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Matthew Hatton: Canelo will be too big and too strong for Khan

canelo955By Dan Ambrose: The now retired Matthew Hatton, the brother of former two division world champion Ricky Hatton, thinks that WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) will ultimately be too big for Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) to handle in their fight on May 7.

Hatton thinks the catch-weight of 155lbs won’t be of much help to the 29-year-old Khan because after Canelo rehydrates, he’ll have a big weight advantage over Khan and he’ll use the weight to batter him.

“He [Khan] can cause Alvarez a lot of problems but my gut instinct is that Canelo is far too strong and powerful, even with the catch-weight. I just can’t see past that because Canelo will be too big and too powerful for Amir,” Hatton said to

Khan will definitely have him moments at time in snapping off fast shots to the head of Canelo in the early going. However, when Canelo answers back with his much heavier power shots, it’s going to be a real problem for Khan in trying to take those big shots without folding up and getting stopped quickly. If Khan’s chin has improved since his last knockout loss in 2012, then he could give Canelo a lot of trouble in this fight with his speed and movement. However, even if Khan’s chin holds up, it’s going to be difficult for him to win a decision due to Canelo’s shots being so much more powerful than his.

Canelo will be impressing the judges in each round with his bigger shots the same way he impressed the judges in his fights against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. Those would have been winnable fights for Trout and Lara if they had been able to match Canelo in power, but they couldn’t. Canelo was too strong for both of them, and the judges wound up giving Canelo the win.

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“He’s [Canelo] so thick set. The fight with Amir is made at a catch-weight, but God knows what weight Canelo will be on fight night. Amir will be giving a lot away,” Hatton said.

Some fans think Canelo will be at 175 for the Khan fight, but I think we could see Canelo in the 180s for this affair. That’s going to be tough on Khan, even if he does make it to 165 for the fight like he said he was going to do. If Canelo comes into the fight from 175 to 180, I think Khan will have little chance of winning. If Canelo rehydrates only to 167 to 170, then Khan has a chance of winning because their weight won’t be too far apart.

It’ll depend on how Canelo trains for the fight. He’s capable of fighting under 170 when he’s focusing on speed like he did in his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. It’s just unclear whether Canelo can still get under 170. He’s 25 now, and he seems to be filling out. He was in the low 170s at a time a couple of years ago, but he now looks to be around 180, possibly 185.

“I hope Amir can win the fight and it would be great for British boxing to have one of our boxers beat such a big name, but to be honest I just can’t see him winning the fight,” Hatton said.

Khan has the hand speed to do exactly what Mayweather did to Canelo. The only question is can Khan box well enough to keep from getting hammered by Canelo. I have no doubts that Mayweather would beat Canelo if he fought him again right now, but Khan isn’t in the same league as Mayweather. He’s got the tools but he doesn’t have the same defensive skills and ring IQ to do what Mayweather did to Canelo. The fight is a winnable one for Khan, but he’s going to have to show a lot more ring smarts than he’s shown in the past. He’s also going to need to be able to take some big shots from Canelo at some point.

“I remember at the weigh-in with Canelo thinking I’m about the same size as him. But then when he turned up for the fight he was like Popeye who had just eaten his spinach, muscles bulging and a lot bigger. He was like a different man,” Hatton said.

Canelo fought Hatton at a catch-weight of 150lbs in 2011. It was an easy 12 round decision win for Canelo. Hatton landed some nice shots in the fight, but Canelo was so big, the shots had no effect on him.

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