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The night Amir Khan came of age

Amir Khan Marcos Rene MaidanaBy Stuart O’Malley: Last Saturday, December 11th, saw WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (24-1, 7 KO’s) quiet his doubters and prove to the world that indeed he is a true champion by defeating knockout puncher Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There has always been question marks over the punch resistance of Amir, and rightly so. The Breidis Prescott defeat was not the fight that should have caused question over Amir’s chin as anyone caught clean by a big puncher is in trouble. However, when Khan was dropped by Willie Limond in their fight in July 2007, who is not known for carrying a punch serious questions were asked.

In lasting the course with Maidana last Saturday and having taking many of his best shots, I think it can be said that Khan has answered many of his doubters, and also many boxing critics who after the fight admitted they had never thought he could have been involved in a fight of that sought.

Maidana was also great on the night. I had predicted a landslide Khan win before the fight, but was surprised on the night by how good Maidana was, and particularly at cutting off the ring and closing range. It was indeed a night where both fighters shone for differing reasons, both leaving with credit.

As for both fighters, in the aftermath there is talk of Amir Khan and Breidis Prescott facing up in a rematch, probably in the UK in April, or possibly or unlikely in my opinion a match up against Floyd Mayweather. The Prescott fight should be a non-starter. Although Khan may wish to avenge the previous defeat, it would be a step backward. On the other hand, the Mayweather fight would be too much of a step forward, so let’s hope that Maidana and Khan decide on a rematch and meet right in the middle!

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