Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) surprised the boxing world on Tuesday with the announcement of his May 7 fight against WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) on HBO PPV. One of those people that were surprised was Khan’s old trainer Freddie Roach, who feels that he’s showing a lot of courage to be facing the much heavier Canelo Alvarez instead of someone his own size like IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook.
Roach is giving Khan a chance of beating Canelo if he can out-box him for 12 rounds. However, Roach thinks that Khan will ultimately be too small to handle the size of Canelo. The Mexican star Canelo coming off of one of the biggest wins of his career over the Roach-trained Miguel Cotto last November.
Cotto hit the truck-sized Canelo with everything he had, but his punches had no effect due to the size of Canelo. He looked huge compared to Cotto in the ring, and it was just two guys from vastly different weight classes.
Canelo and Cotto are both technically middleweights, but Canelo looks more like a light heavyweight than a middleweight. With Cotto, he’s a small middleweight that could fight at junior middleweight if he wanted. Obviously, the reason why Cotto chooses not to fight in the 154lb division is because there are no big names in that weight class, and there are a lot of tough fighters like Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara and Liam Smith. Cotto would likely lose to some of those guys if not all of them.
“I don’t believe it. That’s a big fight,” Roach said to fighthype.com about Khan facing Canelo. “Khan has a lot of balls taking that fight. I like that fight. Let’s see how good he really is. He [Khan] can out-box him. He is a very athletic person, but I think he might be a little bit too small. If he wins this one, it’ll put him on the map worldwide.”
If Khan beats Canelo, he definitely will be a big name worldwide. Khan is taking a huge gamble by taking on a guy as big as Canelo, because he could wind up getting knocked out by some of the other fighters that Canelo has faced. Canelo knows how to beat taller fighters than himself, as we saw in his controversial wins over Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. If you don’t fight him carefully by jabbing and post shotting, then he can beat you. Khan would need to show a lot of hand speed to land quick shots against Canelo and then getting out of range before he lands something big in return.
Roach says that he personally rejected Khan as an opponent for Cotto’s next fight right before Canelo accepted a fight against him. Roach says he felt that Khan would run and try and make Cotto look bad in the fight. Roach didn’t want that type of opponent for Cotto, especially with him coming off of a loss to Canelo.
“I said no to Amir Khan actually,” Roach said about him turning down Khan for a potential next opponent for Cotto. “At this point, I don’t want us to fight a guy that’s going to run and make us look bad. I think Cotto coming off of a loss, a close loss, I think we need to be a little bit impressive to keep the crowd on our side,” Roach said.