Saul Alvarez and Amir Khan have big shoes to fill on Saturday, occupying the prime first weekend spot in May that has been reserved for Floyd Mayweather Jr., but there aren't two better boxers capable of delivering on a big stage.
When Canelo agreed to the fight with Khan in February, it was seen as a surprise because the two stars work with feuding promoters—Oscar De La Hoya is suing Premier Boxing Champions' Al Haymon for $300 million—and Khan is moving up two weight classes to fight at 155 pounds.
Yet none of the outside storylines will matter once Alvarez and Khan step into the ring for boxing's biggest match of the year. Here's all the pre-fight information to get you ready for Saturday's epic showdown.
|Canelo vs. Khan Schedule Information|
|Date||PPV Start Time (ET)||Odds||Ticket Information|
|Saturday, May 7||9 p.m.||Alvarez (-500)||ScoreBig.com|
|Source: HBO.com, Odds via OddsShark.com|
Ticket information can be found at ScoreBig.com.
Not surprisingly with a fight of this magnitude, both fighters are going to come out of Saturday night with much thicker wallets than they had before entering the ring.
Khan, in particular, walked his way into a huge payout. Per Chris McKenna of the Daily Star (via Boxing Scene), the man known as King will be getting a king's ransom valued at $13.1 million.
Khan's payout includes money from UK TV's Box Nation and is the largest payout for a British fighter since David Haye netted nearly $15 million for his 2011 heavyweight championship bout against Wladimir Klitschko, per McKenna's report.
Canelo's purse is not as clear-cut because he's the main draw in the match. With Mayweather retired, he's been elevated to the biggest star in the sport. His last fight with Miguel Cotto in November drew 900,000 buys and $58 million in revenue, per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael.
HBO senior vice president Mark Taffet told Rafael that was the first fight that didn't feature Mayweather, De La Hoya or Manny Pacquiao since 2002 to generate at least 900,000 pay-per-view buys.
Surprisingly, Cotto earned the bigger payout from that fight. Rafael noted Cotto earned $15 million to $5 million for Alvarez before factoring in television and ticket revenue.
It also helps Alvarez this time around that he is the champion defending the WBC, Ring and lineal middleweight titles against Khan. Cotto held the Ring middleweight title going into his bout against Canelo, giving him negotiating leverage even though Canelo was the bigger international star.
Regardless of the final payouts for both fighters, there is no doubt they will be compensated well for their efforts.
|Canelo-Khan Scorecard Prediction|
|Fighter||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8|
|Alvarez||10||10||10||9||10||9||10||Win by TKO|
|Adam Wells' Prediction|
The biggest selling point for Khan vs. Alvarez is speed versus power, though that theory doesn't carry as much weight because of the circumstances around the fight.
If Khan were fighting at his usual 140 pounds, his speed would be an advantage. He is adding 15 pounds to his frame in order to challenge Alvarez for the middleweight title, though, which is going to impact his fighting style.
For an example of how the difference in weight can change things, let's look at mixed martial arts. Conor McGregor, who was the best featherweight fighter in the world and won the 145-pound title in December, took a welterweight fight against Nate Diaz in March.
Carrying an additional 23 pounds after tipping the scales at 168 pounds, he was not the same fighter. He looked great early, throwing jabs and moving in and out with ease, but things changed in the second round. Diaz took him to the mat and submitted him with a choke hold.
That will be the challenge for Khan to overcome on Saturday. Alvarez has already prepared his body to fight at 155 pounds thanks to his fight against Cotto, so he's used to the physical differences.
Legendary trainer Freddie Roach told Steve Kim of Boxing Scene that the size difference between Khan and Alvarez will be the biggest determining factor.
“(Khan)’s a very, very athletic person, but I think he might be a little too small,” Roach said. “He’s got to pitch a perfect game. … I think he would’ve been better off fighting [welterweight titlist and fellow Englishman] Kell Brook.”
Anytime a fighter is asked to be essentially perfect, he is flirting with disaster.
[Khan has] a chance because he’s very fast on his feet and very fast on his hands. If there’s one thing that Canelo hasn’t got — even though he’s improved since the Mayweather fight massively — is the quickness of feet. He hits hard with both hands, he’s a good boxer, but his feet aren’t the quickest and that could be key.
The best thing that could have happened to Alvarez was the Mayweather fight in 2013. It came when he was 23 years old and on top of the world at 42-0-1. Having that much success at such a young age can lead to an understandable sense of complacency.
Mayweather wound up outpointing Alvarez to earn a majority-decision win, which forced Alvarez to become quicker while still maintaining the powerful punching that earned him 42 victories.
Alvarez is the favorite for a reason. He will dominate the early rounds and score a knockout victory against Khan to solidify his status as the face of boxing's future.