The ‘King’ is back
One of the most anticipated nights of boxing this year finally unfolded last weekend with Bolton’s own Amir ‘King’ Khan picking up a unanimous points victory over challenger Luis Collazo.
The former world champion was competing as a welterweight for the first time in his career yet put on a dominant display against the experienced Puerto Rican, putting his opponent on the canvas three times in the 12 rounds.
Two judges scored the contest 119-104 while the third had it 117-106, reflecting the dominance of the Brit who had not been in the ring for more than a year since his victory over Julio Diaz.
The win also saw Khan pick up the WBC Silver and WBA International titles at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas, on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s win over Marcos Maidana.
Khan started the fight in a confident manner, keeping his opponent at bay with his reach advantage, before landing a big right hand in the second round that rocked Collazo.
Two rounds later and the New Yorker was on the canvas after missing with a big swing, as Khan continued to look the more likely victor.
Both men were penalised a point in the eighth round, with Collazo hitting a low punch and Khan punished for holding as the Brit began to show a bit of wear for the first time.
Yet any doubts that began to run through the crowds’ minds were soon put to rest in the tenth as Collazo was twice knocked down. Firstly, a succession of body punches appeared to hurt the 33-year-old before a quick one-two stunned him once more.
Collazo barely made it to the final bell, resorting to a clear low blow in the final round to get away from the welterweight debutant, who was raised aloft in celebrations at the end of the twelfth.
When Khan’s hand was raised the crowd knew he was back, and now the question is who does he face next? Obviously the contest many want to see is the Mayweather bout yet Khan appears to have other options before such a fight could take place.
“I had to be disciplined tonight,” Khan said. “Collazo's a great fighter. This was my first fight in 13 months. I'm still improving and will sit down with my team and look at the tape.
“I definitely want to fight again this year, either November or December. I don't want another year off.
“I like fighting at home but it depends what event it is, what show it is. If it was another show like this, as big as this, I'd be happy.”
Speaking about the possibility of a fight with Mayweather, who extended his unbeaten record to 46-0 with victory over Marcos Maidana in the headlining event, Khan said he would be confident about ending the streak.
“Mayweather put on a great performance but you look at the way I fought Maidana and the way he fought Maidana,” he said.
“I put him down with a great body shot. Maidana is slower than me and he was still catching Mayweather.
“Floyd is getting older and people want to see him get beat. It would be a boxing match, skills v skills, and the youth will take him, that's for sure. He changes his style for each fight but if he was just standing there I would definitely be able to get my shots off.”