Amir Khan says he is “supposed” to lose to Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas tomorrow but is using that belief to motivate him towards victory.
He remains a significant underdog when he fights for the first time above the welterweight division to challenge WBC middleweight champion “Canelo” Alvarez at a catchweight of 155lbs.
Such is Alvarez’s status it has long been hoped he will emerge as boxing’s highest-profile fighter in the post-Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao era, and the promotion at Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena so close to Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo public holiday has unquestionably been built on his appeal.
There is also the matter of the hoped-for superfight between Alvarez and WBA and IBF champion Gennady Golovkin which Khan would disrupt were he to secure victory, combined with even the normally-modest Alvarez speaking of his desire to be the sport’s biggest name.
Khan, however, who has similarly experienced being groomed for a high-profile, successful future, insists he is revelling in his status as the underdog, which he has been given for the first time in his professional career.
“When you read articles or you meet people, people have got me as the guy who’s got no chance,” the 29-year-old said.
“This is what makes the fight so interesting for me because I’m the guy who’s supposed to walk in there and get beat, and I’m not going to let that happen.
“I’ve never been in a fight like this before, this is the first time I’ve been an underdog in any fight, because normally I’m the favourite.
“Physically it is going to be a tough fight, but I knew all this before I signed.”
A fight that would not be undermined should Khan, as expected, suffer defeat, would be against Britain’s IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. Losing to Alvarez would do little to damage Khan’s reputation, but he wants his domestic rival to build their potential fight further by growing his own profile.
“Kell Brook would be a big fight in the UK but he definitely needs to fight a few bigger names,” said Khan, who expects Alvarez to have a 10lb weight advantage over him come fight night.
“It would be a big fight in England, but we could make that a global fight by him [Brook] fighting some big names, instead of these mandatories [challengers] he’s facing.
“If he steps up his game, the fight could be even bigger. If you look at the last 10 opponents of Kell Brook, is it really worth fighting someone like him?
“I want him to face better opponents, that way the fight will be even bigger. [But] that fight might never happen.”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya also confirmed US presidential candidate Donald Trump is to attend tomorrow fight, and Khan joked: “Who knows, this might be the last fight for me and Canelo here if Donald Trump becomes president.”