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Khan Wins Title In Manchester

2004 Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan has captured the WBA light welterweight title after outclassing former champ Andriy Kotelnik over twelve rounds.

Khan (21-1), now under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, was technically superb on the night. He used his improved footwork to keep himself out of danger and picked Kotelnik apart on the back foot. Kotelnik was uncomfortable in the role as the aggressor, and never found an answer for Khan’s far superior hand speed. The final score cards read 120-108, 118-111, 118-111 all in favour of Khan.

This is Khan’s first world title win, and it sets up a lot of potential big money fights in the division. The one most people are going to be talking about is a potential showdown with fellow countryman Ricky Hatton. That’s a fight that would do great business in the UK should Hatton choose to fight on. First on the cards however could be a bout with Marcos Rene Maidana. Maidana won the interim title by forcing Victor Ortiz to quit in their bout on June 27th. I assume that the WBA will want to unite the titles and hence make him Khan’s mandatory challenger.

There has never been any question over Khan’s technical abilities; the concern has always been over his punch resistance. He was dropped several times on his way up by the likes of Willie Limond and Michael Gomez, before being dismantled in seconds by Breidis Prescott just last year.

This win completes a remarkable turn around for Khan over the last ten months, and a lot of his defensive frailties seem to have been eradicated under Roach. However, Maidana being a natural puncher will be a much truer test of that. Kotelnik has never really had massive knockout power, and the gulf in speed made it impossible for him to impose his will on Khan.

There’s plenty of other options for him out there to with the likes of Nate Campbell, Timothy Bradley, Junior Witter all campaigning at the weight. At just 22 years old there is no rush though. There is certain to be a lot of big fights in his future.

There was impressive showings for three members of Britain’s 2008 Olympic team. Billy Joe Saunders and Frankie Gavin both scored second round stoppages, while middleweight Gold medalist James DeGale finsihed his fight in the opening round.

In a good domestic bout, Anthony Small stopped Matthew Hall in the eight round to win the British and commonwealth light middleweight titles.

In a non televised bout, former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli was beaten by undefeated prospect Denis Lebedev. Maccarinelli was stopped in the third round in what was a comeback fight after being knocked out by Ola Afolabi back in March. It’s difficult to see a way back from this for Maccarinelli who had claimed he would retire should he lose this fight.

Full results here.

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4 thoughts on “Khan Wins Title In Manchester

  1. Well, only if he wants to. Hatton is set up financially so he can walk away when ever he wants to. I don’t believe Ricky will be getting in the ring for money. If you are asking does the fight make cash common sense, it does absolutely. It would be a huge attraction in terms of both ticket sales and PPV over here and the UK.

    Do I think its a good fight for him? On evidence of his last outing, probably not. Khan’s speed of both hand and foot was absolutely incredible last night. I think the Hatton we have seen recently would have a very frustrating evening of punching air. If he does still have more than he showed, he’s the type of fighter an in form Ricky Hatton would walk down and batter. Roach has developed a hit and move game plan for Khan to try alleviate is defensive flaws. It’s successful in the sense that it keeps him from taking damage, but it has also made him far less devastating as an attacking fighter. Hatton has generally fared well against guys who can’t deter him from pushing forward. There is the possibility he could just walk through Khan’s shots. Even with that being said, Khan might still just be too quick for him to shut down.

    Ricky has always been very clear about the fact that he didn’t want to finish on a loss, and there’s rumors of a tune up fight of sorts in November. I see him using that to gauge where he is at. If he doesn’t think he can compete at the highest level after it, I imagine it will be a farewell night for his fans. If he boxes well there may be one more big show for him.

  2. But after these two big fights with Mayweather and Pacquiao, it’d seem hard to believe that he’d get into a fight where he wasn’t making good money. From what you’re telling me, he has a chance to do that here.

    I don’t think it matters if you need the money or not. You’ve set yourself up as a ticket seller and a money maker and you get used to making that kind of money. And then you don’t want to see yourself getting less than the market rate. That’s basically what I meant from a money perspective.

    Does he really want to mess with another Roach fighter though?

  3. Yeah, in terms of drawing the Khan fight is the biggest fight out there for him definitely. There’s other interesting match ups out there (I would like to see him fight Campbell, and Junior Witter and Ricky have been trading insults for years) but nothing that will provoke as much interest.

    Personally, I wouldn’t advise him to take that fight. I just don’t think he needs to fight a lightning fast 22 year old kid on his way out. With the exception of his terrible chin, Khan is beginning to look like a very complete fighter. I reckon he his a handful for most people in the division.

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