Canelo Alvarez Vs Amir Khan = Ennui

Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan, a fight nobody saw coming and that no fans asked for, is happening in May. Some are outraged; some are talking themselves into liking the idea of Khan, a chinny welterweight, moving up to contend for the middleweight championship of the world against a man who will be pushing toward cruiserweight on fight night given his tendency toward post-weigh-in weight gain.

The only reaction I can muster is somewhere between an eye roll and a yawn. Some of the scrapping between Oscar De La Hoya (Canelo’s promoter) and Al Haymon (Khan’s “promoter”) is more entertaining, if inconclusive. The best you can say for Canelo vs Khan is that it makes a certain amount of business sense for both men.

Khan finally getting the big payday he wanted and sought unsuccessfully from the previous generation of cash cows, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Canelo should be fighting Gennady Golovkin instead, but he also is coming off the second biggest fight in his life, having defeated Miguel Cotto (the biggest, Mayweather, didn’t go so well). That he’d take a lesser threat after a fight like that one is mildly defensible. Make no mistake, Khan is a lesser threat: He has a long career of getting wobbled, dropped or stopped by less powerful opponents than Canelo at lower weights, and no amount of speedy, long-armed boxing is going to save him from more of that at a much higher weight.  But he also is has a reasonably big name in the sport, which means a chance of selling more HBO pay-per-views than a more viable, but more obscure, 154-pound or 160-pound opponent.

So yeah, this — already dubbed “Khanelo” by many — is happening. Mustering much enthusiasm or anger doesn’t really seem warranted.

(Photo: Khan, left, and Canelo, before they booked Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan; via)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.