SURPRISE: Canelo Alvarez To Defend Middleweight Title Against Amir Khan May 7

February 2, 2016

-OpeningRound Staff

Expected to fight an underwhelming opponent as a tune up for a possible middleweight unification bout against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez has just sent shockwaves throughout the boxing world, announcing that he’ll fight UK superstar and former junior-welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan.

The fight will take place on HBO pay-per-view, possibly at Las Vegas’ brand new MGM Arena, with Alvarez’s WBC middleweight title on the line at his usual catchweight of 155-pounds. Canelo won the title from Miguel Cotto back in November via unanimous decision.

It’s a shocking turn of events, considering that Khan is represented by Al Haymon, a man being sued by Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya (among other people too). De La Hoya is suing Haymon for $300 million, on the grounds that he is trying to monopolize boxing while violating a federal law forbidding a manager from simultaneously acting as a promoter.

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What’s also surprising is that a Haymon fighter will be appearing on HBO, something that has not happened in 3 years.

Per the LA Times, Tim Smith, a spokesman for Haymon, said, “Al was involved in negotiations with Khan’s people throughout … to make the deal. This is why it’s beneficial for these [fighters] to be free agents [not linked to promotional contracts], to go get the best possible deals they can, to make the most money he can for himself.”

Another official from Haymon’s camp said “If the point is that Al stops these guys from making fights with those guys, what do you think [this says]? This model has been set up — this is why it was constructed — to not deprive fighters of the chance to make the most money for themselves.”

Khan, who is naturally the significantly smaller man said,“My goal is to always fight the biggest names and the best fighters. That is why I’m excited for this fight,” Khan said. “I know I have the speed and ability to beat [Alvarez] and will give my fans what they deserve on May 7.”

Khan was supposed to face fellow Brit Kell Brook in a UK blockbuster fight for Brook’s IBF welterweight title this summer, but those plans will have to be put on hold now.

This fight though could be for much bigger implications than just a belt. The winner could be the heir to the throne as biggest star in the sport, vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. after his retirement.

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