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David Haye: Amir Khan Might Actually Be Bigger Than Saul Alvarez

David Haye knows a thing or two about battling much larger men.

The former cruiserweight champion of the world stepped up to heavyweight back in November of 2008 and knocked out American journeyman Monte Barrett to begin a mostly successful run in the sport’s traditional glamour division.

Almost a year after the Barrett blow-out, Haye travelled to Germany to face Russian giant Nikolai Valuev in a fight that begged for cliched biblical metaphors.

At 6’3 the Londoner was dwarfed by the 7’2 Valuev. On the day of the weigh-in, Haye stepped atop the scales at a career high 218lbs and even still he was some 98lbs lighter than his fee-fi-foe. The visual of the two men standing side by side would have been comical were it not for the fact that they had been sanctioned to fight each other.

In the end, however, Haye proved far too fast, technical and just plain good for the plodding titleholder, earning a majority decision victory over 12 rounds. He even managed to wobble Valuev badly in the dying seconds of the bout.

What the....
What the….

Facing another eastern giant 2 years later, Haye didn’t have the same success. In his career defining fight, “The Hayemaker” lost via unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in a challenge for the world title.

Given the size disadvantages that he has faced, and often overcome, it’s hardly surprising to hear Haye vouch for his countryman Amir Khan’s chances of claiming the middleweight crown when he steps up in weight to meet Mexico’s Saul Alvarez in May.

“A lot of people out there are fearing for his health. A lot of people believe he will be knocked out. He’s been knocked out three divisions below this, so they feel he’s got no chance,” Haye said during an interview with Declan Taylor of BoxingScene.

“A lot of people are dismissing him, a lot of people feel it’s a mismatch, but I’m of the complete opposite opinion. I believe this fight is going to cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of our generation, because he’s such an underdog, because he’s not a world champion currently, but he’s going to go up and fight a champion at his weight”.

Interestingly though, this isn’t a case of Haye believing that skills can overcome size necessarily, as the smooth talking Englishman actually feels that Khan is the bigger fighter.

“I’ve been up close to both of them. I’ve grabbed both of their arms. Amir seems to me to be bigger. He’s definitely taller. He seems wider. Maybe Canelo has got thick legs or a big ass or something, but I didn’t see where the weight difference is – I didn’t see it. And I’m quite good at checking people’s weights. I’m a professional boxer my whole life. I’m used to seeing fighters. They seemed similar size. If anything, Amir seems bigger”. 

In terms of height, Haye might have a point. Although records database Boxrec lists Alvarez as being half an inch taller than Khan at 5’9, some have speculated that “Canelo” isn’t actually as tall as he is billed. Photographs like the one below suggest that Khan may actually be a shade taller than the ginger Pay-per-view star.

Alvarez and Khan face off at a press conference
Alvarez and Khan face off at a press conference

And terms of reach, Khan is actually listed as having a very slight advantage over Alvarez.

Most would bicker with Haye on his point about the musculature of the fighters, however. Khan has never competed above the 147lb welterweight limit, and doesn’t seem to struggle in any major way to make that weight. Alvarez on the other hand competed at super-welterweight for years before claiming the middleweight title from Miguel Cotto in a 155lb catchweight contest back in November 2015. Though he has yet to fight at the full 160lb limit, he has always appeared to have the size to compete comfortably at the heavier weight.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.