by Daniel Cann
Amir Khan served notice to everyone in boxing at 140 or 147 pounds that he is a force to be reckoned with as he comprehensibly and emphatically defeated 33 year old New Yorker Zab Judah to add the IBF belt to his WBA one. It was a quality performance that showed just how much the Bolton fighter has come on in these last few years.
Photo: Tom Hogan/Goldenboy
Throughout the course of the contest Khan was in control with the exceptions being a moment towards the end of the first round when he got caught and maybe a couple of times after that. He was never seriously troubled. Khan fought for the most part on the outside throwing fast, straight punches that repeatedly penetrated the American fighters defence, jarring his shaven skulled head backwards.
It was surprising to witness the ease with which former three time light welterweight and former undisputed welterweight champion Judah was being outboxed.
Towards the end of the first round, which Khan dominated, a right hand from Judah got through but any advantage was nullified as they clashed heads, leaving the IBF champion heavily marked around the right eye.
The second was more of the same with Khan in the role of aggressor pinning Judah to the ropes. The third saw both fighters exchange punches but there was a sharper look to Khan’s work and he was quicker on the trigger than Judah. It was evident that Judah’s right eye was rapidly swelling; he was having some success but was again hurt by a left from Khan towards the end.
By round four the woes continued to pile up for Judah as he was now bleeding freely from the nose as well as suffering with the eye damage. In stark contrast Khan’s features were unmarked. Khan continued to pile up the points at range and looked on top with a decent left-right combination.
The fifth round saw yet another clash of heads, Khan bloodied Judah again with more jabs then he landed a scorching right to the head and right to the body combination that doubled Judah over and onto the canvas. Referee Vic Drakulich counted over Judah who did not get up. The knockout was timed at 2 minutes 47 seconds of the round.
Replays of the sudden knockout made Khan’s punch look borderline, but the referee and officials declared that it was a perfectly legal blow, landing on the belt area of Judah’s shorts and not the groin as some later claimed. Judah complained but the truth was that he was never in the contest and had been thoroughly outclassed, outmanoeuvred and out-muscled by a faster, sharper and younger foe.
It looks like the end of the road for Judah after such a fantastic boxing career.
For Khan he can look forward to a glittering future. He never let Judah’s reputation or southpaw style bother him. He is a much different fighter to the raw and weight weakened youngster that was blown out in a round three years ago. He looks so sharp and strong at 140 pounds and said after the fight that he thinks he is about twelve months away from a move up to 147 pounds and whoever wins out of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Victor Ortiz at welterweight this September.
Khan has kept his feet on the ground admitting that he is perhaps a couple of fights away from the likes of Mayweather Jr and added ‘I’m only 24 and there’s a lot of improvement to come.’
I would like to see WBC and WBO champion Timothy Bradley get in the ring with Khan to determine who has supremacy in the light welterweight division. It would be a great pity for boxing and both boxers’ bank balances and reputations if that one does not happen soon. In the meantime it looks like Khan may face former champion and Mexican ring legend Erik Morales.
Whatever the future does hold for the Freddie Roach trained boxer and Manny Pacquiao stablemate; he posted his credentials on Saturday as one of the premier champions in the world today.