By Dan Ambrose: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn thinks Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) was used as an opponent the much heavier WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) last Saturday night in their HBO PPV televised fight.
Hearn believes that the weight difference between the two fighters was as much as 15 pounds, and he thinks Khan should have negotiated for a rehydration clause in the contract with the Mexican fighter so there would not be such a tremendous disparity in weight.
Canelo being 15 to 20 pounds bigger than his opponent wouldn’t have been a big deal if he were fighting at heavyweight where the percentage of weight wouldn’t mean as much. However, when you are talking about a much lighter fighter in Khan, being outweighed by 20 pounds was a huge disadvantage for him.
If Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo were not willing to agree to a catch-weight to make the Canelo-Khan fight fairer, then they should have given Khan a bigger purse to make up for his built in disadvantage.
“I appreciate he wanted a high-profile fight but, having just moved to 147lbs. How can you go into a fight at middleweight with no rehydration clause?” said Hearn to skysports.com. “Saturday night went down how most expected. Amir would start well then get knocked out. I feel for him because basically he was used as an opponent in the fight.”
Khan must have wanted the fight against Canelo REAL bad for him to agree to fighting a guy with a 20 pound weight advantage over him. The fight was lost for Khan the moment he was turned down for a rehydration limit. In the future, Khan needs to walk away from fights where his opponent has such a big advantage over him like in terms of weight or anything else.
It’s not as if Khan needed to take this fight. Khan could have made a bundle fighting WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia or IBF champion Kell Brook. The Brook fight would have made Khan even more money than he’ll receive against Canelo.
Khan’s decision to fight Canelo at middleweight at 155 likely was a kneejerk reaction to Khan being rejected by Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. for fights in the past. Khan wanted to fight both of those guys in a big way, but they never showed any interest in facing him.
The only big money option for Khan at welterweight was Kell brook, and Khan hasn’t wanted to take that fight for some reason. If Brook was from another country, I think Khan would have fought him a long time ago, but the fact that he comes from the UK, seems to have put Khan off the job.
“I believe Canelo would have been close to 175lbs in the ring and Amir closer to 160lbs,” said Hearn. “You could see in the clinches he was being thrown around like a rag doll. It’s all very well saying he ‘dared to be great’, but do you have any idea how dangerous a knockout like that is to an individual and his career? He has been knocked out at lightweight, light-welterweight and now devastatingly at middleweight.”
It was a questionable move on Khan’s part to take the fight with Canelo. If you looked at it in terms of it being a gamble for Khan, it was a very risky fight with only a small chance for success for him. Khan needed to fight smart for the full 12 rounds without making any mistakes.
If Khan could have fought smart like Floyd Mayweather Jr., he would have beaten Canelo because he wouldn’t have left himself open for his right hand in the 6th round. But with Khan, he tends to make a lot of mental mistakes and Canelo was able to take advantage of one of them to get the victory.