Amir Khan has chosen an easier option by picking Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as his next opponent instead of Kell Brook, believes welterweight rival Keith Thurman.
The all-British clash against Brook is currently on the back-burner after Khan announced he would step up to middleweight to box the big-punching Alvarez in May.
IBF welterweight champion Brook (35-0-KO24) represents a far more dangerous fight for Khan (31-3-KO19), claims divisional contender Thurman, which explains why he has chosen a different path.
“Style-wise, Canelo is not a hard fight for Khan. [Canelo is] flat-footed, he tends to be slow-handed,” Thurman told Michelle Joy Phelps’ Behind The Gloves.
“Kell Brook has a very accurate jab, an accurate straight right hand, he’s 147lbs, he moves faster with his hands and his feet, and has a similar defensive style. They both stand up straight with their hands vertically.
“Style-wise, Brook is more challenging due to his athleticism, due to the output he is able to produce in a fight. Canelo fights at a much slower pace but does have heavy hands which is quite threatening for a fighter like Khan.”
The unbeaten Thurman (26-0-KO22) holds WBA welterweight gold and will put his belt on the line against fellow American Shawn Porter (26-1-1-KO16) next month.
Porter’s only career defeat was against Brook in an IBF title fight in 2014 so Thurman believes his upcoming bout will be used to determine whether he meets the Sheffield champion in the future.
“In the fight world we call it a measuring stick,” Thurman said. “Brook was able to defeat Porter – is Keith Thurman able to beat Porter? If so, in what form and in what fashion? Does it go 12 rounds, is it more or less competitive than the Brook fight, do I stop Porter?
“I see every fight possibly going 12 rounds but, considering that maths was my favourite subject growing up, I do love what we call Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman’s KO ratio. It’s a beautiful KO ratio – 26-0 with 22 wins by knockout.
“The two most recent fights that went 12 rounds were Robert Guerrero and Bundu. Both fighters got knocked down so it’s obvious that when you fight Keith Thurman the odds of being knocked down are higher than the odds of being knocked out.
“We plan on hurting Porter, we plan on being smart and wise, and taking advantage of the opportunities we have to land the devastating blows.”