Welcome back to 12 Rounds UK, today is my belated reaction to this weekends main British action including Amir Khan’s crushing defeat to Alvarez, Crolla’s defining title defence and Chisora’s disappointing loss.
AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ
Amir Khan gets knocked out by Mexican Boxing hero Canelo Alvarez after 6 rounds for the WBC Middleweight title.
It was a fight that looked so promising for the Brit Khan but ended up in a defeat that put him in the hospital, for precaution anyway. Khan came out in a fight that was built up as being speed v power and he started excellently, moving in close and using his speed to put some good combinations together. Alvarez however never looked like the speed of Khan would put him on the floor as he continuously took the shots on the chin well and looked to put together some combinations of his own. As Khan was controlling the fight, Alvarez suddenly caught him with a shot that cut his eye and put some doubt in ‘King’ Khan’s mind, this made the Brit make some defensive mistakes and that’s when Canelo delivered the knock out blow. As Khan showed a massive gap in his defence, Alvarez swung a big right hook that caught Khan on the side of the jaw and put him down and out, he couldn’t even get up for the count. Before Alvarez could celebrate, he made sure Khan was alright (he was later taken to hospital for check ups) and then after, the Mexican party began.
It was unfortunate for Khan in the manner in which he lost the fight but he can leave with his head held high after being ahead on the scorecards going into the 6th round. Unfortunately the step up in weight was just too much for the natural Welterweight as although he showed he still had the speed, he didn’t quite have the power to match Alvarez who was clearly much bigger in size. Khan will probably step back down to Welterweight and either challenge Danny Garcia for the WBC title or challenge Kell Brook for the IBF title, a bout people have been wanting for some time. However the same question remains, does Amir Khan have the jaw for the big punchers or will he continue to be found out at the top-level?
ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO
Manchester fan favourite Anthony ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla defends his WBA Lightweight world title after knocking out dangerous challenger Ismael Barroso.
The best performance from any Brit Boxing this weekend was from Anthony Crolla. He came into the fight as the world champion but also as an underdog as many thought Barroso will do what he did to Kevin Mitchell and knock Crolla out. Barroso started the fight well and was probably a fair distance ahead on the scorecards by the time he was knocked out. He was using his sharp movement, speed and power to try to get Crolla out of there early, that was his game plan there was no plan B. Crolla however just continued to soak up the pressure Barroso was putting on him using his solid defensive skills which have won him so many fights before. As Barroso began to tire, ‘Million Dolla’ moved in, putting some good combinations together before finding a gap in the South Americans defence and hitting him with a good body shot. Barroso belatedly fell to the ground and was unable to make it back up, Crolla retained his title against the toughest of opponents.
Crolla surely has to be seen as the top Lightweight in the world right now after that performance, he was excellent throughout even if Barroso seemed to dominate early on. A unification match could be his next fight, potentially against fellow Lightweight world champion Brit Terry Flanagan. It would certainly be an interesting fight and one Crolla would hope he can win.
DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV
Derek Chisora loses IBF title eliminator and European Title fight against Kubrat Pulev after 12 tough rounds out in Hamburg.
It’s a shame for the Brit, a fight against AJ could have been potentially a good domestic clash but it just wasn’t to be. Pulev always looked in control of the fight and it wasn’t until the later rounds Chisora really came alive but it wasn’t enough. Pulev never let Chisora attack him from close range, continuously grabbing the Brit when he got close enough to do any damage, unfortunately the referee turned a blind eye. It wasn’t really close on the scorecards either despite it being a split decision, 116-112 and 118-110 in favour of the Bulgarian and 115-113 in favour of Chisora, probably in protest about the contest grabbing from Pulev.
It was a hugely disappointing night for Chisora and he will go home looking to move back onto the domestic scene. I think that was his last chance at the very top of the game and he failed to make a good enough impression to make anyone worried about him.