LOS ANGELES — Three straight days of travel would cause anyone to lose a little weight, not to mention some sleep.
And weight was a big topic of discussion Wednesday for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan, who will meet at a catch weight of 155 pounds May 7 in the first boxing event at T-Mobile Arena on an HBO Pay Per View card.
Alvarez’s World Boxing Council middleweight title will be at stake, but the Mexican superstar said he has no intention of fighting at 160 pounds anytime soon. And that includes a possible megafight in the fall against Gennady Golovkin, who holds the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight titles as well as the WBC interim middleweight crown.
“Right now, I am a 154-pound fighter,” Alvarez said at Universal Studios, where the promotional tour wrapped up after stops in London on Monday and New York on Tuesday. “For this fight, we are fighting at 155 pounds. So I don’t know why everyone is so concerned about 160.”
Probably because Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) has a world title at that weight class, having beaten Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay. So many fight fans would like to see him defend it at 160 instead of a catch weight.
But Khan (31-2, 19 KOs), who is moving up from welterweight for the fight, said it works to his advantage, provided Alvarez doesn’t come into the ring as a light heavyweight, as some predict he will, when he rehydrates after the weigh-in.
“I don’t have to kill myself to prepare for this fight,” said Khan, a Bolton, England, native. “So I’m already ahead of the game. I’ve been training for the past nine months, and I’m at 161 today. So 155 is not going to be a problem.”
As for how much he might weight May 7, Alvarez said: “People can say whatever they want. I don’t care. I can weigh 180, 190 pounds. I’m going to come in at a weight I’m comfortable at.”
Virgil Hunter, Khan’s trainer, wisely points out Alvarez is not a natural middleweight, and that makes a big difference for someone such as Khan, who has to take blows from an opponent who is not accustomed to fighting at 160.
“Canelo started as a junior welterweight,” Hunter said. “He’s grown into a middleweight.
“Frankly, I haven’t seen Canelo use his weight. He’s not a pressure fighter like Roberto Duran or Joe Frazier. That’s not his style.”
Alvarez admitted he probably should have done more in winning the belt from Cotto with a 12-round unanimous decision.
“After the fight, I thought I left a little more out there than I should’ve,” Alvarez said. “But I came away with the win, and that’s what matters.”
Khan, 29, said he doesn’t think the added weight he’ll carry into the fight will impact his speed or quickness.
“I think I’m just as fast and just as quick,” he said. “I see it when I’m sparring. My speed is still there. I’m still quick.
“But where I think the added weight helps is with my durability. People say I can’t take a punch. But I think I’ve got a stronger chin, and as long as I don’t do something careless and leave myself wide open, he’s not going to knock me out.”
Alvarez, 25, said he always has been a patient fighter, and for an opponent such as Khan, he doesn’t want to rush things.
“I think as you get older, you get wiser,” Alvarez said. “He’s a different fighter to prepare for. He moves well, and he’s quick. But I’ve fought many different styles, and I’ll be ready for him.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-9913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj