Not many inside the sport of boxing expected that the welterweight battle between Amir Khan and Chris Algieri to end in a spectacular knockout. Most of these same experts figured Khan would be too elusive and crafty for the American underdog and they were right. What they might not have expected was how exciting the full 12 rounds were.
Algieri, once the feel-good story in boxing, entered the bout as a man expected to be a showcase opponent for “King” Khan. Due to his poor performance against Manny Pacquiao in November when he was knocked down six times, Algieri wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight in the main event of the Premier Boxing Champions card that was televised on Spike TV.
But Algieri was beyond resilient inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., as he took the fight to Khan every chance he got. Algieri was in the Bolton, England, fighter’s face from the start and forced him into exchanges that Khan didn’t necessarily want to partake. Algieri’s pressure won him some of the early rounds and he had the Olympic silver medalist in serious trouble in the first.
Related » Khan vs. Algieri Round-by-Round Scoring
A sweeping overhand landed clean on Khan’s jaw with about 15 seconds left, and the popular Brit’s legs buckled underneath him. Algieri, who hails from nearby Huntington, N.Y., immediately closed the gap in hopes of at least scoring a knockdown, but Khan hung on and survived the round before any further damage could be inflicted. From there, Khan was never truly hurt again in the fight, even though Algieri tried everything in his power to force his will onto him.
After many tense moments early in the contest, Khan settled in with his jab and fleet footwork. Algieri (20-2, eight KOs) continued to press forward in every round, but Khan slowly began to separate himself from his counterpart with the stiff jab and brilliant combos. As the rounds wore on, Algieri found himself deeper and deeper in a hole he couldn’t escape; his lack of raw punching power didn’t help matters, either.
Khan’s sizzling counter right hand and pesky jab nearly shut Algieri’s left eye late in the fight. Khan, a former super lightweight world champion, systematically broke down his foe in the championship rounds, jabbing his way to safety when a desperate Algieri tried to score a dramatic come-from-behind knockout. When the dust settled inside the ring, it was clear who the victor was. Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) was awarded the unanimous decision via tallies of 115-113 and 117-111 (twice).
After the fight, Khan again made it clear that he has one thing and one thing only on his mind; a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. He called out the world’s pound-for-pound king in hopes of landing that coveted shot later this year.
In the co-featured bout of the telecast, hard-charging Javier Fortuna remained unbeaten as a pro by outlasting Bryan Vasquez over 12 rounds to capture the vacant WBA junior lightweight title. Neither man was knocked down in the contest, but Fortuna’s higher-connect percentage was enough for him to win a unanimous decision.
Fortuna (28-0, 20 KOs) tore into Vasquez when he needed to and boxed with his jab when called upon. Vasquez, from Costa Rica, tried to turns the tides in the fight several times, but Fortuna, who fights out of the Dominican Republic, was usually a step ahead of his opponent throughout. In the end, Fortuna was awarded the win with scores of 116-112 and 117-111 (twice). Vasquez fell to 35-2 with 18 KOs.
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