A chilling KO win for Canelo
Khan went to throw a shot and left his chin exposed and up in the air.
The Brit was out the moment the punch landed and his body landed heavily on the canvas, too.
Thankfully, Khan looks to be OK, which is a relief. WATCH VIDEO BELOW!
Canelo wins by KO!
A massive right hand from Canelo ends the fight in dramatic fashion!
Khan was winning the fight on the scorecards but Canelo – as everyone feared – landed a shot on the button and Khan is out cold.
A brutal, brutal finish from the big-punching Mexican. Khan barely knows where he is for the moment.
A major turning point in the fight, perhaps, as Khan is cut above his right eye.
Canelo appeared to cause the cut with a stiff left jab, which opened the gash above his eye.
Khan will need to rediscover his composure because that was certainly the Mexican’s round.
The Mexicans in the crowd are virtually silent, because Khan is producing some dazzling work. We asked if he’d carry the speed to 155lbs. and the answer is an emphatic yes.
Khan ought to have been given three of the first four rounds, at the very least. Canelo needs to have a rethink because he is being outboxed and outfoxed at the moment.
Remember, though, one big punch could change this.
Khan is sticking rigidly to the gameplan for the time being, and Khan may have established a three-nil lead already.
The Briton is so much quicker than his opponent, persistently beating him to the punch. Khan is throwing one or two punches at a time and then looking to get out of range.
It’s working at the moment, but can he keep up this frantic pace?
The Brit may have pinched that round, too, though it was very, very tight.
Canelo appears very flat-footed at the moment, struggling to come to terms with the hand and foot speed of Khan.
A very encouraging start from the Bolton native – but what happens when Canelo lands a big shot?
Who will win between ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Amir Khan?
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We’re through the first and Khan will have been encouraged by that.
His blazing hands landed the only meaningful shots of the round, even if he didn’t hurt his bigger opponent. Canelo appeared content to take a look in that session, not wanting to reach in and throw big shots.
Khan will need to stay disciplined, though.
The first bell rings
Kenny Bayliss delivers some last-second instructions to the two fighters.
Khan and Canelo touch gloves and we’re good to go in Las Vegas.
Get set for something memorable, with the WBC title on the line.
Canelo comes out to a huge cheer
There is a massive Mexican and Mexican-American population in Las Vegas, and the most popular active fighter in the world makes his way to the ring, looking unusually relaxed.
The majority of fans in the arena are hoping and expecting a Canelo win.
We’re moments away from the first bell in the newly-built T-Mobile Arena…
Amir Khan walks to the ring
A muscular-looking Amir Khan makes his way to the ring first.
By his side is the highly-respected trainer Virgil Hunter, who also trains Andre Ward and Andre Berto. He’s sure to have provided all of the right advice, it’s simply a question of whether Khan is able to carry out those instructions.
Khan must feel anxious, having never previously fought at this weight.
We’ve had the Mexican and British national anthems and now it’s time for the fighters to make their way through the back of the arena and towards the ring.
Canelo sang his way through the national anthem and is projecting an image of calm. Kahn, on the other hand, appears a little more anxious, pacing around his dressing room a little frantically.
Here we go, then…
Canelo is the fan favourite
The roll call of legends continues and Roberto Duran steps into the ring to promote his bio-pic ‘Hands of Stone’ which is out later this year.
Khan will need to evoke some of Duran’s fighting spirit to achieve what many feel is impossible and beat Canelo in front of his adoring Mexican fans on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
It would be one of the greatest wins by a Brit abroad and would put Khan in such illustrious company as John H Stacey, Lloyd Honeyghan, Tyson Fury and Ken Buchanan.
He has to hit and move for 12 rounds and keep out of range of Canelo’s own hands of stone.
That is a big ask for Khan, whose natural instinct is to engage.
The cheers are clearly louder for Canelo when pictures of the two fighters in their dressing rooms are shown on the huge screen above the ring.
Amir Khan during fightweek
Moments away from the ringwalks
We’ve sat and watched all of the fights on the card except one.
Back stage, both guys are hitting the pads with their trainers, going through some last-minute exercises to ensure they’re warm by the time they enter the ring.
It goes without saying this is a huge moment for Khan, the biggest of his professional career. Hardly anyone is giving the Brit a chance, to be frank, but don’t write him off completely.
Big-name fighters in attendance
Looking around the seating inside the T-Mobile Arena in the first sporting event held in the new $300million venue, there are boxing legends everywhere.
Julio Cesar Chavez is here working for Mexican TV, while Lennox Lewis is also in attendance summarising on the fight for TV.
Other greats here include Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins and, of course, promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
Despite the magnitude of the fight, the atmosphere has yet to catch light and unbelievably there are still empty seats fewer than 30 minutes before the fighters’ ring walks.
— T-Mobile Arena (@TMobileArena) May 8, 2016
A good stoppage?
There’s some debate over whether that was a good stoppage or not from Freddie Roach. Glen Tapia has already voiced his disapproval with the decision in the post-fight interview.
But, to be fair, he hadn’t won a round and was getting a slow beating from a guy who was simply better than him.
Roach probably thought his fighter stood no chance of winning and saw no reason to extend the suffering.
David Anderson’s ringside view
Glen Tapia’s corner pull him out of his 10-round middleweight clash with David Lemieux in the final undercard event before the big one.
Freddie Roach made the call, which left Tapia distraught, and seeing him will have brought back memories for Amir Khan.
The pair were last in tandem just down The Strip at the Mandalay Bay four years ago when Khan was sparked out by Danny Garcia.
Khan feels he has become a much-better fighter under Virgil Hunter and in just under 45 minutes he will have the chance to prove it in the biggest fight of his life.
Amir Khan and trainer Virgil Hunter during the press conference
David Lemieux wins by TKO
David Lemieux wins in impressive style. The Canadian puts his opponent on the seat of his pants and the corner decides enough is enough in the fourth round.
Freddie Roach told his assistant to stop the fight and Lemieux wins by TKO, destroying an opponent who was out his depth.
Lemieux becomes the WBO NABO middleweight champion as he looks to restore his reputation.
General view of the T-Mobile Arena
David Lemieux vs Glen Tapia
We’re through three rounds in the penultimate fight of the evening and the Canadian – at least on my card – has won them all.
This is an important stepping stone for Lemieux as he looks to rebuild his reputation after his one-sided loss to Golovkin.
Lemieux is pressing the action, looking for a premature ending to the evening and to make a statement, too.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) May 8, 2016
Frankie Gomez wins
The undefeated Mexican-American extends his impressive record with another one-sided win.
This could have been a tricky fight for the Freddie Roach-trained fighter, but he coasted to the win. All three judges scored it 100-90.
And with that, the Khan/Canelo fight moves into view…
The T-Mobile Arena is filling up
Gomez is one round away from victory in Las Vegas, picking off some nice-looking shots as his opponent walks forwards.
Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in the sport are in the arena now, including Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins and, of course, Oscar De La Hoya, who stands to make a of money as the promoter.
He’ll secretly be backing Canelo tonight, knowing the Mexican stands to make enormous money for him going forwards, because of his huge support in Mexico and among Mexican-Americans.
Oscar De La Hoya
Tonight’s fight schedule
As Gomez boxes his way towards victory in Las Vegas, it’s worth remembering that the earliest Khan can walk to the ring is 04.00BST.
Before then, we will have David Lemieux and Glen Tapia in action. Lemieux, if you recall, was previously beaten by Gennady Golovkin, the man many neutrals would love to see Canelo fight in the near future.
Having said that, if Khan pulls off an upset win, it could be the Brit who faces the fearsome Kazakhstani.
What does tonight mean for Canelo?
The flame-haired Mexican knows this is a fight he dare not lose.
Given the weight advantage he has, Canelo’s countrymen will expect him to defeat Khan – and do so in style. That being the case, it is something of a no-win scenario for Canelo.
Well, that is besides the many, many millions he stands to make.
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) May 8, 2016
Frankie Gomez vs Mauricio Herrera
Now it’s time for Frankie Gomez and Mauricio Herrera to do their thing.
The arena is slowly filling as the first round gets under way – we don’t have too long to wait until the main event gets going.
We’ve already seen pictures of Canelo making the long walk through the back of this newly-built, multi-purpose stadium.
— GoldenBoyPromotions (@GoldenBoyBoxing) May 8, 2016
Amir Khan: I can’t hurt Canelo
Amir Khan has admitted that he lacks the power to hurt Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Khan, 29, is stepping up two weight classes to challenge the Mexican middleweight king.
“I’m going to hit Canelo and he’s probably not going to feel it, but skill is going to win it,” said Khan.
“I don’t want to be involved in exchanges, standing in front of him giving him free shots. I know he can hurt me with one big shot.
“So I have to make sure I’m balanced when I’m throwing my own shots. It’s all about being disciplined and sticking to the game-plan for 12 rounds.”
Curtis Stevens beats Patrick Teixeira
In the ring at the moment is Curtis Stevens and the unbeaten twenty-five year old Brazilian prospect, Patrick Teixeira.
Stevens – whose career looked to be on the decline before tonight – takes out the youngster in impressive fashion, winning the fight by knockout.
No-one was really predicting that before the bout. One big shot upstairs from Stevens and that’s that. An important win for the Brownsville native.
Tyson Fury – a source of inspiration?
Last year, Tyson Fury upset Wladimir Klitschko to become the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and in the process, record one of the biggest upset victories for a British fighter on foreign soil.
Perhaps the Furious One was a source of inspiration for Khan? Or perhaps not.
Still, there are some notable examples of British fighters flying the flag with pride overseas.
Khan vs Trump
Digressing slightly from the boxing, Khan has also found the time in the build-up to the fight to take a swipe at US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
Trump previously denied on Twitter that he was set to attend the star-studded evening in Vegas. And Khan, who has been outspoken about Trump’s divisive views, was quick to tell the billionaire that he wasn’t welcome anyway.
He quipped: “It’s sold out unfortunately with foreign fans…”
Pre-fight thoughts from Amir Khan
Amir Khan is under no illusions about the size of the task facing him tonight and what it would mean for his career.
A win in Vegas agains the sport’s cashcow would establish him as a global superstar, so he has everyone reason to make it an evening to remember at the T-Mobile Arena.
“All the hard work and training has been done. I have a great team, and I am conditioned and ready to fight and represent my country of England,” he said.
“Mentally, I have prepared by praying, being with my beautiful family, and the support from my fans. Even though Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, we are going to see a lot of British flags come Saturday night.
“This is a huge fight, as Canelo [Álvarez] is a star in Mexico and America. I know I’m here as the underdog, but I’m ready to win and take this WBC belt back to my home in England. I wouldn’t have taken this fight if I didn’t think I could take it. I have trained for everything and worked on my speed and my power.
“A win against Canelo would be one of the biggest wins of my career because he is a superstar, especially on this Cinco de Mayo weekend in front of everyone. I have trained and worked on my speed and my power.”
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) May 7, 2016
The fighters’ records
Amir Khan enjoyed a stunning career as an amateur, winning an Olympic silver medal in 2004 at the tender age of 17. But since joining the professional ranks, he has endured his fair share of setbacks, including a knockout defeat to American welterweight Danny Garcia.
Canelo, meanwhile, turned pro when he was just 15 and already has almost 50 fights on his record, including money-spinning bouts against Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto.
For a 25-year-old, the flame-haired Mexican already has an impressive amount of experience behind him.
- Fights – 34
- Wins – 31
- Wins by KO – 19
- Losses – 3
- Draws – 0
- Fights – 48
- Wins – 46
- Wins by KO – 32
- Losses – 1
- Draws – 1
Ricky Hatton thinks Canelo is ‘too big’ for Khan
Meanwhile, Ricky Hatton admits his good friend Amir Khan faces an unenviable task in beating the formidable Mexican, who has only lost one fight as a professional, to the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
“It’s not impossible but it’s a tough ask for Amir. Not just because of the size differential but unlike Mayweather, who drops shoulders, forearms, etc., Amir is straight-backed and upright, therefore he has to use his speed of feet to keep out of trouble,” Hatton said.
“Amir probably has the fastest feet in boxing but can he use them and keep out of danger for the whole 12 rounds?
“I love Amir for the fact he’s taken on this challenge. That’s a champion for you. If he wins I think it’ll be one of Britain’s greatest ever victories. But I think Canelo might just be too big. Canelo stoppage by midway. I hope I’m wrong, though.”