Photo: Lina Baker
In a scene of bedlam, Amir Khan 31-4 (19KO’s) lay unconscious in the center of the ring at the newly crowned T-Mobile arena. The crowd roaring and raucous as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 47-1-1 (32KO’s) is announced the winner, the figure of Gennady Golovkin sat ringside with a grin on his face.
Amir Khan dared to be great and paid the price for it; but can go away with his head held high as he was thoroughly out-boxing Alvarez and controlling the tempo of the action for five rounds. Khan came out using fast feet, hands and upper body movement to keep Alvarez missing through the early part of the fight. Canelo would land one big hook at a time to get the crowd roaring but it wasn’t enough to win the rounds as Khan was dictating where the fight was being fought and the pace.
In the fifth round Khan appeared to slow just a half step and that was all Alvarez needed for his timing to be on the mark. A big left hook by Alvarez early in the round was the pre-cursor to what followed, a thunderous right hand to the chin of Khan and that was it. Khan fell asleep on his way to the canvas and didn’t get up for several minutes.
“I didn’t make it to the end, but I tried my best,” said Khan. “I want to be the best, and I want to fight the best. That is why I took this fight.”
“He’s fast, I knew time would be in my favor” said Alvarez through a translator after the fight. HBO’s Max Kellerman asked Alvarez about the presence of Golovkin ringside to which he replied. “I invited him to come to the ring. Like we say in Mexico ‘we don’t fuck around.’ I don’t fear anyone; we don’t come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport. Right now I will put on the gloves again and fight him.”
Compubox showed Alvarez landing 64 of 170 at 37.6% and Khan with 48 of 166 for 27.9%, Alvarez landed 42 of 83 power punches but he would only need one to close up shop early.
Official scores were 48-47 by Glen Feldman, 49-46 Glenn Trowridge for Saul Alvarez and 48-47 Adalaide Byrd for Amir Khan. InstantBoxing’s unofficial card had Amir Khan winning 50-45 at the time of the stoppage. Official attendance for the fight was 16,540, far short of the 20,000 mark of capacity for the new T-Mobile arena and there were plenty of empty patches throughout the stadium to indicate there was no sell-out as expected.