Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME – British superstar and former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir “King” Khan punctuated a sensational day-night boxing marathon presented by Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME Sports® by winning a dominant 10th round TKO over gallant but out-gunned Carlos Molina Saturday on SHOWTIME® from The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Making his first start with new trainer Virgil Hunter, Khan (27-3, 18 KO’s), of Bolton, England, was near-perfect against the previously undefeated Molina (17-1-1, 7 KO’s), of Los Angeles, as he snapped a two-fight losing streak while capturing the vacant WBC Silver Super Lightweight Championship.
The quicker, physically stronger and bigger Khan was in control throughout, showing excellent poise while utilizing his advantages in height and reach, moving and jabbing, punching in flurries and landing countless combinations. He didn’t score a knockdown, but he cut Molina on his left eye and thoroughly had his way. When the referee stopped the fight upon the suggestion of the boxer’s corner at the end of the 10th round, Khan had won every round on all three judges’ scorecard.
“I stuck to my game plan which means I stuck to the jab,” said Khan, who called out the boxer who dethroned him, WBA Super, WBC and Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Champion Danny Garcia, after his victory on Saturday. “Carlos took some good shots and kept coming forward. That is when I thought to myself I am going to have to stick to the game plan and not get too aggressive.
“Virgil is a great trainer and I feel I am getting better as a fighter. He is teaching me boxing, speed, patience, picking the right shot and knowing when to throw it.
“I am my biggest critic. After each fight I always think what did I do and why did I make the mistakes I did. Danny Garcia caught me with a good shot, but I will fight him anytime anywhere. I want to fight him again”
Molina had some success and landed some good shots but was mostly confounded by Khan’s performance.
“I don’t know what happened,” Molina said. “I wanted to pull the trigger, but I couldn’t get my hands to go. I had a lack of precision. He was fast in his jab, and I was hesitant in trying to get in because he has a long reach.
“I didn’t do my job. I lost my undefeated record.
“I felt like I connected two or three times, but I wasn’t in the right distance to reconnect after I wobbled him. I am going to go back (to the drawing board), work hard and get back in the ring.”
In co-featured scheduled 10-round bouts on SHOWTIME, knockout artist and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., improved to 26-0 with 26 knockouts with a one-punch, third-round knockout over previously undefeated Kelvin Price (13-1, 6 KO’s), of Pensacola, Fla., to capture the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship while junior middleweight Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KO’s), of Los Angeles, won a 10-round decision in a slugfest over Jorge Silva (18-3-2, 14 KO’s), of Chula Vista, Calif.
The 6-foot-7 Wilder finished Price, who’s also 6-foot-7, with a long, picturesque right hand. Wilder was even on two scorecards and ahead on the other when he landed the heavyweight haymaker that halted matters in sudden and dramatic fashion.
“Bomb squad baby. I practice patience in the ring because I know my punch is going to come and my opponent is going to get hit.” Wilder said. “It’s just a matter of time, but when it comes, it’s going to work and tonight it did.
“Everyone has their season and it might not come when you expect it, but it does come. Tonight my season came for me. My experience has started to pay off and I felt great in there tonight.
“I feel more polished now. We set a goal we wanted to reach and tonight it seems like that goal is almost there.”
Price offered no excuses. “I felt like I was controlling the action and just getting into my rhythm,” he said. “Then he hit me with a good shot. I could have continued, but I take my hat off to Deontay. He’s very strong and was the better man tonight.”
In a crowd-pleasing, non-stop action brawl in which the sluggers took turns pummeling each other, Angulo got the best of Silva often enough to win by the scores of 97-93 on all three judges’ scorecards.
“I asked for a fighter that would make me work because I wanted to see where I really was after taking a year off,” Angulo said. “I think I am a lot better than I was then. I threw a lot of punches and he did too, but I had to take it slow because I felt a bit sluggish in there. For some reason I came in the ring tonight at 168, which I have never done before. I thought I could knock him out in the 7th or 8th round, but he went into survival mode.
“I’m happy I got the work and it makes me feel good that I have a better idea of where my career can go.”
Said Silva, “That was a really tough fight and I thought I was doing enough to win some of the rounds the judges gave to him. It was a hard fight and I had to fight every round.
“He was strong and hit me with some good shots. I was expecting a tough fight tonight and that is what the fight was. I’m disappointed I didn’t get the win.”
In a great action fight on SHOWTIME EXTREME that preceded the SHOWTIME telecast, undefeated welterweight Shawn “Showtime” Porter (20-0-1, 14 KO’s), of Cleveland, Ohio, and former World Champion Julio Diaz (40-7-1, 29 KO’s), of Indio, Calif., battled to a crowd-pleasing 10-round draw. One judge had it for Porter, 96-94, another judge scored it for Diaz, 96-94, and the third judge had it 95-95.
The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T.
The tripleheader will re-air the first time this week as follows:
Sunday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m. ET/PT SHOWTIME
Saturday’s fights will be available ON DEMAND beginning Sunday, Dec. 16.
Brian Kenny served as host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING with Mauro Ranallo calling the blow-by-blow action, Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and current WBA Welterweight World Champion Paulie Malignaggi serving as expert analysts with Emmy Award winning sports reporter Jim Gray reporting from ringside.
The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.
In a battle of unbeatens earlier in the day on CBS, Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Bantamweight Championship with a hard-fought, entertaining 12-round unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Alberto Guevara (16-1, 6 KO’s) of San Diego, Calif.