Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has won 39 of his 62 fights by knockout throughout a history-making career. Asked by DAZN to look back on his stoppage victories, Canelo highlighted one that ‘scared’ him – a right hand that had medical staff rushing to check on his opponent.
The Mexican and Amir Khan faced off in 2016 in Las Vegas for the WBC and Ring middleweight titles. The British fighter had moved up two weight classes to compete, although there was a catchweight of 155lb which made it slightly less of a jump from his usual welterweight, and Canelo himself had previously fought at lighter weights.
Despite the justified hype around the Mexican champion, Khan handled himself well in the beginning rounds, with both fighters scoring and feeling the other’s power. ‘King’ Khan’s speed was his best chance against Álvarez and found him some success. Then, Canelo’s stunning, and yes, frightening, knockout came in the sixth.
“With Amir Khan, he scared me a little, I felt a bit worried. I actually went over to see if he was okay. It was the natural reaction. The knockout was too strong. And on top of that, when he fell to the canvas he twisted his neck badly. So I thought that something more than a knockout had happened.”
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The overhand right dropped Khan in the truest sense – more a fall down rather than back. The unnatural fall and the hard landing meant Referee Kenny Bayless only had to take one look before waving the fight off. No count was administered, and medical staff were through the ropes quickly.
Thankfully, Khan was okay. Although he was out of the ring for almost two years, he returned in 2018 with a couple of victories before coming up short against another generational great in Terence Crawford.
Canelo went on to continue his belt collection. He became undisputed at super middleweight in 2021.