fourth, enabling him to land some body shots. But Khan countered well, though it wasn’t causing any damage. With :25 left in the round, Alvarez dropped a right to the body. He cut off the ring and it was arguably the first round Canelo won.
Through four rounds, Khan had landed 26 power shots to Alvarez’s 20.
Alvarez used his jab more in the fifth, and come right behind that with power shots. Alvarez landed a right to Khan’s body inside of :40 left in the fifth, as Khan was having trouble escaping Canelo’s pressure.
After five, Alvarez had out landed Khan in total punches, 53-41. But Khan held a one-point lead after five.
Just inside of the 2-minute mark in the sixth, Alvarez landed possibly the best combination to that point. He dropped a right to the body and then a left hook to the head. The body shots were beginning to take a toll on Khan. The cumulative effect and then a blink—it was over.
Alvarez then dipped left and landed a perfect right on Khan’s jaw—literally knocking the snot out of the Brit. It was a perfect, textbook, and picturesque. Referee Kenny Bayless kneeled over the unconscious Khan and quickly waved it over at 2:37 of the sixth.
Still yet, Khan was defiant afterwards.
“I’m one those fighters who will step in with anyone, and now it’s time for GGG to step in with Canelo,” Khan said. “I tried my best. This challenge came and it was hard to turn down. I’m probably going to be going down to 147, which is my natural weight.”
Joseph Santoliquito is the president of the Boxing Writer's Association of America and a frequent contributor to Sherdog.com's mixed martial arts and boxing coverage. His archive can be found here.
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