Khan Stops A Game Malignaggi, Can The WBA Light-Welterweight Champ Unify The 140-Pound Division?

by James Slater - 23-year-old Amir Khan, in making his U.S debut whilst making the second defence of his WBA 140-pound title, looked quite sensational last night at Madison Square Garden; proving to be too fast, too sharp and too powerful for a game Paulie Malignaggi. Khan, who finally persuaded referee Steve Smoger to rescue "The Magic Man" at the one-minute, 25-second mark of the 11th-round, displayed a very impressive left jab, a good defence and, as always, blurring hand speed.

Malignaggi, now 29 - and as he said post-fight perhaps becoming "old" - gave it a go and had some success early on, but he was a step behind Khan pretty much all night, taking some heavy shots that only his great chin allowed him to take. The Bolton man's left jab in particular, snapped the New Yorker's head back violently on a number of occasions..

Overall, though he didn't get the clean KO he said he wanted, Khan's showing was a good one and he deserves top marks. The question everyone is now asking (and which commentator Max Kellerman did ask last night), is what next for Khan? Who will the WBA champ face next?

Khan made it clear last night that he will remain at 140-pounds, as he put it, "for as long as it takes to unify the division." Khan also called out for two fights to take place; one involving him, one involving two other fighters - with the ultimate plan being for the two eventual winners to clash in a mega-fight down the road.

Khan said he will happily face the dangerous and deserving Marcos Maidana next, while he called for Timothy Bradley, the WBO 140-pound champ, to get it on with Devon Alexander, the man who holds the IBF and WBC crowns at light-welter. We could, then, see - some time in late 2010 or early 2011 - a huge unification match at the weight. But is Khan the man capable of getting that fight? Can he get past the lethal-punching Argentine who has been after a fight with him for so long, and if he can, would Khan be capable of defeating either Bradley or Alexander?

One thing is certain; if the fights Khan mentioned do come to pass we will have some great light-welterweight nights in the coming months. Currently a stacked division, Khan has made some bold declaration by stating that he will not leave it until he has unified it. However, as good as he looked last night, as patient as he looked last night, and, perhaps above all, as great as his left jab looked last night, "King Khan" might just be capable of making good with his confident prediction.

Let's see if exciting match-ups Khan-Maidana and Bradley-Alexander do get made soon!

Article posted on 16.05.2010

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