Canelo Alvarez, Amir Khan and a moment that changed his career forever

  • Tom Ward

Five years ago on Friday, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez knocked Amir Khan out cold in front of a sell-out crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

He then kneeled down beside the Olympic silver medallist’s body, which was lying prone on the canvas, in an extraordinary act of kindness. 

Earlier that night, former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux, a future opponent for Billy Joe Saunders, stopped Glen Tapia in his tracks after being knocked out by Gennady Golovkin. 

But his comeback would be quickly forgotten about when Canelo landed a brutal right hand.

It remains to this day one of the most devastating knockouts in the history of boxing.

Despite being a heavy betting favourite, Canelo at times struggled to keep up with the slippery and elusive Khan, just the way his trainer Virgil Hunter had intended. Then disaster struck.  

Canelo caught Khan off guard after throwing a left hook to the head. He then followed that up with a couple of extra shots for good measure, but Khan, perhaps borne out of sheer desperation, kept on firing back. 

That would then prove to be his undoing when Canelo then let rip with a vicious right hand that cracked Khan right on the chin and rendered him unconscious. 

But it is the manner in which Canelo celebrated his victory that helps to set him apart from so many others.

His brutal one-punch KO almost singlehandedly set up a super-fight with the Kazakh Golovkin. 

And he responded almost immediately by expressing concern for the safety of his fallen opponent, a little known fact that is often far too easily overlooked. 

There are few more poignant – and striking – moments in boxing history.

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Where was Canelo Alvarez born?

Canelo may have won, but in that moment, he briefly displayed a rare moment of public emotion, which should serve as a reminder that even the best are just human, just like the rest of us. 

It should not be so quickly forgotten about, even if nobody really cared about it at the time. 

Read more: Remembering the night Billy Joe Saunders delivered a masterclass against David Lemieux

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