Amir Khan used his advantages of speed, height, and youth earlier this week and dominate his elder challenger, Zab Judah, to further unify the junior welterweight division of boxing. Khan knocked out Judah with a hard right hand in the fifth round Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the process, he added Judahâ€™s IBF junior welterweight title to his own WBA title Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Khan, age 24, definitely looked more spritely than the 33 year old Judah. After landing punches early and often, Khan finally struck Judah in the mid-section in the fifth round. Judah fell to his knees and tried to indicate to the referee that he had a received a blow below the belt. But the referee was not buying it, and he counted Judah out, to give Khan the knockout. And replays clearly showed that the final blow was indeed a clean one.
â€œZab is a great fighter, but he was a little awkward,â€ Khan said to reporters afterward. â€œI knew he was getting hurt and moving away and ducking. I kept hitting him right on the face and the shot that took him down hit him right on the belt. If it had gone another few rounds, I would have knocked him out with a clean shot. I saw I was hurting him and it was only a matter of time.â€
Judah, with 41 wins, 7 losses, and 28 knockouts, and his promoter Kathy Duva, did not agree with the decision. â€œIt was a low blow,â€ Judah said. â€œI was trying to get myself together [when I was down] and that was self defense there [going down]. He jabbed my cup. It was an uppercut and it lifted the belt and that really hurt. The punch was clearly below his belt.
Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) was leading by a 40-36 shutout on all three scorecards at the time of the knockout. â€œI think my speed overwhelmed him along with my power,â€ Khan said. â€œI built it up from the beginning and took my time. I couldâ€™ve gone with the plan to knock him out sooner, but I wanted to work my way up. Iâ€™m No. 1 in the division. Now I will go back and see who my team is going to line up for me next.â€
Khan was supposed to face WBC and WBO titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr., but Bradley turned down the fight despite a 50-50 offer from Khan that would have paid him possibly as much as $1.8 million. â€œIf Bradley didnâ€™t want to fight then, he probably doesnâ€™t want to fight him now after seeing what he just did to Zab Judah,â€ Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told ESPN.
Bradley, for his part, still sounds uninterested. â€œHeâ€™s not ready for the â€˜Storm,â€™â€ Bradley said after the fight, referring to his nickname â€œDesert Storm.â€ â€œIâ€™m not impressed,â€ Bradley continued. â€œI know the comments that are going to be made about this, but Iâ€™m not stressing over what everyone else is saying. When we do get in the ring everyone will see who the best 140-pounder in the world is.â€
Under the terms of his deal with HBO, Khan is required to fight again in December, once again in the United States. â€œWeâ€™ll see who will be available,â€ Schaefer said. â€œIt might be the winner of [the Aug. 27] Robert Guerrero-Marcos Maidana fight. It might be Erik Morales. But I really donâ€™t think Bradley wants to have anything to do with Amir Khan. It was a great performance. The combinations, what a talented fighter. One more fight at 140 and then in the spring move up to 147 and go get one of the big boys.â€