Boxer Khan would join British greats with Alvarez win: Hatton

Wed May 4, 2016 8:25am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Amir Khan will have to produce one of the greatest displays ever seen by a British boxer if he is to beat WBC middleweight champion Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas on Saturday, according to Ricky Hatton.

The 29-year-old, like fellow Briton Hatton a former light-welterweight world champion, has moved up two weight divisions - putting on the best part of 10 kilos - to take on flame-haired Mexican Alvarez, whose only defeat in 48 fights came against Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.

Khan is a huge underdog against Alvarez, nicknamed Canelo (the Spanish word for cinnamon) because of his hair, but Hatton believes he could pull off an upset.

"It's a big ask. He has the tools to do it and I hope he does it, but it's a massive, massive ask to keep out of trouble for 12 rounds against Alvarez who has improved so much since the Mayweather fight," Hatton told Reuters.

"If he does pull it off, going from welterweight to middleweight and wining the title, it would be one of the best wins in British boxing history I think."

Hatton knows first hand the dangers of moving up a weight.

He suffered his first career defeat when Mayweather knocked him out in a WBC welterweight world title bout in Las Vegas in 2007 and was never the same fighter again.

According to the 37-year-old Hatton, who is now a boxing promoter having hung up his gloves in 2012, Khan must not get involved in a slug fest with the more powerful Alvarez and use his superior movement to stay out of trouble.   Continued...

Boxing - Amir Khan training ahead of his WBC Middleweight Title challenge against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez - Las Vegas, United States of America - 4/5/16
Amir Khan in action during the workout
Mandatory Credit: Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge