Canelo Alvarez stops Amir Khan, calls out Gennady Golovkin – ESPN

6 months ago Comments Off on Canelo Alvarez stops Amir Khan, calls out Gennady Golovkin – ESPN

LAS VEGAS — Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez had a lot of problems with the speed and movement of Amir Khan, just the way Khan and his team planned. Then Alvarez connected.

Alvarez, the heavy favorite, landed a monster right hand to Khan’s chin in the sixth round, and that was it, as he brutally knocked Khan out before a crowd of 16,540 on Saturday in the main event of the first boxing card at the new T-Mobile Arena.

The largely Mexican crowd cheering Alvarez on during Cinco de Mayo weekend erupted as Alvarez retained the middleweight title in his first defense, six months after taking it from Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision. Alvarez and Khan fought at a catchweight of 155 pounds.

Sitting ringside was unified titleholder Gennady Golovkin, the fearsome puncher who, by virtue of his interim belt, looms as Alvarez’s mandatory challenger.

Immediately after the fight, Golovkin took to Twitter and indicated to Alvarez that he’s “ready.”

Alvarez’s manager and co-trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso came to the ring ropes after the fight and pointed at Golovkin, inviting him into the ring.

Alvarez, viewed by many as the new face of boxing in the wake of the recent retirements of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and Golovkin are supposed to fight in the fall, based on a deal they made with the WBC. Under the signed agreement, they both were allowed to take an interim fight. Golovkin knocked Dominic Wade out in two rounds on April 23, and then Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) smashed Khan (31-4, 19 KOs).

But it was not the easy night many expected for Alvarez, who at 25 is Mexico’s most popular active fighter. He had tremendous problems dealing with Khan’s movement, just like he did when he lost for the only time in a one-sided decision to Floyd Mayweather in their 2013 junior middleweight championship fight.

“Like I said from the beginning, I knew he was very fast and knew it would be competitive in the beginning,” Alvarez said through a translator. “But I knew time would come to my favor, and you saw that.

“Many people focus on my power and talk about my power, but I have many more qualities in the ring. I like to surprise everyone.”

Moments into the fight, Khan landed a clean right hand, but Alvarez barely budged. Khan said in the days leading up to the fight that he knew he did not have the power to truly hurt Alvarez. He said he would have to rely on speed and skills, and he did just that until the violent end.

“Like I said in Mexico, ‘We don’t f— around.’ We don’t come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport. I’ll fight him right now. Let’s put the gloves on and get in there with him.”

Canelo Alvarez on potential Gennady Golovkin fight

While Alvarez pressed forward looking for heavy shots, Khan stayed on the outside, moved around, kept his back off the ropes and threw quick combinations. It was working to a tee.

Alvarez landed his share of punches, especially to the body, which he targeted in an effort to slow Khan, but he was having a hard time landing cleanly to the head.

In the sixth round, it all changed. Alvarez finally connected with a big shot by nailing Khan with a left hook to the head. Then he landed another moments later, but Khan, whose chin problems have been well-chronicled, took the blows well and fired back.

Alvarez then found a home for a huge right hand that ruined Khan, who fell like a rag doll, with his head slamming on the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayless did not bother to count and waved the fight off at 2 minutes, 37 seconds. Medical personnel swarmed Khan, who needed a few minutes to get to his feet.

Khan, who didn’t attend the postfight news conference, was taken to University Medical Center for observation as a precaution. He tweeted after the fight that he was OK.

According to CompuBox, Alvarez landed 64 of 170 (38 percent), and Khan landed 48 of 166 punches (29 percent), though only one of their shots really mattered.

Alvarez was surprisingly ahead on two scorecards 49-46 and 48-47. Khan was ahead 48-47 on the third scorecard. had Khan ahead 48-47.

Canelo Alvarez stops Amir Khan, calls out Gennady Golovkin – ESPN

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