When the #CaneloKhan announcement was made, our timeline was lit for about three hours straight. Boxing Twitter was split on Canelo’s decision to choose Khan and feelings ranged from shocked to outraged to holy shit I can’t wait for this to happen. Although opinions on the news varied widely, one thing remained constant; everyone plans to watch.
Canelo in another catchweight contest is no surprise since he has a tendency to fight smaller fighters who aren’t in his weight class. Well, not his weight class, which is 155, but the weight class below his at 154. When Canelo defeated Miguel Cotto and won the vacant WBC middleweight title, Oscar insisted, “Canelo will fight anybody.” Not to parse words, but when you dissect that statement and its broad undertones, you realize anybody doesn’t mean the best, it just means anybody. From junior welterweight to junior middleweight, ranked to unranked.
When the WBC middleweight champion of the world announces his first title defense against a title-less welterweight who has never fought above the welterweight limit of 147, it’s a bit of a let down. Especially since GGG and a number of other guys at 160 are looking for an opponent. The fans expect more and deserve more, but only in life do you get what you deserve; in boxing you get what promoters and networks give you.
Khan has campaigned at 147 three times and won by UD each time out. Although Khan only has a silver belt from the WBC, he’s still one of the higher ranked fighters at 147, just not the highest. While Khan doesn’t deserve a shot at a 160 title in the eyes of many, he’s part of a small handful willing to step up to such a challenge. Typically, a fighter will win a belt or two, or unify the belts, before moving up in weight for a title shot.
From the perspective of fans, Khan has unfinished business at 147 with his fellow countryman, Kell Brook, and the man who last knocked him out, WBC champion, Danny Garcia. In a perfect world Khan would avenge his loss to Danny Garcia before getting a title shot in another division, or at least get a win over a titleholder. However, boxing isn’t perfect and that’s what makes it so special.
Boxing fans love the idea of a mega fight and this is the closest thing since Pacquiao will not fight Canelo. From a business standpoint #CaneloKhan makes perfect sense. Canelo has a huge following in Mexico and the United States, and Khan has a strong legion of supporters in England and Pakistan. By the numbers, this fight makes perfect sense because it has potential to be a global event and massive PPV success. Khan will go into this fight as an underdog but it’s a fight people will buy because Canelo couldn’t defeat Mayweather and Khan has just as much speed or more.
Many have written off Khan but if he can vary his attack by using his jab, speed, and angles, he’ll have Canelo in trouble. Canelo manhandles fighters who stand in front of him but has to grind out wins against fighters who use movement. Seeing as Canelo isn’t adept at cutting off the ring, he may find himself following Khan around.
In the event Khan pulls off the upset, Golden Boy has a rematch clause in place, no matter how slim Kahn’s chances are according to boxing Twitter. Despite that, if they didn’t it would leave the door open for another fighter. Welcome back, Money May!
Khan has been chasing Mayweather tryna get chose for a few years without success. If Khan takes Canelo’s title and has carte blanche on his next opponent, it sets the stage for Mayweather’s 50th fight on PPV for the 160 strap. Mayweather told Khan to make $300 million and then come talk to him. Well, Khan won’t make anywhere near $300 million but his share of the purse may impress enough to lure Mayweather out of retirement.
Khan is going to fight Mayweather by any means necessary and at this juncture of his career it’s necessary for him to fight Canelo, a man who will likely weigh 170 on fight night. Khan’s determination to fight Mayweather is the definition of Money May’s mantra, “hard work, dedication,” and you have to applaud his relentless pursuit of that challenge.