Khan Was The King

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[Black Star Sports]

In my last column, the day before the big fight, I predicted that Amir Khan could knock out Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi.

I wrote that lacking punch-power, Malignaggi would not be able to handle Khan's punching power.

So Khan came, and he saw, and he conquered. The Super Lightweight Champ from Bolton, England, stood tall and proudly victorious in the Madison Square Garden. He thoroughly battered, outclassed and then finally knocked out Malignaggi, in the 11th. round, Saturday.

Amir Khan, 22-1, 16 k.o.'s, defending his WBA Super Lightweight Title, proved without a shadow of a doubt especially to the pro Malignaggi fans, mostly from Brooklyn, that he indeed was the better man from the the first round on.

As the Khan supporters, known as "Khan's Army, and the Malignaggi fans shouted at each other you could begin to hear the silencing agony of the Malignaggi fans as, round-after-round, their hero took a painful pounding from the determined Khan until finally referee Steve Smoger mercifully stopped the onslaught--saving Malignaggi from further injuries.

Paulie Malignaggi from the first round on seemed to be ineffective in his punching offense as Khan began to systematically and with dogmatic determination to break down Paulie Malignaggi, 27-3, 5 k.o.'s, with steady punishing left jabs, an occasional hard right hand and left hook punches cutting Malignaggi's eyes, and causing multiple facial bruises.

Malignaggi fought back bravely but it was obvious to the sold out Garden fans in attendance, that Malignaggi was outclassed not only defensively but offensively by a well schooled and prepared fighter, trained by Freddy Roach, who also trains, Mr. Pound for Pound, Manny Pacquiao. He was a beaten brave warrior, by a determined Khan.  Curiously, after the 10th round the Commission Doctors, and the Referee visited Paulie's corner with the intention of stopping the fight, but because of a much active debate by Malignaggi and his trainer Sherif Younan, Paulie was "allowed" to continue one more round, but, by 1 minute and 35 seconds of the 11th. round Referee Smoger stopped the fight realizing Malignaggi was totally defenseless. Sadly, through the  first 10 rounds Malignaggi had not won a round.

Amir Khan proved to the boxing skeptics on his first visit to the U.S.A. that he is indeed not only a Champion, but also a fighter to be reckoned with on the same level of the other super lightweights, such as Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana, Juan Manuel Marquez,etc.  He did indicate in his post fight interview that he wanted to challenge all of those fighters with the intention of unifying all of the 140 pound belts, and then he intends to move up in weight and then challenge the 147 pounders, such as Floyd Mayweather, and maybe his own stablemate, Manny Pacquiao, since as a young fighter, 22 years old, time is on his side.

Paulie Malignaggi stated that he could not catch up to a faster Khan when he went on the offense, and when he did, he "paid for it", by being counter punched repeatedly. He stated that he didnot know whether he was "getting old", but he just was not able to do anything to counteract Khan's powerful aggresive well planned attack.

Malignaggi added that of course he was "not out of the 140 lb. picture", but he will plan his next boxing campaign after a "nice rest."

Paulie Malignaggi's face was an example of the battering he was subjected to, which perhaps was due to his constant habit of carrying his hands low, and pulling away from punches, some of whom found their target. Will he now work on a new defense for his future fights? I doubt it, since in according to Freddy Roach astute trainer, he does not train his fighters to counter act styles, he trains his fighters to take advantage of their opponents "bad habits", and Malignaggi has bad habits that will be very difficult to correct.

The supporting cards, especially the semi final bout between 140 pound prospect Victor Ortiz, 26-2-1, 21 k.o.'s and veteran Nate Campbell, 33-5-1, 25 k.o.'s  former world lightweight champ, produced some disappointing results. Campbell was not the formidable opponent to test young Ortiz since he spent the entire 10 rounds covering up and going through the paces of stalking Ortiz as Ortiz, just pounded Campbell for a shutout 10 round unanimous decision. Tor Hamer's heavyweight campaign was slowed down to 11-1, 8 k.o.'s, when he lost a surprising split decision to Kelvin Price, 7-0, 4 k.o.'s. Middleweight sensation, Daniel Jacobs, 20-0,17 k.o.'s, from Brooklyn,NY, continued in his quest towards a world title fight by knocking out Juan Astorga, 14-4-1, 9 k.o.'s, in 51 seconds of the second round, with a vicious left hook to the body, while Dennis Doughlin,9-0, 5 k.o.'s  trained by his Mother and known as ,"Da Momma's Boy", t.k.o.'d Joshua Onyango, 13-18-1, 11 k.o.s., also in the second round. 

Outside Madison Square Garden, there was a New Years like celebration by Khan's Army with confetti, flags, banners, songs, etc. Justifiably, since their hero came to America and conquered the boxing world.  


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