Khan's fighting words against Alvarez

LOS ANGELES • Amir Khan insists that he is ready for the fight of his life when he steps up two divisions to take on Mexican world middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in Las Vegas tomorrow.

The British boxer, who normally boxes at welterweight, faces a daunting battle against the hard-hitting Alvarez in a fight which many believe is one risk too many for the 29-year-old.

However, Khan insists he is relishing the prospect of star billing after enduring years of frustration trying unsuccessfully to land a bout against the now retired Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

"It's my time and I'm going to grab it with both hands," he told a press conference on Wednesday. "It's been my dream to get a big fight like this in Las Vegas and I'm not going to let it go.

"Come this fight you're going to see the best Amir Khan. Canelo's a tough guy. He's strong but we're going to be ready for what he brings to the table," added Khan, who is 31-3 with 19 knockouts.

Renowned for his lightning hand and foot speed, Khan is a 5-1 underdog while Alvarez, known for his punching power, has lost just once in 48 fights (32 knockouts) - to undefeated American Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

Alvarez said he is confident his power will overwhelm Khan.

"I'm very happy with the work that I've done - he's a very fast, elusive, tricky fighter. I know the work I've done and I'm confident I can go in there and break him down," Alvarez said.

Promoter Oscar de la Hoya described the fight at Las Vegas' new T-Mobile Arena as a "classic case of speed versus power".

De La Hoya insisted that the idea of a Khan upset was not outside the realm of possibility - citing Leicester City's triumph in the English Premier League.

"This is a fighter who is willing to fight the very best. There's a reason Floyd Mayweather didn't want to fight him, why Manny Pacquiao didn't want to fight him."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2016, with the headline 'Khan's fighting words against Alvarez'. Print Edition | Subscribe