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Khan will struggle against Alvarez and should fight Brook, says Hatton

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Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan to fight May 7 (1:00)

Dan Rafael reacts to the fight announcement for Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan on May 7 and what this fight means for boxing. (1:00)

Matthew Hatton knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's fists and does not think his fellow Briton Amir Khan will be able to take it on May 7.

Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) unanimously out-pointed Hatton by scores of 119-108 from all three judges to capture his first world title, the WBC light-middleweight belt, five years ago.

Hatton -- younger brother of two-weight world champion Ricky -- admits it was a painful night losing to the 25-year-old Mexican in California and fears Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) will meet a quicker defeat.

Former European welterweight champion Hatton reckons 29-year-old Khan will be overwhelmed by the power of Alvarez, who will be putting his WBC world middleweight title on the line in Las Vegas.

Bolton's former world light-welterweight champion will be stepping up two weight divisions from welterweight, where he has campaigned since 2013, to challenge Alvarez after the announcement of the fight stunned the boxing world earlier this week.

Although the fight will be made at a catchweight of 155 pounds -- five pounds below the middleweight limit and one above the light-middleweight limit in a concession to Khan -- Hatton still thinks Alvarez will be too strong.

"I hope Amir can win the fight and it would be great for British boxing to have one of our boxers beat such a big name, but to be honest I just can't see him winning the fight," Hatton told ESPN.

"He can cause Alvarez a lot of problems but my gut instinct is that Canelo is far too strong and powerful, even with the catchweight. I just can't see past that because Canelo will be too big and too powerful for Amir.

"When I fought Canelo I was also going up in weight and giving away natural size and Amir is going to have to do that as well.

"Alvarez is unbelievably physically strong. I wasn't on the level that Amir is on because he has the skills and speed and has been a world champion, but what I had was that I was durable and that was certainly the hardest I've ever been hit and it was a painful night for me.

"I remember at the weigh-in with Canelo thinking I'm about the same size as him. But then when he turned up for the fight he was like Popeye who had just eaten his spinach, muscles bulging and a lot bigger. He was like a different man.

"He's so thick set. The fight with Amir is made at a catchweight, but God knows what weight Canelo will be on fight night. Amir will be giving a lot away.

"I can't look past a knockout sooner or later for Alvarez. Amir looks a lot better at welterweight and he sticks to a game plan, he has got better with Virgil Hunter, but he's certainly not going to have been hit as hard before as anything like he will be on May 7.

"Style wise it would suit Amir with his speed which is what Alvarez lacks I think in terms of foot speed and Amir can cause him problems, especially early on.

"I think Amir will start the fight well, he has fantastic speed, but I think sooner or later as Canelo cuts the space down and starts landing the fight will be over. It might be that Amir is winning the rounds, but as soon as Canelo closes him down, it will be over."

Khan missed out on fights against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but in Alvarez he faces perhaps the biggest global name in boxing.

Alvarez's only loss was by a majority points decision to American Mayweather in 2013 and in his last fight the Mexican out-pointed Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

But Hatton, who now runs a gym in Stockport after retiring in 2013, is not sure Khan has done the right thing in taking the Alvarez fight.

While praising Khan for taking the challenge, Hatton thinks the better option would have been to face British rival Kell Brook, Sheffield's IBF world welterweight champion, at Wembley Stadium on June 4.

"A lot of people were saying Amir was ducking Kell Brook, but this shows that Amir will take on anyone," Hatton told ESPN.

"He's not afraid to mix it with the big boys and you have to applaud him for doing that, taking a fight against a bigger man, jumping up two weight divisions and fighting away from home. It shows he has the balls and he's willing to fight anyone.

"Amir has got a good team around him, but the fight against Brook would have been a huge one at Wembley Stadium and he would have taken the lion's share of the purse. Alvarez will be taking the lion's share from their fight and the Brook fight would have made more sense, plus more people over here would want to see."