Amir Khan Hangs on Against Marcos Maidana
By Gabriel Montoya, from (Dec 12, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
For the first nine rounds of his WBA junior welterweight title defense against Marcos Maidana, 29-2 (27), at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV, Amir “King” Khan, 24-1 (17) was doing great. The Bolton boxer, who now trains out of Hollywood, CA at the Wild Card Boxing Club under Freddie Roach, was seemingly having his way.

The faster, taller Khan used his jab and a high output of punches along with quick footwork to set a fast pace and a violent tone early. Maidana, more of a slugger than a speedy boxer-type like Khan, moved forward looking to land his heavy right hand or bruising left but was often left setting to throw and hitting only air.

Khan seemed to be too much for Maidana as he dropped him hard with a right-left to the body near the first round’s end. Maidana rose shakily, grimacing in pain but there wasn’t near enough time to finish him and the bell rang soon after.

Over the course of the first half the fight, Khan boxed smart. He kept his distance, jabbed with authority and generally kept Maidana at arm’s length while beating him to the punch. But Maidana is the type of guy who will eat your best shots and still keep coming forward. He didn’t seem to care about Khan’s right hand that landed flush or his left hook that kept shoe-shining his forehead.

Round after round, Maidana kept after Khan (who benefited from referee Joe Cortez’s point deduction on Maidana, when an elbow was thrown), who tired a little bit by the seventh round and began to linger on the ropes a bit while dropping his guard just a tad. Maidana took advantage where he could and, during these rope rests, he worked on Khan to the body and ripped uppercuts through his guard as best he could. Blocked shots or not, they had an overall effect.

All this work would come to roost in the tenth when Maidana landed a sweeping right hand that rocked Khan like a hurricane. His legs shook and Maidana saw how badly hurt he was and followed up with more right hands. Khan was out on his feet as he moved away like a drunk guy, arms at his sides, head barely avoiding punches. Maidana was too tired to follow up effectively but he pounded away at Khan all the way to the bell.

All the points Khan had stored up in the bank looked as if they were about to cashed out by Maidana’s relentless aggression and big right hand.

In the 11th and 12th, however, Khan simply moved away, ran really, and flashed a combo here and there. Maidana was too tired to do much of anything effectively but still managed to get in some nice uppercuts and a right hand here and there. Though Khan was able to survive these final rounds, the way he ran away did little to keep the luster on the work he had done to get to this point.

Still, when the top fighters in a division fight each other, anything should be expected. Khan fought well early; Maidana nearly finished the job late. The judges had it close at 114-111, 114-111, and 113-112 all for Khan, who very well could be in line for the winner of Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander.

In the co-feature, junior welterweight contenders Victor Ortiz, 28-2-2 (22), and Lamont Peterson, 28-1-1 (14), battled to a majority draw. It was a bout that was hard to score with Ortiz boxing on the outside and Peterson showing him a lot of respect early after getting dropped once clearly and then again in round three. But Peterson battled back and fought his way into the fight through the middle rounds, off the strength of solid jab/right hand combos and good body work. Ortiz was on his bicycle a lot in this fight but got off enough late to rally and get the draw on the judges’ scorecards.

It was a hard to score bout with pockets of action but nothing too sustained enough to call it exciting. Scores were 94-94, 94-94 twice and 95-93 for Peterson.

You can email Gabriel at, follow him on Twitter at and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-it-in- Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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