Wednesday 3 February 2016

Canelo Alvarez Vs Amir Khan - How much difference will the weight make?

It's fair to say that not many people saw this fight coming, but like many it is definitely one i am excited about. Having become, like many other boxing fans, quite despondent over the direction of Khan's career especially in light of his refusal to grant the UK fight fans the fight we all really wanted to see against Kell Brook, i can now say that i am firmly back on the Khan fan train and i would love to see an upset against Canelo.

However, there are some real issues and concerns regarding this fight as boxing can be quite a brutal sport. The key questions relate to the weight difference and what the affect of that could be with Canelo known for coming in up to 20lbs heavier than what he officially weighs in at. There's also the power difference too, Canelo showed against James Kirkland he can really bang and that was against a natural middleweight too. Can Khan really stand up to that power? Well with his questionable chin many believe this will be an easy night for Canelo and will be over as soon as he connects with any real venom.

Compare this to Khan who's power is questionable as well as the fact he is really coming up from light welterweight having only ever fought at 147lbs against Collazo the only true welterweight and then Alexander who was really a light welterweight and Algieri who again was really a light welterweight. This shows how big a step up this is for Khan and whilst there were concerns about him making light welterweight himself and growing in to the 147b division the question remains as to whether he can really hang with a powerful big hitting guy at the heavier weight, so far that has been left unanswered and what a fight for him to have to answer all of these questions!

Some will argue that Mayweathers speed and agility/reflexes made Canelo look flat footed, even lacking ideas and at times easy to hit but Khan is not Mayweather and he's also not shown the consistent discipline needed to strategically beat an opponent with many advantages over him. Khan's speed will no doubt be his key advantage but as with any boxer moving up in weight and going from 147b to 155b is a big jump then Khan will lose some of his speed.

From a nutritionist point of view Khan will not have to endure the lengthy dieting which can seriously affect a boxers performance, with his nutrition being more focussed on performance aspect such as strength, fitness and recovery it's fair to assume Khan will enjoy this training camp a lot more. It would be expected though that his nutritionist and S&C team have monitored him enough to be able plan out and measure progress to ensure he's not slowing down with the extra weight, the blueprint of speed being key against Canelo is there from Mayweather, Angulo and Lara. Khan's team need to ensure that he carrie more power but his speed remains. You would also expect that Khan will come in at the weight easy without the drying out process. Whilst many boxers with a good drying out protocol under the guidance of a nutritionist should not feel any negative affects from dropping up to 8% of their body weight to make the weight those who struggle or think once they've made the weight they can eat what they want are the one's who will suffer come the second half of a fight. The weight draining undertaken by Canelo has been questioned as a reason for him sometimes labouring through the final rounds of a fight.

Having worked with many boxers and understanding the key aspects of making weight the safe way as well as knowing of many who make it the wrong way my belief is that if there is a check weigh in requested from the Khan camp for the next day then Canelo may in fact slow down in the latter rounds. If Khan can keep on the move in the early rounds, make Canelo miss and catch him with counters then take control with his superior speed and conditioning in the latter rounds then he may just be able to win.

So from a nutritionist point of view this fight makes for very interesting viewing, with 13 weeks to go i'm sure their nutrition and S&C teams already have their plans in place. Ideally Canelo will make the weight comfortably and regain the weight sensibly from drying out and Khan's speed and conditioning will be improved through a less restrictive diet and we, the fans will see 2 of the best fighters around at their peaks come May 7th.

We are either going to see Canelo steamroll and KO Khan who struggled to adapt with the extra weight early or Khan will make it interesting and take Canelo in to the late rounds to see if he can hang with real speed and counters for 12 rounds.

For British fight fans i'd love to see Khan take this one and set up the fight against Brook, someone who surely only has a handful of fights left at 147lb himself.


  1. We have analyzed this fight in great detail, which you can see here: Mike Tyson

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