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Khan: I won’t make mistakes against Canelo

Amir Khan Canelo AlvarezBy Dan Ambrose: Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) blames his past three defeats on him making mistakes while trying to do too much against opponents he was expected to beat. Khan says he always felt like he had to take the lead in his fights by pushing a fast pace against opponents he was expected to handily beat.

This caused him to take more risks in order to impress the fans and show them that he was the better fighter. But in the case of his May 7 fight against WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), Khan is the underdog in this fight and he feels like he doesn’t need to take any chances. Khan says he knows better than to take a bunch of risks because he knows it could end with him getting knocked out.

However, at the same time, Khan says he doesn’t want to make the same mistake that Erislandy Lara made in his fight against Canelo in 2014 by giving him too much respect. Lara gave the fight away in the second half of the bout by not throwing enough punches and by not staying in the pocket enough. Khan realizes that he cannot give the fight away like Lara did by seeing Canelo as someone that deserves too much respect.

“This is the first time going into a fight where I’m the underdog, I’m a guy who’s supposed to get beat, so that’s why I want to really shine this fight and I want to prove to people that I belong here,” said Khan to “I think Lara gave him too much respect…I don’t think I’ll be making those mistakes that Lara made.”

Khan has to be able to stand in the pocket and land his shots enough for him to win the fight. If all Khan does is move around the ring like he did against Lamont Peterson, then there’s no way he’s going to win the fight. The judges will automatically give the rounds to Canelo. Khan does not need to lose the fight by default by him failing to engage enough to win the fight.

Canelo, 25, knows that all he needs to do in order to win the fight is to put forward pressure on Khan the entire fight. The judges will automatically give him rounds based on his aggressiveness. Canelo will be counting on Khan not having the punching power in this weight class compared to what he had in 147.

Canelo will also be assuming that he’ll be able to KO Khan because of his reputation for having a weak chin. It’s going to be up to Khan to prove that he can stand his ground at times to fight Canelo in the way that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in his win over Canelo in 2013.

“I think with me going into this fight you’ll definitely see a new Amir Khan,” said Khan. “By putting the weight on, being strong at this weight, its not slowed the speed down one bit. The speed is still there, the stamina is still going to be there, the punching power has increased obviously, I’ve been sparring guys and they do say they’re feeling the power, the strength.”

If Khan really has developed more punching power during this training camp, then it’s going to be a difficult fight for Canelo, because he’s going to have problems enough trying to deal with Khan’s hand speed advantage. Khan’s hand speed is as good as Floyd Mayweather Jr’s. If Khan can focus on throwing single shots the way that Mayweather did in his win over Canelo, then this could be a really interesting fight on May 7. Khan has faster feet than the 37-year-old Mayweather had when he fought Canelo in 2013.

Canelo doesn’t cut off the ring well due to his short, stubby legs, which aren’t made for movement. Canelo has a wrestler’s body rather than a body made for boxing, and he struggles when he has to move around the ring to try and force his opponents to exchange with him.

Canelo’s entire game was formed early by fighting a lot of guys that came straight at him to slug it out. Canelo never learned how to deal with boxers. In Canelo’s three fights against slick boxers during his pro career, Austin Trout, Lara and Mayweather, he struggled badly. Even Miguel Cotto gave Canelo problems, and he’s hardly a boxer.

“It was hard for me to motivate myself when I was fighting these other fighters,” said Khan. “No disrespect to [Chris] Algieri, or the other fighters I fought. I’ve always expected the big fights against like Mayweather, against Pacquiao, and when those fights aren’t happening it’s hard for me to motivate myself. And now it’s come to a time where it’s the biggest fight of my career against someone like Canelo where I know I can’t make a mistake so this is such a big motivation for me,” said Khan.

It’s good to know that Khan will be motivated for the Canelo fight. He should have been motivated enough in his past fights to take these guys seriously due to them all coming in looking to beat him. The Canelo fight will give Khan the chance to show that he belongs in the same ring with the big names like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Those guys obviously aren’t going to bother giving Khan a fight no matter how good he looks against Canelo on May 7. But at least if Khan beats Cnaleo and really shines in that fight, he’ll be able to walk away from the fight getting the last laugh by showing the boxing public possible reasons why Mayweather and Pacquiao never gave him a fight.

If they thought that Khan was too good for them to take a chance on fighting him, then that would help explain why he was bypassed for arguably lesser fighters like Robert Guerrero, Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto and Chris Algieri. Khan can make Mayweather and Pacquiao look bad if he beats Canelo and does it in style.

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