Style Analysis: Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah
By: Sean Kim
The confrontation between Amir Khan and Zab Judah was a showcase of Khan’s masterful boxing skills and perhaps one of his most flawless performances to date. What he was able to accomplish against a highly talented fighter in Zab Judah was nothing short of extraordinary, as he was able to maintain mastery over the distance and pace and of the fight throughout the duration of all five rounds, all of which eventually led to a knockout of Judah before the end of the fifth.
Right from the first round, Khan was able to employ the usage of numerous jabs as he sought to control distance right away. Judah seemed to be depending too much on counter opportunities, the efforts of which were neutralized with Amir Khan’s incredible speed. To be able to counter off of any of Khan’s offensive should prove to be difficult for any adversaries.
Khan began to display a concentration on head hunting as he prevented Judah from using his straight left effectively, whether he would have intended to utilize it for counters or offensive maneuveurs. Ultimately, Khan’s tactical dominance right from the first round had rendered Judah hesitant, frustrated, and perplexed; a nightmare scenario for any boxer.
In the second round, Khan had thrown less comibnations. Despite his tendency to administer overwhelming combinations in swift flurries, Khan was much more patient during this round, showcasing his eslf-restraint and comprehension of timing. The fast-handed Khan was able to keep the fight at the center of the ring, as he continued to dominate in cerebral fashion.
Judah just could not succeed in throwing any singular effective punch due to Khan’s speed, jab and aggression. Judah should have thrown combinations or attacks to Khan’s body, but again, Khan’s speed, control of distance, as well as his height, reach and weight advantage proved to fluster Judah’s strategical concentrations.
In the third round, Khan was clearly extremely comfortable. Zab was mainly staying right in front of Khan rather than applying lateral movement. For him to just stand there while simultaneously being unable to finght back was exactly what Khan needed to truly overwhelm Zab not only physically, but mentally: rendering a boxer incapable of applying effective strategy.
Just when Judah would throw a jab, Khan would counter with a left hook with absolute ease. By this point in the fight, Kahn was able to throw anything he wished to at will, which was evident as he attacked Judah with even more flurries and devastating right hooks at any time of his choosing.
In the fifth round, the results of Khan’s perfect performance had led to a knockout of Judah. Leading up to the finish, Khan had been able to play the perfect chess match against Judah. No doubt many criticize Khan for having a weak chin who is only able to use his speed advantage to win him fights. Yet, what isn’t appreciated enough is Khan’s ability to remain calm in the ring as he immediately sets out to remove the strongest assets of his opponent’s arsenal, and ultimately set the pace to a comfortable rhythm where he can manipulate that very rhythm at a moment’s notice.
Against Zab Judah, Amir Khan was able to control every single aspect of the match from start to finish; a brilliant performance and certainly one of his greatest.