Amir Khan wanted it to be undefeated and undisputed welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. across the ring on Saturday night, but Mayweather passed to fight (and beat) Marcus Maidana, so Khan had to settle for beating former world champion Luis Collazo in a unanimous decision.
Retaining his unified junior welterweight belt at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Khan debuted at full welterweight and knocked Collazo down three times. The judges scored the fight a resounding win for the Britain-based Khan, 119-104, 119-104 and 117-106, but Khan wasn’t dominant for the whole fight, with Brooklyn-based Collazo using the eighth round to show why he used to be welterweight champion.
Right after Khan lost a point for a low blow, Collazo landed a left that visibly took all the strength out of Khan’s legs. Then, Khan lost another point for holding.
Nevertheless, Amir had already knocked down Collazo in the third round and he returned after his weak eighth round to knock down Collazo (35-6, 18 KOs) twice more in the 10th round. Though Khan got knocked down himself at the beginning of the 12th round, it was due to Collazo throwing a low blow himself. Khan recovered to finish the fight strong.
Still, Amir told ESPN that it’s finally time for Mayweather to accept his invitation to face off: “Definitely, people want to see that fight between me and Floyd. He’s fighting guys who are strong, but styles make fights, and I believe my style would cause Floyd a lot of trouble.”
King Khan (who’s now 29-3 with 19 knock-outs) credited the 13 months he took off in anticipation of fighting Mayweather to train with Virgil Hunter.
“It’s the first time we ever spent a long time together,” Khan told ESPN. “He taught me some good things and I put them together tonight. [Collazo] was very awkward. I think it was great to have that layoff. I need a break from boxing but at the same time I needed to work on some things.”
He might need to work on other things now, though. According to the Guardian, a representative of the fight’s broadcaster, Showtime, said they were happy to see Khan win, but not necessarily how he won: “…We also liked the old Amir, the one who gambled.”
Mayweather’s fight secured his undefeated status, but Khan was quick to note how he beat Maidana much more resoundingly back in 2010. What more proof is needed, Amir said, that Mayweather needs to face him next?
“Mayweather put on a great performance,” Khan said, “but you look at the way I fought Maidana and the way he fought Maidana. I put him down with a great body shot. Maidana is slower than me and he was still catching Mayweather. Floyd is getting older and people want to see him get beat. It would be a boxing match, skills versus skills, and the youth will take him, that’s for sure.”
That just might be in the cards now for fall. Golden Bay Promotions chief Richard Schaefer said after the fight that he was going to talk with both camps now to “see what we can work out. Tonight I think we saw that [Khan’s] move to 147 was long overdue.”
[Image courtesy of AmirKhanWorld]