De La Hoya breaks down power vs. speed fights

The fight between middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) -- who meet Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas -- probably will come down to one thing: Alvarez’s power vs. Khan’s speed.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, whose company is putting on the event, was involved in those kinds of matches during his Hall of Fame ring career. He offered his views on some of boxing’s famous power vs. speed matches.

  • George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali: "George Foreman had a record at the time of 40-0, 37 KOs, so he was unstoppable. He was knocking everyone out. Muhammad Ali used his speed, used his great footwork, and he used the famous rope-a-dope. He lured Foreman into the trap and knocked him out. Muhammad Ali was the clear underdog in this fight. Foreman was knocking everybody out, annihilating [Joe] Frazier, [Ken] Norton, and those were Ali's rivals. Ali was able to pull off the biggest upset at the time by knocking out George Foreman."

  • Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler: "1987 and another classic speed vs. power battle. Speed prevails in this one against the most feared fighter on the planet, the great 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler with tremendous punching power. Speed was just too much for power on that night."

  • Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor: "Julio Cesar Chavez, Meldrick Taylor, 1990, a classic battle of speed vs. power. Taylor with the speed was beating Chavez every single round, every single minute. But at the same time, he was taking a lot of punishment. In the 12th round, guess what happens? Chavez knocks him out with two seconds left and Chavez wins the fight."

  • De La Hoya vs. Ike Quartey: “1999, another classic battle of speed vs. power. My lightning-fast jab, and with combinations I was able to drop him. They called him the 'Bazooka.' He was a tremendous puncher but on that night speed prevailed. I needed the 12th round to win the fight and I was able to pull it off."

  • De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas: "In the first round I had to weather the storm. He came right at me, almost knocked me outside the ring. Almost knocked me out. I was able to come back in the later rounds and use my speed and my intelligence, and we were able to pull off the victory from the bigger and stronger Fernando Vargas."