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Khan Judah

July 24, 2011 by staff 

Khan JudahKhan Judah, Five things we learned from the fifth round of Amir Khan knockout of Zab Judah to unify the titles of the IBF and WBA junior welterweight title Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas:  1. Amir Khan moved to the head of the class in the deepest division in boxing. The 24-year-old British-Pakistani fighter now has a pair of alphabet titles in a talent rich division that includes WBC and WBO beltholder dangerous floaters Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana, Andreas Kotelnik and Lucas Matthysse (not to mention a resurgence of Erik Morales). Quick hands of Khan were the difference in the first four rounds to open a 40-36 advantage shutout on all three scorecards, Judah also picking up with hard shots, accurate and well-formed combinations. It took a lot of opportunities early, but Judah could not or would not oppose the Khan entered. The Brooklyn was the fifth round visibly nervous and not appear too desperate to get up when Khan followed a straight right with a vicious body shot to close the show at 2:47 of the fifth. (Note required on the “controversial” body blow to end it: The strike was near, right at the waistline, but the trunks of Judah seemed to walk a bit high, regardless, the best fighter won and that’s important) “I knew I was frustrated because I could not put my hand back,” said Khan, who improved to 26-1 with 18 knockouts. “That was our plan, to stay away from that hand again.”

2. Freddie Roach showed why he is a trainer four times a year. Roach provides Khan “win every assault,” in preparation for Saturday’s fight – saying it had developed a perfect game plan for Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) – and that is exactly what the native of Bolton did. “The struggle was for distance,” Roach said later. “We had greater range and faster vaccine.” Judah, a loser of 5 to 1, never could find a way to negotiate within the authority jab Khan and the result was a disparity evident in the statistics at once: Khan landed 61 of 284 of 115 punches to 20 for Judah. “I really think that Zab was looking for a way to be honest with you,” said Roach. “When we started looking outside the ring, went in search of help out there.”

3. Questions about Khan’s chin are becoming increasingly evident. Khan was appointed as the next British boxing hope in 17 years when he won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, but a defeat by knockout 54 seconds to Breidis Prescott at lightweight in 2008 brought the hype train to a high. The humiliating defeat led to a search Khan Roach, who rebuilt the Brit as 140 pounds and led him to a title. Saturday marked Khan’s fifth defense of the WBA belt super lightweight – a career during which he absorbed a beating infernal Maidana (arguably more puncher in the division) and won a unanimous decision in the fight 2010 the Year. What few punches connected Judah Saturday does not seem to embarrass Khan at all. “I know it took me a couple of times with big right hooks, but I felt good,” said Khan. “All these people out there that says Amir Khan has a chin: I was beaten by the greatest boxers in the division of 140 pounds – and I’m beating everyone.”

4. Zab Judah did not look like a wily veteran, but simply looked old. Saturday Judah, the loss was just the latest by a man whose career has seen more ups and downs of an electrocardiogram. Less than a year after winning the undisputed middleweight championship with a victory over Cory Spinks 2005 – when he was also known for throwing feces on the ring and appearing in videos for Jay-Z – Judah cemented his reputation as a patron saint of puzzling inconsistency with a loss to unheralded mandatory challenger Carlos Baldomir. After finding Jesus and his new trainer Pernell Whitaker met with Main Events, Kathy Duva to do another run at the top, winning the vacant IBF title with a win coming from behind on Kaizer Mabuza TKO in March. He fell one victory under a real return to greatness, but give credit to Judah and his team for an entertaining ride.

5. Khan plan for world domination in motion. The long-term goal of Khan – currently No. 14 in SI.com ‘s pound-for-pound ratings – is a 2012 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Briton said that fight once more in the junior welterweight in December after returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia before a likely increase to 147, the division into Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (stable Khan and training partner) to keep the store. The next logical step is a clash with the WBO and WBC Timothy Bradley for the undisputed lightweight championship junior. (Bradley had rejected a 50-50 split of all revenues from the U.S. and UK to fight Khan on Saturday; the next offering will probably not be so generous) However, Khan does not think Bradley is currently stalled in a contentious contract dispute, even wants the fight. Khan looks rather than the goal of winning the struggle between August 27 and Robert Guerrero Maidana – or maybe even Erik Morales, Mexico’s legendary 34-year-old, who defended very well in a majority decision loss Maidana April. “If I was the champion Timothy Bradley says he has,” Khan said, “I have faced for a long time.”

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