The stakes couldn’t be any higher for combatants Amir Khan and Devon Alexander as they square off in Saturday’s WBC silver welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Saturday night.
The victor could stand to collect a major purse in a super fight against either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, or could be leverage in the long-dragged out, on-and-off negotiations between the sport’s two supreme contenders and draws.
Yet based on his comments Friday to Showtime, Mayweather may have assured that neither Khan nor Alexander face Pacquiao after he called the Filipino star out for a mega-bout on May 2 next year.
Khan (29-3, 19 KOs) stressed to The Guardian that he’s not looking past Alexander, who he considers a “dangerous fighter,” but that he’s well aware of what a victory could mean for his career.
“I don’t think the loser will ever have the chance to have that big super-fight against Pacquiao or Mayweather,” Khan said. “We’re both in a position in our careers where we can’t afford to lose this and if we want to get to the next level up, we have to win.
“The one I’m chasing is the Floyd fight and I can’t afford to make any mistakes now. It’s about doing things smart, having a gameplan and following my path and my path is to fight [the] best out there.”
Hailing from the United Kingdom, Khan has won his last three fights, two decisions and one technical knockout, and is the odds-on favorite to beat the American southpaw Alexander and retain his title.
Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs) rebounded from his 12-round decision loss to American Shawn Porter around this time last year, with a 10-round decision over Mexico’s Jesus Soto Karass in June.
Both fighters possess knockout power, but it’s been quite a while since either sent an opponent to the mat. Khan’s last TKO came against Carlos Molina two years ago when he claimed his belt. Alexander defended his WBC and IBF light welterweight crowns with an eighth-round TKO of Juan Urango in 2010, but lost his belts to Timothy Bradley 10 months later.
Start Time: The event begins at 9 p.m. ET, but Khan and Alexander won’t enter the ring until 11 p.m. at the earliest.
Betting Odds: Khan is a -280 favorite according to Bovada.lv
PPV Online: Fans can order the fight and watch live at Showtime’s official site here
Over/Under: 8.5 rounds
Prediction: Goes the distance with Khan taking the decision