Amir Khan’s extensive and exclusive interview with World Boxing News continues with the Briton’s thoughts on Canelo’s standing in the sport.
The 30 year-old bravely moved up two weight divisions to battle Canelo in 2016. Khan lost in six rounds but was roundly applauded for his efforts during the first five rounds.
Khan was leading on the majority of ringside cards, although the official judges saw it 2-1 in favor Canelo before the Mexican ended the argument a round later.
Since then, Canelo has gone from strength to strength. The WBN pound for pound king has unified at middleweight and won belts at 168 and 175.
That latest victory over Sergey Kovalev, an eleventh round stoppage, saw Canelo secure his place in history.
Airing his views, it’s Khan’s belief that Canelo carries a huge punch at any weight class.
“You know what, it just shows that when I fought him, a lot people said I got big balls to be winning rounds against him,” Khan exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Obviously, that was until that knockout, but it shows that he has that crazy power that can destroy anyone.
“He knocked out someone who was so much heavier than him so you have to give him that credit.
“Canelo, he’s on a different level. At that time when I fought him, I don’t think I got the credit for how well I was outboxing him for that time.
“People have to realize that he’s not only a power puncher, he’s a good boxer as well.”
Asked about where Canelo could possibly go next, Khan predicted another huge fight is in the offing.
“I think he’ll go back down to 168 pounds. I imagine it’ll be him against Andre Ward, that’ll be some fight.”
Ward has issued a lightweight denial to the rumors, which Khan believes could be blown off simply by the cash factor.
“Look, it’s a business at the end of the day. If the money is right then I’m sure he’ll take it. I haven’t (heard of anything official), but like I said, he’s been retired for a couple of years.
“When you know that big paychecks are there waiting then that might squeeze him to come back.”
A big talking point during the build-up to Canelo’s triumph over Kovalev in Las Vegas was the Cinnamon One’s relationship with Oscar De La Hoya.
After a long working partnership with De La Hoya in the past, Khan is in prime position to comment.
Canelo said his current standing with the retired legend was merely from a business standout. This is despite the pair being close during the early part of his career.
On rumors Canelo was reconsidering his promotional contract with De La Hoya, Khan was sure they could work things through.
“I don’t know because I’m sure he was happy with his last paycheck,” the former super lightweight ruler pointed out.
“It happens in boxing you’re always going to have your guard up against any promoter because you think why are they doing this?
“You’re going to have people putting things in your head. But if you look at how Oscar has developed and helped Canelo and made him the star he is. you can’t take anything away from him.
“I’m sure Canelo deep down respects that as well.”
Concluding with Canelo being the leading light against the threat of UFC taking the over as the number one combat sport, Khan stated: “I always thought was that the UFC’s going to surpass boxing with the way they do the shows. They always have the best fighting the best.
“With people like Canelo around and big names like that around, I think it still keeps boxing up there with the biggest sports in the world.
“Boxing is still the biggest fighting sport.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay (article transcribed by Assistant Editor).