A day ahead of the inaugural boxing event at the newly constructed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada; combatants weighed in for their respective bouts to a well-received crowd. The card is headlined by a championship bout between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) in what has become one of the more popular and celebrated weekends annually for boxing fans. For many years, the Cinco De Mayo weekend has hosted great fights featuring legendary fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya and in more recent years Floyd Mayweather Jr. However, Saturday night's fight marks Alvarez's first opportunity to headline the blockbuster weekend. It also marks the first defense of Alvarez's lineal and WBC Middleweight title belts, in what many hope is just a prelude to a mega-fight between he and knockout sensation Gennady "GGG" Golovkin to unify titles in the Middleweight division.
For Amir Khan, this will not only be a step up in weight class as he previously fought as a Welterweight, but also a step up in competition from his most-recent bouts at the 147 pound limit. Khan has faced high quality opponents at lower divisions, but failed to secure a huge fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. while campaigning as a Welterweight. While being interviewed after his weigh-in, Khan stated; "I am 100% confident I can go in there and win this fight. This is my time to prove myself". Khan has been a professional boxer for a decade and is very accomplished, as he has won titles in divisions ranging from Lightweight to Welterweight. But at this stage of his career, Khan is aiming to secure his legacy and only wants to fight huge names. Saturday night marks the beginning of the journey to cement his legacy in boxing. Many critics feel this may be a task too daunting for Khan who has never fought as a Middleweight, let alone as a Super Welterweight, a weight that Canelo Alvarez has lingered around for the past 6 years.
Currently, Amir Khan is about a 5-1 underdog heading into Saturday night's matchup against Canelo Alvarez. Many believe that the natural size differential will be too much for Khan to deal with for 12 rounds, but the fighters are very similar in stature. Khan, who measures 5'8, actually has a 1-inch reach advantage over Alvarez who also measures the same height. Both fighters weighed in at the 155-pound weight limit stipulated for Saturday night's Middleweight title bout. For Khan to win, he must utilize constant movement to avoid the powerful combinations of Alvarez because once Alvarez's feet are set and planted, he lets loose. Alvarez is a very patient fighter who relies on timed counters and punching in combinations to counteract what some consider to be his main flaw in the ring, foot speed. Khan has been knocked out in lower weight divisions and it is felt this could be the ultimate outcome of the fight. However, Khan certainly has the skillset to outbox Canelo Alvarez over 12 rounds if he can avoid the big punch.
The main event title bout will be preceded by 3 other intriguing bouts on the undercard. David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) will be making his return to the ring after losing his IBF title to Gennady Golovkin last year. He faces the Freddie Roach trained Glen Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs), who is making his debut as a Middleweight on Saturday night. Tapia is also coming off of a loss where he was knocked out by Michel Soro. David Lemieux weighed in at the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds and Glen Tapia tipped the scales at 159.5 pounds. Their bout will be contested for the vacant WBO NABO Middleweight title.
In what could be the most thrilling fight of the night, Mauricio "El Maestro" Herrera (22-5, 7 KOs) takes on Frankie "Pitbull" Gomez (20-0, 13 KOs) in a 10-round Welterweight bout. Herrera is a fan-favorite because of his active style, but has been on the short-end of decisions a few times in his career. For Gomez, this will be his stiffest competition to date, as his career has been somewhat troublesome in the past marred by legal issues and lack of disciple in the gym having missed weight in previous bouts. At the weigh-in, both fighters were on point as Herrera came in at a lean 145.5 pounds and Gomez weighed in at 146 pounds. While the fight is being contested in the Welterweight division, this is not a permanent division change for Frankie Gomez as he intends to move back down to Junior Welterweight after the fight.
The HBO PPV televised card will commence with a Middleweight bout that pits veteran Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20 KOs) against rugged Brazilian scrapper Patrick Teixeira (26-0, 22 KOs). This marks only the third time Teixeira has fought outside of his native country, but Golden Boy Promotions certainly believe in his talent. For Stevens, this is his first action in over 18 months. He recently switched trainers in hopes to resurrect his career with ex-champion, now famed trainer John David Jackson. Curtis Stevens weighed in at the divisional limit of 160 pounds while Patrick Teixeira came in under the limit at 159 pounds for their 10-round bout.