mAmir Khan’s hope of grabbing the WBC Middleweight Boxing Title came to a crushing sixth-round knockout defeat by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, leaving the British boxer unconscious on the floor after suffering a fourth career loss, the third to come by devastating knockout.
The 29-year-old had made a promising start to the fight he required by capitalising on his speed to build an early lead.
However, he ultimately proved too small and not elusive enough to evade the bigger fighter for the 12-round distance.
Khan was the clear underdog for the fight with the physically bigger Mexican, who at just 25 years old had won 46 of his 48 fights – his sole defeat coming against the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Khan started brightly and enjoyed the better of the opening two rounds, although any success was not being registered with one of the judges who gave khan just one of the five completed rounds despite Alvarez taking time to gel into the fight.
But once Canelo found his range he began to find Khan’s body with a number of shots, and his work downstairs opened up the opportunity to win the fight midway through the sixth round.
A faint with the left saw Khan; lower his hands to cover up, and allowed Alvarez to unleash a ferocious right overhand onto the jaw of Khan to end the fight, with referee Kenny Bayliss calling it off immediately after the 2004 Olympic silver medallist was left unconscious on the floor.
It is not ‘’all hope lost’’ for the Brit, as he gave it his all in Las Vegas against his heavily-fancied Mexican opponent, who is enjoying a blistering career, having lost only to ‘’money’’ Mayweather.
Amir Khan was behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards before his brutal KO by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Judge Glenn Trowbridge had Khan down 49-46, which seemed harsh in the extreme, while Glenn Feldman scored it 48-47 to Canelo.
Adalaide Byrd had it 48-47, which seemed a much fairer reflection of the first five rounds.
What next for Canelo?
He has now been challenged to fight the unbeaten Kazakhstani Gennady Golovkin, the current WBA and IBF world champion who was ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez said: “I invited him to come to the ring.
“We don’t come to play in this sport, I fear no one in this sport.
“As I said in the last fight, I’ll put on the gloves again right now.”
This crushing defeat will take some time for Amir Khan to get over, both emotionally and physically. But the Brit deserves great credit for accepting the fight in the first instance, against a guy who is naturally bigger than he is.
What’s more, Khan gave a terrific account of himself in the opening rounds, proving that he was the faster, sharper boxer. Ultimately, though, Canelo’s size and power proved to be the difference.
Where now for Khan? Well, he certainly won’t be short of options because he is always involved in eye-catching fights, even if he keeps finding himself on the wrong side of the results.