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Canelo vs Khan preview and prediction: Can Amir Khan upset Canelo Alvarez?

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Can Amir Khan pull off the win Saturday night? Yes, but it will take the perfect game to do it. Break it down here in our fight preview.

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This Saturday night, Amir Khan gets the big marquee fight he's been wanting for years, as he headlines a major PPV against Canelo Alvarez. Khan has been very vocal about wanting this kind of fight, but he could never get Mayweather or Pacquiao to make it happen - now, he moves up to a new division to challenge for the Middleweight title.

The general opinion is that it's too big of a move for the smaller Khan, and that Canelo's power is going to end this fight dramatically. Many are already looking past Saturday night and talking about Canelo vs. Gennady Golovkin, just as they did a few weeks ago when Golovkin faced the horribly outmatched Dominic Wade. But all this talk of Canelo vs. GGG brings up an obvious question.

Are we overlooking Amir Khan? Can the smaller fighter pull off the upset and shock the world Saturday night?

Again, most say no, he can't. Canelo's size, Canelo's power, and Khan's questionable chin all come together to create a mountain Khan simply can not climb. But there are those who think Khan has a real shot here, and they have two very good reasons to support their argument.

The Speed of Amir Khan: Amir Khan is one of the fastest fighters in his division. He's very good at pushing the pace, getting off quick shots, and outpointing opponents. In particular, he uses his jab well, with a much higher jab rate than the average. Against the heavier Canelo, who does not possess particularly good foot speed, this advantage is expected to be magnified (unless Khan has lost some of that speed in the move up). Canelo struggled to trap Miguel Cotto in their fight, and Cotto does not have the speed of Khan. Khan should be able to use the ring to his advantage, keep on the outside, and use his speed to outland Canelo.

Canelo Alvarez's Tough Fights: Canelo is a great fighter, but he's not an unstoppable monster. He's struggled in there at times, and those struggles have come against the really technical fighters he has faced. Mayweather beat him by making Canelo box, and the gifted Erislandy Lara gave Canelo a lot of problems (and, in the eyes of some, should have taken the win). Canelo's best performances come when his opponent wants to push in there and go to war - think of Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Josesito Lopez. That is simply not Amir Khan, and it's not what Canelo will see across the ring from him Saturday night. When Canelo is in there with those aggressive fighters, he is able to dictate the fight and outland his opponent. When he is in there with a more cerebral fighter, Canelo's output drops significantly, and he is frequently outboxed. This weakness of Canelo's plays directly to the strengths of Khan.

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These two points make a good argument for a Khan decision win, but there's a massive problem with that argument - Canelo's power. Khan has shown he can be hit, and that he can be rocked. Chris Algieri, who has a paltry 8 KOs in 21 wins visibly rocked Khan more than once in their fight. If Canelo lands the shots Algieri did, Khan goes down, and maybe out.

And this is the problem for Khan and Khan's supporters. Yes, Amir Khan can win this fight. But to do so, he must fight 12 flawless rounds, using angles and speed to land while avoiding every single heavy Canelo shot. It's a tall task. My prediction: Khan makes this strategy work in the early going, but eventually, that one shot sneaks in, and the fight changes for Canelo. From there, it's just a matter of time.

Prediction: Canelo Alvarez, KO, round 6

Join us here at Bloody Elbow Saturday night for Canelo vs. Khan live fight night coverage.