When it was first announced that Amir Khan would be making the jump from welterweight to middleweight to challenge the division’s lineal champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, many were left pondering how Khan could be successful against such a naturally bigger man.
As time has gone by, more and more people have begun to look beyond just physical size and started to analyze the skills Amir possesses that might actually be able to stun the talented middleweight champion. One such person is world renown boxing trainer Naazim Richardson, best known for his work with Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley.
Richardson recently spoke with ThaBoxingVoice owner/founder, Nestor Gibbs, where he gave his breakdown of what might occur come fight night, May 7th.
“Amir Khan is a problem.” explained Richardson. “His speed, if it ain’t hurting you, it’s agitation.”
Richardson would go on to express his opinion that if Khan could find a way to utilize the full arsenal of boxing skills he has displayed in the past, then he could find a way to beat a lot of guys ranging from 147 to 160.
“Amir Khan and that speed…You give him a shot with any of them guys…He’s not as small as everybody think. He ain’t as big as Canelo but I’m saying he ain’t papier-mâché, he ain’t pencil thin either.” said Richardson.
Richardson told Tha Boxing Voice that timing would be the key to Khan not getting hurt by Canelo. “Amir Khan can not allow Canelo to pick up on his timing, cuz that big son of a gun catch him in the middle of that timing and I don’t care what weight you coming from, man he gon’ hurt you.”
Khan’s biggest weapon is his speed and we’ve seen Canelo get baffled before by slick boxers with good hand speed in both the Mayweather and Lara fights but one of the concerns many experts, including Richardson, have for Khan is if the added muscle mass needed to compete at 160 pounds will take away from his normally blazing hand speed.
“I would hate to see any muscle slow Amir Khan down. He can’t afford to slow down in there.” Richardson stated.
Even though fans and members of the boxing media are beginning to give credence to the belief that Khan can pull an upset, almost everyone is in agreement that if Canelo is able to land anything hard on Khan, it will be a rough night for the 29-year-old.
Richardson himself possibly says it best: “God bless Khan if he does catch him.” A sentiment most fans can agree with.