British boxing superstar Amir Khan takes on former welterweight champion Devon Alexander in a 12 round welterweight bout on Saturday at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is billed as The Royal Battle, presumably because Amir is King Khan and Devon is Alexander the Great. But will it be a Battle Royale inside the ring?
Khan versus Alexander was supposed to happen in December 2013 after Khan had rebounded from back to back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in 2012. However, King Khan backed out of the negotiations for that bout because he was expecting to be selected as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s next opponent. But even after winning Money May’s online poll, Mayweather chose to fight Marcos Maidana instead. Disappointed, Khan kept himself close to Floyd by fighting Luis Collazo in the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana. Khan won by impressive stoppage, but Mayweather chose a rematch with Maidana over Khan once again. Left with no dancing partner, Khan decided to step up his chase for Floyd Mayweather Jr. by finally agreeing to fight Devon Alexander on December 13.
Alexander the Great?
Alexander is no patsy and is not a stepping stone to Floyd Mayweather Jr. The former two division world champion is a legitimate contender who’s faced tougher competition than Khan. Alexander boasts of back to back wins over the hard hitting Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana. He’s also beaten former world champions Andreas Kotelnik and Juan Urango. But despite those impressive wins, the public remembers Alexander as the boxer who lost the two biggest bouts of his career. Alexander’s first loss came at the hands of Timothy Bradley via a 10 round technical decision. Four wins later, Alexander was beaten by welterweight prospect Shawn Porter and lost his IBF Welterweight belt.
Khan and Alexander are almost physically even. Both fighters are well below their 30’s and are both 5-8 1/2 in height but Khan does have a marginal one inch reach advantage over his American foe. Alexander has fought ten more career rounds but Khan has been in four more total fights. But what makes this match-up interesting is that both fighters will be looking at their mirror image on Saturday night because Alexander is a southpaw and Khan fights as an orthodox boxer.
Khan has the better offensive attack, but he could be in for a tough fight because Alexander has a pretty good amateur background and could be a tricky opponent because he is a southpaw. Alexander may not be the most exciting and explosive fighter in the weight class, but he is one of the more talented fighters out there.
Key to Winning
The key in this battle of boxers is the jab, because whoever establishes his jab will have the opportunity to land his other punches. This fight could very well go the distance because both are technically skilled boxers. But knowing what’s at stake in this one, both should be looking to make a statement by convincingly beating the other.
With a combined 33 knockouts in 56 total wins, neither man possesses that thunderous one punch knockout power. But because both are very fast boxers who can throw big punches in bunches, a knockout cannot be discounted in this bout. Khan has the bigger punch between the two, so if this one’s due for a premature ending, it should be in favor of Khan. But King Khan is known to have a glass jaw and may be easier to put down than Alexander who has an underrated chin. The chances of these two going toe to toe are almost nil, but because Khan needs to get Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s attention, he has to deliver a homerun and may be going for the knockout.
The welterweight division is perhaps the richest and the most loaded in boxing right now. Whoever wins this one gets another crack at glory and a big payday in his next bout. The loser falls so far down the line that going back to the top could be like starting all over again. With these high stakes, a battle royale could be an understatement because we are expecting a war between King Khan and Alexander the Great on Saturday night.