A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Khan dominates Alexander, eyes Mayweather fight
Former unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) posted his most impressive victory in years by defeating former two-division champion Devon Alexander (26-3, 14 KOs), via unanimous 12-round decision last Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
The judges scored the fight 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110.
“We knew we had to make a statement at 147 pounds,” Khan said. “I was up against a very skilled fighter and I knew we couldn’t make any mistakes. I’m the best boxer with the quickest hands in the world and I think this was one of my best performances.”
The victory was Khan’s fourth Khan, a significant player in the heavy-loaded welterweight division, needed an impressive win against a high-caliber opponent. Khan, winner of four consecutive fights since losing two consecutive bouts – a shocking split-decision against Lamont Peterson (2011) and a stunning fifth round knockout to Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (2012), emerged as the frontrunner for a potential fight with unified WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in May 2015.
That is of course if a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio doesn’t materialize.
“I really believe I earned my shot against the best fighter in the world, which is Floyd Mayweather,” Khan said. “I believe he’ll have problems with my speed, movement and accuracy. I’m going to leave it to my team and let’s hope we get that fight.”
Khan can also fight Garcia or Peterson in a rematch. There is also unbeaten ‘interim’ WBA welterweight titlist Keith Thurman, and Kell Brook, but the grand prize is a fight with Mayweather.
The major question is what has Khan done to warrant a fight with Floyd? Well, if you look at Khan’s career, his body of work is well-noted. Khan has fought a lot of very good fighters and remains one of Britain’s biggest and most consistent fighters outside of Carl Froch and Tyson Fury.
Khan responded from his first loss to Bredis Prescott (KO by 1) by posting impressive wins against Marco Antonio Barrera, Anderi Kotelnik, and winning the WBA 135-pound title. Overall, Khan defended that belt seven times.
Khan moved up to 140, stopped Paulie Malignaggi, KO’d Zab Judah, and pummeled Andriy Kotelnik, Dmitry Salita, Paul McCloskey, Marcos Rene Maidana, and unified the WBA/IBF 140-pound titles before his losses to Peterson and Garcia.
Khan is a perfect 4-0 under new trainer Virgil Hunter, the godfather/trainer of Andre Ward. Khan posted wins against Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz, and Luis Collazo before his great win against Alexander.
Khan didn’t take the silly chances he did with Garcia and didn’t absorb the punishment he took against Peterson by being stationary. With Alexander, Khan kept moving, pacing, and jabbing. He remained on the outside and pressed Alexander behind combination punching. Alexander was dominated a bigger, more efficient, and more elusive fighter. Khan’s combinations were flowing perfectly, as his left jabs were followed by two-three punch combinations. Twelve rounds, Khan won nearly all of the exchanges because he was the more willing to assert himself.
“He was the better man tonight,” Alexander said. “My coach told me to get off and I wasn’t getting off. I could have caught him I just didn’t do it tonight. I was supposed to follow the game plan, I was moving good but I just couldn’t move forward and get off.”
Alexander was once recognized as one of boxing’s brightest stars, but ever since he knocked out Juan Urango to unify the WBC/WBA junior welterweight titles, his performances have progressively gotten worse.
Alexander has struggled in high-profile fights against Kotelnik, Timothy Bradley, and Lucas Matthyssee. Alexander did win a welterweight title against Randall Bailey, but lost it to Shawn Porter.
Against Khan, Alexander was handedly out-boxed, as he has lost two of his last three fights and three of his last eight dating back to 2011.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESTHER LIN/SHOWTIME