By Jeff Aranow: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya thinks his fighter WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) could be in for a tough fight against challenger Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) on May 7.
De La Hoya is specifically worried about Khan’s hand speed giving Canelo issues because he’s had problems in the past when facing guys with fast hands and good foot movement. Canelo lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, and he also lost to Erislandy Lara in the minds of many fans.
Some fans also think that Canelo deserved no better than a draw in his fight against Austin Trout. If you take what the fans say as gospel, then Canelo’s record is really 45-2-2, 32. That’s not a bad record, but it’s definitely not as good as the record listed for him.
De La Hoya wants Canelo to get the 29-year-old Khan out of the way so that he can match Canelo against IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at some point in the future. De La Hoya is being cryptic about when Canelo will be fighting Golovkin, but it would seem that it might take place either later this year or in 2017. It’s not likely that De La Hoya will let the fight marinate until 2018 because that would put Golovkin at 35, and it might be a little too late to wait.
“Jerry Jones and I agreed Canelo has a difficult task in front of him because of Amir Khan’s speed,” De La Hoya said to the latimes.com. “Stylistically, it’s one of those fights for Canelo, like Mayweather or [Cuba’s Erislandy] Lara, where he’s facing speed with his power. So we agreed let’s wait until May 8 and proceed with our conversations.”
It’s unknown if De La Hoya is on the level in talking about how difficult the fight will be for Canelo. De La Hoya might just be saying that so that he can drive interest in the fight. However, even if he is just pulling people’s legs, Khan does have a real chance of pulling off an upset in this fight and giving Canelo problems. Canelo isn’t as good as some people think he is. If he was that good then he would have dominated Lara, Mayweather and Trout. The fact that he couldn’t dominate them suggests that he’s a flawed middleweight.
Khan has respectable punching power, and enough hand speed to make it hard for Canelo. If Khan is able to hit Canelo with a lot of punches that he doesn’t see coming, then we could see him get hurt. Mayweather had Canelo hurt in their fight, and he wasn’t even sitting down on his punches in any way. Mayweather was throwing single shots all night long. Where Canelo had problems was he intentionally backed up to the ropes and let Mayweather throw everything in the kitchen sink for a brief one-minute span.
De La Hoya needs to keep Canelo focused on the Khan fight because it would be a mistake on their part if he looked past this fight and wound up losing.