Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'This Will Make Me a True Boxing Superstar' ; Khan Faces Biggest Test of His Career against Big-Hitting Alvarez

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'This Will Make Me a True Boxing Superstar' ; Khan Faces Biggest Test of His Career against Big-Hitting Alvarez

Article excerpt

BY his own admission, Amir Khan doesn't have the power to stop Saul Canelo Alvarez.

His own trainer Virgil Hunter readily admits he didn't want to take the fight that has gripped Las Vegas this week - and the world at large.

So the natural question is how we've come to the point where former lightweight Khan is just hours away from stepping into the ring with the finest middleweight on the planet? The fear is that the 29-year-old's obsession with securing a careerdefining fight has convinced him to over-reach.

He's spent his peak years being led down one blind alley after another in his pursuit of Floyd Mayweather.

Money's retirement last year and Manny Pacquiao's decision to hang up his gloves following last month's victory against Tim Bradley has left Khan short of options.

He was closer than ever to finally agreeing a much-anticipated grudge match with Kell Brook - but the degree of animosity between the rivals means that fight may never materialise. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a Khan-Brook showdown is the Bolton man's belief that his rival cannot compete with his global appeal - even if he does hold the IBF welterweight title.

Khan is convinced he belongs in the company of Mayweather - and in Alvarez he has finally found an opponent to escalate one of his bouts to super-fight status.

The risks of going in against the bigger and stronger man are what add to the contest's appeal.

Khan is summoning memories of the legends he wants to emulate when envisaging his route to success at the T-Mobile Arena.

Sugar Ray Leonard against Marvin Hagler and Pacquiao's victory against Oscar De La Hoya that transformed him from a multiweight champion to a global icon.

"I don't think I can knock him out, but I can beat him on points," Khan said.

"People consider me the underdog - let them think that.

"I can win this fight and prove that I belong here. A win could bring Mayweather out of retirement, Pacquiao may come back. But I'm not looking past this fight."

It was Khan's father Shah who really got the ball rolling as they plotted his next move.

With the collapse of the Brook fight, the fear was of a further period of inactivity - or another underwhelming opponent like last May's clash with Chris Algieri in Brooklyn. …

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