VIRGIL HUNTER gave an insight into how Amir Khan can beat Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night, but admitted that his fighter does not possess the “killer instinct” of the Mexican’s previous opponent, Miguel Cotto.
Cotto went 12 competitive rounds with Alvarez at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay in November 2015 before losing a unanimous verdict. Along the way it was clear that the Puerto Rican did not have the power to keep Alvarez at bay, despite an impressive track record of finishing opponents early.
“Amir doesn’t have that type of killer instinct that Miguel Cotto has. If he had that type of killer instinct we could really know if his punch was in comparison with it,” Hunter said when asked if Khan punched as hard as Cotto.
Much has been made of Khan rising in weight and though the Englishman insists the extra poundage will make him stronger, many observers believe he will struggle to match the Mexican when they collide in a 155lb bout at the T-Mobile Arena.
Khan hasn’t scored a clean stoppage win since he knocked out Zab Judah in a super-lightweight clash in 2011, but Hunter insists the power is there. The consensus is that Amir’s key to victory will be speed – one of Khan’s advantages going in – and Hunter also indicated that body punching is one of his charge’s best attributes.
“I’ll tell you this much: his left hook to the liver, I’ll match you with anything,” said the articulate trainer. “The one he put Maidana down with, he can hit to the body, he can really hit to the body, and he’s got a bodywhip effect to his punches.”
“You can’t call up killer instinct, that has to be you. That has to be in you a long time ago, you know. You see kids come in the gym, they want to hurt somebody, right away, you know?
“That’s killer instinct. If they get beat up, they’re right back the next day, with a vengence, like ‘I’m going to get you’. I’ve seen that, that’s a trait.
“But he has competitiveness. Competitiveness, done right, can sort of put you in the same class, but I don’t advise him to trade punches with him, because he’s giving up too much size.”