By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Amir Khan didn’t try to make it sound as if he’ll punch like Gennady Golovkin in his first middleweight fight.
The British welterweight didn’t predict he’ll hurt Canelo Alvarez, either, much less knock out his opponent May 7 in Las Vegas. But based on his previous sparring experience, when he has competed at his natural weight and hasn’t had to drain himself physically to reach the welterweight or junior welterweight limit, Khan has felt like a more powerful fighter.
He hopes to feel similarly when he squares off against Alvarez in their HBO Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena.
“It’s hard for me to say because I’ve never fought at this weight, with smaller gloves,” Khan said while touring to promote their fight. “But when I’ve sparred with guys heavier than me, at my natural weight, like I am now, I’ve knocked a lot of guys down in sparring. I’ve hurt a lot of guys. Manny Pacquiao could even tell you that. I’ve hurt a lot of guys in sparring. I used to spar with Manny Pacquiao. When I’m on my natural weight, I’m a lot stronger.”
The 29-year-old Khan (31-3, 19 KOs), who hasn’t scored a knockout in any of his three fights since becoming a full-fledged welterweight, said he expects to enter the ring May 7 at about 160 pounds. The 25-year-old Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), who has boxed at or around the junior middleweight limit the past five years, is likely to weigh as much as 10 pounds more than Khan once their bout begins.
The contracted catch weight for their WBC middleweight title fight is 155 pounds.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.