Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez reminisced on one of his more replayed stoppages – Amir Khan, Las Vegas, 2016.
The bout would be Canelo’s first defence of his WBC middleweight title – won six months earlier by unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto – and was to be fought at a catchweight of 155lb. Khan moved up from welterweight to make it happen.
Khan’s speed – as with most of his fights – was his best path to victory. He managed to frustrate the champion at points, who was stalking him around the ring.
As the rounds progressed, Canelo would have more success and ultimately slow Khan down enough to look for a knockout shot. He found it in the sixth – a quick feint with the left allowed an overhand right to lancand on the button as Khan’s hands were down.
Referee Kenny Bayless needn’t count – Khan was out cold. Analysing the stoppage with DAZN, Canelo was aware of its brutal nature.
“I really feel sorry for Amir Khan, but he was in my way. I needed to finish him somehow. This is how I finished the fight. But I feel sorry for him.”
On this date in 2016, @Canelo delivered a DEVASTATING KO against Amir Khan. 💥 pic.twitter.com/YNacRUV4CX
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2020
Khan would spend two years out of the ring before returning to beat both Phil Lo Greco and Samual Vargas. He was then stopped again by Terence Crawford. It would effectively spell the end of his career save for a run out against Billy Dib and a past-it performance against longtime rival, Kell Brook.
Canelo moved up to super middleweight two years later, and is currently the division’s undisputed champion. Since Khan, he’s dealt six more opponents the same stoppage fate. He returns to action on May 6 against John Ryder in Mexico – his first fight on home soil since 2011.