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Khan and Alvarez to meet in May
02 Feb 2016 20:08
WBC middleweight world champion Saul Alvarez has announced a surprise showdown with Amir Khan in Las Vegas on 7 May.
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Englishman Khan (31-3), who has not fought since a points victory over Chris Algieri last May, said last month he had a "few options" for his next fight, but no one expected him to arrange a catchweight contest at 155lbs with Alvarez.
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'Canelo' Alvarez (46-1-1), who is scheduled to meet multiple world title holder Gennady Golovkin in a unification bout later this year, will take on former two-time world champion Khan in his first title defence since claiming the vacant belt with a unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto in November.
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Khan steps up to middleweight after admitting defeat in his quest to face undisputed welterweight kingpin Floyd Mayweather Junior, who he couldn't resist a dig at.
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“I know Canelo fights the best and wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to face me like others have,” said Khan.
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"My goal is to always fight the biggest names and the best fighters; that is why I’m excited for this fight. I know I have the speed and ability to beat him and will give my fans what they deserve on 7 May.”
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Andre Berto, Brandon Rios and Jo Jo Dan had all been tipped as possible warm-up opponents for Khan ahead of a summer showdown with Danny Garcia or Kell Brook, the respective WBC and IBF welterweight champions.
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Khan is Garcia's mandatory challenger and the WBC had ordered the American - who had a fourth-round knockout victory over the Bolton fighter in July 2012 - to face him by June or lose his belt.
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Mexican champion Alvarez said: “As the middleweight champion of the world, I will take on the best fighters in the sport and on Cinco De Mayo weekend, I look forward to making the first defence of my titles.
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"Amir was a decorated amateur, a two-time world champion and is in the prime of his career. Fans are in for a great fight.”
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Alvarez's only loss in 48 fights has been a majority points defeat to the unbeaten Mayweather in 2013 and many regard him as the next superstar of boxing when the American decides to hang up his gloves.
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Alvarez carries a big punching reputation and has won 46 of his 48 fights - he had a draw against Jorge Juarez in only his fifth contest - by way of 32 knockouts.
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