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Boxing marvel Khan ready

International Sports

Physical marvel, Amir Khan ready to rumblePhysical marvel, Amir Khan ready to rumbleA year on from the Fight of the Century that wasn't even the fight of the night, boxing could do with a classic for the ages in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao was a terrible let-down followed by a crashing hangover, but Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez versus Amir Khan might be the fight that elevates one or both of them into the superstars the sport of boxing needs.

After a slow start, Alvarez-Khan has gained traction on the Vegas Strip as the week has worn on. Friday's weigh-in outside the spanking new T-Mobile Arena was attended by a few thousand Mexicans, already in full swing ahead of Cinco de Mayo weekend, and a small but vocal contingent of Brits.

Oscar de la Hoya has thrown the kitchen sink at the promotion, because he knows what's at stake.

While Mayweather-Pacquiao had a record 4.6m pay-per-view buys in the United States, both fighters' next bouts (against Andre Berto and Timothy Bradley respectively) pulled in about 400,000 buys each.

All those floating fans Mayweather-Pacquiao attracted quickly floated off again, before the two men themselves, the sport's only active household names, hauled their riches into retirement.

Whether Khan, who is bidding to become Britain's 12th current world champion, has enough ring smarts to take Alvarez to the limit is questionable.

Khan, 29, is bidding to become only the third former light-welterweight world champion to win a middleweight world title, after De la Hoya and Miguel Cotto. That tells you all you need to know about how difficult it is to do.

Even Khan doesn't sound too convinced about his chances. The Bolton boxer has claimed he doesn't have the power to hurt Alvarez and admitted he'll need to be the best he's ever been to have a hope.

And that's assuming the champion hasn't improved since winning the WBC belt from Cotto last November.

Alvarez has had 48 professional fights but is only 25. That makes for a frightening combination of vast experience and learning potential.

Remarkably, Alvarez turned pro three months after his 15th birthday. Apparently, social services turn a blind eye to boys fighting grown men over in Guadalajara.

He'd had 21 fights by the time he was 18 and was only 20 when he outpointed Britain's Matthew Hatton to win the vacant WBC light-middleweight title.

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