De La Hoya wants Canelo vs. Khan
By Dan Ambrose: Now that the World Boxing Council has given WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) permission to take a voluntary defense of his WBC 160lb title in the first five months of 2016, Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions is already looking at finding an opponent for his young 25-year-old Canelo to fight.
De La Hoya says he already has three fighters in mind that he will be looking to select from in January. One name that De La Hoya says he is interested in is 29-year-old Amir Khan, a former IBF/WBA 140lb champion.
De La Hoya says he loves the idea of putting Canelo in with Khan, as he thinks it would be a fan-friendly fight filled with action from start to finish.
De La Hoya believes that Khan has the ability to fight in both the 147lb and 154lb divisions, which would suit Canelo fine, because he now fights in his own division at 155lb. Khan would only need to move up in weight eight pounds to fight in Canelo’s 155lb division for the WBC middleweight title.
“You know one fight I wouldn’t mind putting together down the road or whenever is Amir Khan vs. Canelo,” De La Hoya said to KO Artist. “I wouldn’t mind seeing that. I think Amir Khan is a fighter who can move up to 154 and fighter who can fight at 147. Amir Khan is a fighter who is very versatile, and he’s a fan favorite fighter. Think about his fights; he’s always in an exciting fight. He goes down; he gets back up. He’s exciting. So I think Amir Khan vs. Canelo would be very interesting,” De La Hoya said.
Khan might not be available for a fight against Canelo for next May unless De La Hoya moves quickly to nail him down for the fight, because IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to get Khan to agree to a fight against Brook for the summer of 2016.
The negotiations for that fight were recently delayed, however, with the news that former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao still hadn’t decided who he wants to fight for his final fight of his career on April 9th next year. Khan is one of the three names that Pacquiao’s 84-year-old Bob Arum has presented to him to choose from for his April fight.
While it would seem unlikely that Khan will be the one that Pacquiao chooses, there is still a chance that he could get the fight. That is why De La Hoya is going to need to make a serious play immediately to try to get Khan for the Canelo fight, because if he does not, then he could lose Khan to either Pacquiao or more likely Brook.
Khan will very likely lose to Brook by a knockout, and thus ruin any chances of a fight against Canelo in the near future. Once Khan loses to Brook or Pacquiao, it will take a number of years to build Khan back up again, to where he is now. It has already taken Khan three years to come back from his last loss to Danny Garcia in 2012. If De La Hoya really wants Khan for Canelo’s next fight in May of next year, then he absolutely must look to make that fight right now because Khan will likely get beat by the time he tries to make the fight with him in late 2016.
“I am already talking about opponents, and there are several. But most importantly, I want a venue. So come January, we’re going to get on the horn and lock everything in,” De La Hoya said.
It’s very likely that De La Hoya will look to match Canelo against a welterweight for his voluntary defense in May of next year. Arum has already said that he spoke with De La Hoya about matching his fighter WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley against Canelo. Bradley, 5’6”, is small even for welterweight standards, and he is not much of a puncher. If De La Hoya does not get Khan for Canelo, then it would not be surprising in the least to see Canelo facing Bradley next on HBO pay-per-view for Cinco de Mayo holiday in 2016.
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