Khan Conquers Malignaggi, New York

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 18, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — Fighting for the first time in the United States, WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KOs) of England rocked a sellout crowd at The Theater of Madison Square Garden with a dominant 11th round TKO of Brooklyn’s Paulie Malignaggi (27-4, 5 KOs) on Saturday.

Khan-Malignaggi was the main event of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” telecast. In the other bouts, Victor Ortiz won a ten-round unanimous decision against former unified WBA/WBO and IBF lightweight champion, Nate Campbell.

Khan was simply too fast, too explosive, and too powerful for Malignaggi, a former IBF junior welterweight titlist. Malignaggi was coming off two dominant performances against Juan Diaz in 2009.

Malignaggi appeared to be in good forum, but the younger 23-year-old from Bolton, Lancashire, England, was simply too accurate with his left jab. It was as though he was catching Paulie at will with the jab throughout the fight.

“After round nine I wanted to finish him off,” Khan told a group of reporters at ringside. The problem was that Malignaggi’s feints and head-movement allowed him to avoid some of Khan’s left hook. However, Khan did an excellent job of timing Malignaggi’s movement by straightening him out with the left jab.

Khan’s trainer, Freddie Roach agreed that the jab was the key to victory.

“It was a great performance,” Roach said. “We worked on the jab for eight weeks. After the tenth round he to make a statement and that’s what he did.”

Khan kept jabbing Malignaggi like a punching bag, but in the later rounds Khan’s explosiveness overwhelmed Paulie. Between the tenth and eleventh rounds, two ringside doctors wanted to stop the fight. Malignaggi insisted he fight one more round.

The bout ended at 1:25 of the eleventh when a referee Steve Smoger decided Malignaggi had taken enough punishment after absorbing a vicious barrage of punches against the ropes.

Khan wants Maidana next

Khan, the WBA 140-pound champion, wishes to lock horns with interim WBA titlist Marcos Rene Maidana as soon as possible. Khan’s explosive box-punch style against Maidana’s power would be an attractive bout.

The problem is that Maidana injured his back recently and will be out of action for quite sometime. But if they ever fought, Khan would most certainly be ready.

“I want to fight Maidana next,” said the young Brit. “I want to make a statement.”

Roach agrees that Khan would be able to make a definitive statement against Maidana, whose biggest victory was a scintillating TKO of Victor Ortiz last year.

“Amir will not lose a round,” Roach said of a possible Khan-Maidana fight. “He will pitch a shutout. Maidana is a big puncher – that’s all he has! He’ll never get lucky.”

Ortiz unanimously beats Campbell

Victor Ortiz (27-2-1, 21 KOs) boxed the most intelligent fight of his career against former unified lightweight champion, Nate Campbell (33-6-1, 25 KOs). Fighting behind his southpaw right-jab, Ortiz was simply too strong, too rangy, and had too much zest for Campbell to match.

Ortiz won a 10-round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 100-89 (twice) and 99-90. He wasn’t nearly as reckless as he was during his stoppage loss to Maidana in a wild slugfest lest year.

Ortiz boxed a controlled, disciplined fight. It was easy!

“My corner told me don’t go in their and try to knock him out,” Ortiz said. “He’s a very experienced man. He’s a veteran. [Campbell] is going top try to get you to fight his fight.”

The victory marked Ortiz’ third consecutive since the memorable clash with Maidana. As for what’s next for Ortiz, that’s up to Golden Boy Promotions.

“Whatever my management team says, I’ll do,” Ortiz stated.

Michael Katsidis KO 3 Kevin Mitchell

WBO interim lightweight champion Michael Katsidis continues to improve. Just when you’d though Katsidis may have been overrated following losses to Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz, the Australian proves otherwise.

Making a mandatory defense of the WBO 135-pound title in London, England on Saturday, Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs) knocked out hometown favorite Kevin Mitchell (31-1, 23 KOs) in the third round.

It was a resounding performance from Katsidis.

The champion bullied Mitchell against the ropes behind his improved boxing skills. The all-action slugger, recognized for his exciting style and power, slipped punches and countered effectively.

“It was fantastic,” Katsidis said. “I feel that I’m the best I’ve ever been. I’m just going to enjoy my world title.”

An unsettled Mitchell focused heavily on moving away from Katsidis’ power. Katsidis bobbing and weaving, allowed him to plant hard shots.

In round three, Katsidis badly hurt Mitchell with a left hook to the jaw. Out on his feet to the sudden shock and disappointment of his hometown supporters, Mitchell was reeling against the ropes. Katsidis attacked and pummeled Mitchell around the ring until a barrage of punches ended the demolition at 1:57 of the third.

“I knew he was a bigger puncher,” Mitchell stated. “I knew he was heavy handed. He caught me with a Good shot good fighter. I made a mistake and I paid for it.”