By Rishad Marquardt: In the build up to the Khan-Canelo fight, many former and present boxers were eager to be clear about one thing when asked their opinion; just how brave they believed Amir Khan was being by taking on the Mexican superstar, Canelo Alvarez, in the biggest fight of the year.
Moving up in weight in boxing is a demanding and daunting challenge for any boxer. Everyone has a ‘natural weight’ and straying away from ones natural division can cause a tremendous amount of tension and stress on the body. This can be even more significant when facing an opponent fighting in their optimum weight class, not to mention the (albeit overestimated) but famed punching prowess possessed by Canelo.
In hindsight, Canelo’s brutal strength had laid down a condition for the already famously glass-chinned Khan – that should he at any point in the fight get hit by even a moderately powerful punch, Khan would collapse to the canvas and would not have enough in him to beat gravity and thus beat the count.
This condition was ultimately the card Canelo chose to play as he dealt with the initially tricky Khan and crossed one more fighter off his to-do list.
The line between braveness and stupidity is infamously thin and after reports that Khan was offered more money to fight in a British super-brawl with Sheffield’s Kell Brook, one can only conclude that Khan was indeed daring to be great. Yet in the sometimes circus-like world of boxing where chivalry is an unwritten rule, in doing so, Khan will not be criticized but instead admired for taking on the challenge. Instead, the person who will feel the full force of public pressure as a result of Canelo’s win is Canelo himself. There is a machine in wait for Canelo in the form of Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, the Kazakh who as well as being undefeated – has knocked out every single one of his last 22 opponents. Canelo has already been criticized for ducking ‘Tripple G’, but will now have to show the braveness Khan did on Saturday night and find out where his own ceiling lies.