By Steve Sturges: Last Saturday’s punch stats for the WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan contest were a little off. While the fight seemed to be a fairly one-sided contest until the 5th, the punch stats showed that Canelo landed more punches. I think that’s pretty bogus, and I think Khan was landing more shots up until the point where he was knocked out cold in the 6th round in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Canelo landed 64 of 170 punches for a connect percentage of 38%, according to Compu-Box. Khan connected on 48 of 166 punches for a connect percentage of 29%. I think the sport needs some way of having a computer analyze the punches because I don’t think it works when humans count the shots because there’s no way I agree that Khan landed fewer shots and a lower connect percentage than Canelo last Saturday. If you watch that fight, it was Canelo who was missing punches all night long and looking like a blind man in the ring.
Khan didn’t have the size or the chin to win the fight. It was a fight where his only chance of winning was to fight smart, stay on the move, and not leave himself open by throwing hooks like he’d done in past fights. Unfortunately for Khan, he didn’t move enough and he made the mistake of trying to throw a hook in the 6th round that Canelo was able to counter with a right hand to the head that knocked him clean out.
The fight rather reminded me a little of the Terry Norris vs. Julian Jackson contest in July 1989. Like Khan, Norris moved up in weight from welterweight to fight the heavier Jackson. Norris fought well in the 1st round in making Jackson look bad. But in the 2nd round, Jackson came out gunning and knocked Norris unconscious with a big right hand to the head. Canelo doesn’t have Jackson’s punching power, but he didn’t need it to KO the fragile-chinned Khan.