On this day in 2016, Amir Khan’s bid to unseat defending champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas was ended in brutal fashion.
The 29-year-old Briton’s attempt to get the better of the WBC middleweight belt-holder was nothing if not ambitious.
Fighting two divisions above his natural 147lbs welterweight status for the first time, few gave Khan any real chance of getting the better of the powerful Mexican, who had surrendered his undefeated record to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, ahead of the contest at the T-Mobile Arena.
No matter how big n tough the challenge, go out there n give it everything, aim high, believe or you will never know pic.twitter.com/5CeHOI88Gi
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) May 9, 2016
Nevertheless speaking beforehand, the Olympic silver medallist from Bolton was in confident mood.
He said: “I’m focused. Being the underdog this time, I want to prove I belong at the top.”
The smaller man, competing at the catchweight of 155lbs, made a promising start, but Alvarez, making the first defence of his title, caught his opponent with a left hook in the third and then stopped him with a huge right which sent him thudding to the canvas two minutes and 37 seconds into the sixth.
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) May 8, 2016
When referee Kenny Bayliss waved the fight over, judge Adailaide Byrd had him 48-47 ahead, while Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman, surprisingly in the view of some commentators, had Alvarez leading 49-46 and 48-47 respectively.
Former WBA and IBF light-welterweight world champion Khan later told host broadcaster HBO: “I showed my bravery by getting in the ring with Canelo, but this is boxing.
“I wanted to go out there as a champion. I was unfortunate that I didn’t make it to the end, but I tried my best and I want to say thank you for the support.”