What next for Alvarez?
Alvarez turns his attention to undefeated Kazakh after KO win
S aul Alvarez got on his knees to check on Amir Khan after knocking him unconscious with a big right hand in the sixth round of their title fight.
Then he went over to check on some future business with fellow middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who was watching ringside.
“I invited him to come into the ring,” said Alvarez. “Right now I am ready to put the gloves on again.”
It’s a fight both Golovkin and boxing fans have been waiting for, though the weight could be an issue.
Alvarez wants the bout to be less than the 160-pound middleweight limit, while Golovkin, who holds his own piece of the middleweight crown, vows to fight at his best weight.
“I am old school,” Golovkin said just before the fight. “Middleweight is 160. I respect the sport of boxing.”
Against Khan, Alvarez needed only one big right hand to turn a close fight into a smashing knockout that left the British challenger out cold on his back in the middle of the ring.
Struggling with Khan’s speed, Canelo unleashed a long right hand that sent Khan backward on the canvas, where referee Kenny Bayless didn’t even bother to count him out at 2:37 of the sixth round.
Alvarez retained his WBC crown, but it was not without some nervous moments for his fans who packed the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
Khan was more than holding his own in a tactical fight when the right hand suddenly ended it.
“People have known me only for my power,” said Alvarez. “I have many more qualities in the ring and I showed that. I think people saw more of me.”
Khan, who moved up two weight divisions to face Alvarez, had vowed to use his speed to confound the Mexican and his plan seemed to be working.
He fought in spurts, landing combinations and seemingly frustrating Alvarez with his movement.
But a right hand that came out of nowhere landed flush against Khan’s chin, and he was out before he hit the canvas.
“I was getting in the ring with a big guy,” said Khan. “Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the end of the fight.”
Khan was taken to the hospital after the fight, but promoter Oscar De La Hoya said he appeared to be fine and that the move was precautionary. Khan’s head snapped back when he hit the canvas and he appeared out for several minutes before being revived.
But less than an hour after that savage knockout Khan tweeted: “I’m okay everyone, that’s boxing for you, congrats to Canelo, monster punch, much love to all the fans!”
While Khan will now have to assess his future, which will most likely see him campaigning back at welterweight, Alvarez’s camp must begin talks with Golovkin or risk being stripped of the WBC title.
Many fight fans have suggested Canelo would look to avoid the vicious Kazakh, but speaking after the fight Alvarez declared his intention to challenge the undefeated knockout machine.
He said: “We don’t come to play in this sport. I fear no one. I’ll fight him right now. Let’s put the gloves on and get in there with him.”
Khan, for one, believes it’s a fight that has to happen, and soon.
“I think it’s time that Canelo steps in the ring with Triple G,” said Khan.
His trainer, Virgil Hinter, agreed. He added: “He’s got to quit hiding behind the flag and fight Triple G. Amir set the tone. He’s got to stop hiding behind the flag and fight the fight that we all want to see.”
The likelihood is that the fight will happen in September, around Mexican Independence Day on the 16th, which would guarantee another pro-Alvarez crowd.
That date had become synonymous with Floyd Mayweather, but with the American supposedly retired, Alvarez is the new face of boxing.
And the vast majority of the 16,540 that filled the new arena on the Las Vegas strip were there to cheer on their hero.
At times he struggled with Khan’s speed and movement and it was not until the fifth round that Alvarez began to find his range.
One round later it was all over and in the most dramatic fashion.
With Khan moving forward, Canelo timed his punch to perfection. It was clear the fight was over the moment the shot detonated on the Briton’s chin.
Now Alvarez will have the chance to cement his own legacy by facing the dangerous Golovkin. It’s his time to dare to be great.
“I fear no one in this sport. I’ll fight him right now.”
– SAUL ALVAREZ WHEN ASKED IF HE WOULD FACE GENNADY GOLOVKIN
THAT’S IT: Referee Kenny Bayless ends the fight after Amir Khan was knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas