Typically, the Cinco De Mayo weekend in boxing represents one of the biggest and most financially lucrative fights of the year. This year is no different except that the promotion’s lead is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez — defending his middleweight title against Amir Khan — and not Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Traditionally speaking, at least for the better part of the last decade, Mayweather Jr. was the primary focus of the most popular date in boxing. Now, it is on the shoulders of Canelo to secure his place as boxing’s biggest attraction by securing the most prominent date. Canelo is already the biggest draw in boxing, not to mention he will be the biggest (in size) fighter in the ring on May 7th. However, the question remains just how lucrative this fight can be.
Will it be successful? Yes. However, the degree of success is in question.
Some dislike the idea of a middleweight champion that doesn’t fight at middleweight defending his title against, well, a non-middleweight.
To Khan’s credit, the size advantage he is giving up does not seem to bother him, and, even if it does, Khan is not complaining about it publically. Khan told a group of reporters that he knew he would’ve been well within his right to demand some hydration clause in the negotiations for the fight contested at a catch-weight of 155lbs.
Instead, Khan decided against making any demands based on weight restrictions. Some might argue that Khan folded at the risk of losing out on another fight with yet another marquee name. However, the way Khan tells it, he refused to allow Canelo any opportunity for excuses after he wins. It is a gutsy move if true, but most will see it as a brash fallacy made in haste.
In response to a reporter’s question regarding Khan’s position on not demanding a hydration clause, Khan said, “I could have, but I don’t want him to have any excuses when I beat him. I don’t want him thinking, ‘oh, he had a clause in there where I couldn’t rehydrate. I was suffering of this.’ I don’t want him to have any excuses once I beat him. I’m just going to say to him, ‘We beat you fair and square’ at the deal that you wanted.”
Khan stated that he hopes his no hassle strategy would influence the younger fighters of the era when it comes to making the tough fights a reality. Also, he hopes to inspire the sport’s best fighters into making a real attempt at securing the most challenging fights that exist for them.
“I hope this motivates all the young fighters out there and all the other professional boxers because they all should be having the best fights for them in boxing.”
Khan had been under fire for the past several years for sitting back and waiting for a huge money fight with Mayweather as opposed to staying active and following his own advice of challenging himself regardless of negotiation prowess. However, it would seem as though Khan is remorseful after he admitted that there was a huge chunk of his career where he was unmotivated.
Oddly enough, Khan pointed out his biggest wins at welterweight for examples of fights that he just couldn’t get up for, and it seems like Khan feels the past several years of his career were something of a waste.
“It was just really hard for me to motivate myself fighting people like Chris Algieri, not disrespect, he’s a nice guy. And, then, obviously the Alexander fight, the Collazo fight. I want to fight with someone who is going to give me a real test and it’s going to be like a 50/50 fight. Where in this fight, if you look at it, all odds are on Canelo, so I’m the underdog which is only making me train harder.”
Khan’s statements could be a great sign that we’ve yet to see the best version of him at welterweight, or, like his hydration clause reasoning, it could be just another empty excuse to mask his poor performance against Algieri.