Former world champion Amir Khan knows exactly what it’s like to face Canelo Alvarez on hostile territory.
The Bolton man jumped two weight divisions to face the popular Mexican in front of a pro-Canelo crowd in Las Vegas in May 2016 and boxed well early on before suffering a brutal KO in the sixth round.
Khan believes WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will suffer much the same fate on Saturday at the AT&T Stadium in Texas. The majority of a predicted 70,000 crowd will be backing Canelo’s every punch and Khan says the intimidation factor played a part in his fight.
“I’ve never fought in any atmosphere as overwhelming as that,” Khan told the Daily Mail. “There was a big crowd of Brits shouting for me but they couldn’t be heard. The Mexican sound was huge but with Canelo, there is something different about the noise. Something more powerful. Somehow it generates huge, unique energy on which he draws. Billy Joe had better be ready for it.”
Khan says Canelo has deceptive speed, by virtue of his timing and considerable boxing acumen, and will draw Saunders into a trap around the middle rounds.
“Beware. Everyone who watches Canelo from outside the ring thinks he’s slow. He’s not. He’s very quick through his timing. He makes you think you are in a slow-paced fight. Believe that and you make a big mistake. You will find yourself getting hit with big shots. Body and head,” said Khan.
“Being quick myself, I found it fairly easy to catch him with some good shots. But he is very good at closing down the ring and has a good chin. He is happy to take punches so that he can land really telling shots.
“By the time he fought me his punching was becoming really powerful. He’s gone on to prove it by winning world titles up to light-heavyweight and now back down a notch at super-middleweight. Billy Joe has the style that can give Canelo a few problems for a few rounds. But, sorry to say, he gets knocked out in the sixth.”