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Khan Stops Gomez, Gets Knocked Down In The Process

Amir KhanBy Chris Williams: Undefeated lightweight contender Amir Khan proved one thing tonight, he proved that he’s not ready to take on either WBO lightweight champion Nate Campbell or the winner of Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz WBC title fight slated for next week. Khan 18-0, 14 KOs), looking almost invincible, dropped Gomez in the 1st round with a left hand to the head. However, Gomez took all Khan’s shots and began firing back with his own power shots and shortly thereafter in the 3rd round he knocked Khan down with a clubbing left hand to the head.

Khan got up off the canvas and took a lot more punishment in the round before coming on strong at the end. After getting hurt by a powerful left hand to the midsection, Khan came back in the 5th round and dropped Gomez with a hard left to the body. Later in the round, Khan staggered Gomez with a big right hand, which drove him backwards to the ropes, where Khan finished him off with a flurry of shots to the head causing referee John Keane to step in and stop the fight at 2:29 of the 5th round.

Gomez, a former two-time BBBofC British super featherweight champion, took a lot of punishment in the first round as Khan unloaded on his with fast combinations to the head. Constantly moving while firing off shots, Khan was much too fast for Gomez to get much going with his own offense. From a distance, the fight looked eerily similar to Muhammed Ali vs. Joe Frazier, with Gomez, using the the bob & weave style, playing to part of Frazier. His head movement worked about as good as it did for Frazier against Ali, which is to say not good at all. However, as badly as Gomez was getting plastered by Khan, he was still landing a big shot every now and then, which made Khan look very nervous.

Actually, it made him a lot nervous as he seemed about as he seemed very uncomfortable with being pressured and resorted to a good deal of pushing. In that respect, he should have been given a warning by the referee because Khan would often give Gomez a hard shove every time he’d come in close. I realize that England has a whole different way of fighting, especially in terms of allowing all kinds of rough stuff, but I don’t think it was hardly fair the way that Gomez was getting pushed around by Khan. Sure, that might be able to fly in England I suppose, but if Khan tries that kind of tactic anywhere else, he’s going to get warned and then eventually penalized for doing it.

In the 2nd round, Khan attempted to bum rush Gomez with a flurry of shots at the start of the round, sending him back pedaling to the ropes for an instant, but just when Khan was coming in to try and finish him off, Gomez landed a perfect left hand to the head that sent Khan to the canvas. He got up, looking embarrassed and trying to signal to the referee that it wasn’t legitimate, but it clearly was. As if to show that it was a real knockdown, Gomez went after Khan and landed several chose right hands to the head.

Khan, now moving backwards and throwing shots, was totally on the defensive and looking ill at lease. Khan came back late in the round, and tried to mow Gomez down with lightning fast flurry of shots of mostly weak pitty-pat shots. However, Gomez easily took them and answered back with some powerful body shots of his own.

In the 3rd round, Khan continued throwing a lot of punches as he seemed to be working extra hard trying to erase the lasting impression of his earlier knockdown. Khan blasted away at Gomez for the entire round, hitting him with fast shots and giving him a hard push when he would come inside.

In the 4th round, it was Gomez who came out with guns blazing, hitting Khan with some big body shots, one of which, a left to the body, that hurt Khan and caused him to hold his right side in pain as if he had injured his rib. Gomez, seeing this, landed several more big shots in the round. Khan then came running forward throwing punches in front of his in a piston-like way, connecting with each punch and backing Gomez up to the ropes. It was very impressive, although I couldn’t see it working against a fighter with better boxing skills than the mediocre Gomez.

Indeed, a fighter like Campbell, Diaz or Pacquiao would have eaten up such an amateurish move by Khan, and would have stepped to the side and tagged him with a shot to the head. Gomez, however, a slow plodder with little hand speed and not particularly nimble on his feet, could only back up and take the shots from Khan. Gomez finished strong, however, landing several left hands in the final seconds of the round.

In the 5th round, Gomez tagged Khan with a hard body shots, and as if to show him that he’s a pretty good body puncher as well, Khan fired back with a perfect left hook to the body of Gomez, then immediately gave him a hard shove that sent him backwards two steps, at which point Gomez took a knee. At first I thought he may have been injured while being pushed Khan, as it was a hard push, but then I realized it was a delayed reaction from the body punch that Khan had thrown, which made it more understandable. The push, however, was totally unneeded and quite unacceptable as far as I’m concerned. After Gomez got up, Khan spent the next minute giving him a ferocious pounding, taking out all the stops and unloading on him with nonstop punches. To his credit, Gomez took them for quite some time, even getting in a few of his own shots in between, but eventually it was too much for even him. After getting hit with a long right, one of Khan’s better punches in the round, Gomez was staggered and sent backwards to the ropes. Khan followed after him and hit him with a four-punch combination, causing referee John Keane to step in between them and stop the fight while Gomez, badly hurt, was still on his feet.

Though Khan looked good for the most part, he still seemed nervous every time Gomez would land anything. That was worrisome for me, because Khan essentially had nothing but a big punching bag in front of him and yet whenever Khan was hit, he reacted in an odd manner, looking frightened (much too frightened for whom he was fighting) and trying to fight back much too hard.

My thoughts were that if Gomez had any kind of real power, hand speed or boxing ability, he would likely hit Khan with a half dozen shots and take him out in short order. In other words, Khan as good as he is perceived, can dish it out but he can’t take it at all. He just doesn’t seem to have the chin or the mental makeup to deal with being pressured, in this case, by a fighter that is only a shell of what he once was.

That’s not a good sign for Khan, who will have to be a lot more composed if he hopes to beat the likes of Campbell, Pacquiao or Diaz. The heck with Campbell, Khan will never in a million years fight him, so you can forget about him. They won’t risk Khan against Campbell, because it would most assuredly end in a loss for Khan.

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