Going by nicknames alone, Amir King Khan would be the odds-on favorite versus Saul Canelo Álvarez, if you bet on boxing on Saturday 7th. For you monolinguals out there, Canelo in Spanish is the masculine word for cinnamon, on account of his red hair.
And while we’re at it, it’s pronounced saˈul. But hey, what’s in a name? The Mexican (he’s Mexican?) remains the favorite at -500 over the British (he’s British?) at +400. The fight, which according to Wikipedia is known by the portmanteau Khanelo – are they going to fight or are they going to go steady? – will be for the Lineal, Ring and WBC Middleweight World Championship titles.
Seeing as how the boxing odds favor Alvarez, Khan’s handlers should find novel ways to get him worked up for the bout. I suggest having Ricardo Montalban on his corner – in full Khan Noonien Singh regalia. He’s dead? Well, I guess we can scratch having William Shatner on Canelo’s corner. And it’s a shame, too; if nobody skyward screams Khaaaaan!!! at some point, I will consider this fight a complete and utter failure. In all seriousness, ESPN Staff Writer Nigel Collins says that Amir Khan is no longer the golden boy of British boxing – then again, if what he means by that is that Khan is no longer the Oscar De La Hoya of British boxing, then that’s good news for Khan.
Actually, both boxers have something to prove. This will be Khan’s first fight at middleweight after moving up two weight divisions from welterweight, but it will also be Alvarez’s first defense as the Lineal, Ring and WBC middleweight champion. Canelo does have the advantage in that he has fought at a catchweight of 155 lbs – the weight at which the bout will be fought – in his last four fights. In terms of power, experience, durability, stamina, versatility, defense, and current form, Alvarez has the upper hand, while Khan is more advantaged when it comes to speed, tenacity, and technique. In fact, in speed vs. power, former heavyweight champion and grill shill George Foreman believes that Khan’s speed and body shots give him a chance of winning a decision against Alvarez – though it would just be really weird if he did body shots off of Canelo, but to each his own.
All things considered, this should be a great bout, whether you bet on boxing or just want to see a Mexican that does not look Mexican and an Englishman that does not look English beat the crap out of each other. Personally, I think Khan will beat Canelo like a redheaded stepson, but don’t quote me on it. It’s not so much a prediction as it is wishful thinking.