Amir Khan believes that Billy Joe Saunders will provide Canelo Alvarez with some problems early on, but expects the Mexican to stop him in the sixth round on Saturday night.
Khan, a former Light Welterweight world champion moved up to Middleweight to challenge the 30-year-old for the WBC world title and had early success before being brutally stopped in the sixth round in Las Vegas.
The 34-year-old anticipates that Saunders will provide the four-weight world champion a stern test in the early rounds, but has warned his compatriot of the speed and power of Alvarez, who has not tasted defeat since a first and only loss at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.
“Beware. Everyone who watches Canelo from outside the ring thinks he’s slow. He’s not. He’s very quick through his timing,” Khan told Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail.
“He makes you think you are in a slow-paced fight. Believe that and you make a big mistake. You will find yourself getting hit with big shots. Body and head.
“Being quick myself, I found it fairly easy to catch him with some good shots. But he is very good at closing down the ring and has a good chin.
“He is happy to take punches so that he can land really telling shots. By the time he fought me his punching was becoming really powerful.
“He’s gone on to prove it by winning world titles up to light heavyweight and now back down a notch at super middleweight.
“Billy Joe has the style that can give Canelo a few problems for a few rounds. But, sorry to say, he gets knocked out in the sixth.”
Khan became Canelo’s third British victim after Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes and he has since also added Liam Smith, Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith to his British roster of victories.
The Bolton man had shared some fearsome battles with the likes of Danny Garcia and Marcos Maidana prior to his outing with Alvarez, who he says connected with the “biggest punch” he’d ever felt in his career, which left him knocked out cold.
“Quite simply he hit me with the biggest punch I’ve ever taken in my life,” Khan added.
“I withstood huge blows from Marcos Maidana in that famous 10th round and won.
“I got up twice from being knocked down by that massive puncher Danny Garcia before the referee stopped me.
“But there was no coming back from this one. I was completely unconscious.”
A record crowd of up to 70,000 fans are expected inside the AT & T Stadium – the largest live attendance since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The clash had been in doubt earlier in the week, after Saunders and his team were aggrieved by the ring size and threatened to pull out, but that has since been resolved with the inner ring measuring 22ft.
Canelo and Saunders will come face-to-face for the final time at today’s weigh-in from 2pm CT/8pm BST.