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Live Blog: Khan edges Maidana in fight of year candidate

Amir Khan wins Las Vegas debut in narrow unanimous decision win


Steve Marcus

WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan of Britain celebrates his victory over WBA interim champion Marcos Maidana of Argentina on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Updated Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 | 8:10 p.m.

Khan vs. Maidana

WBA interim super lightweight champion Marcos Maidana (L) of Argentina is treated in his corner between rounds during his title fight against WBA champion Amir Khan of Britain on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Launch slideshow »

Khan edges Maidana

Highlights of the Khan-Maidana bout from KSNV's "Sports Night in Las Vegas."

Undercard Results

  • Victor Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KO) vs. Lamont Peterson (28-1-1, 14 KO): Majority draw.
  • Joan Guzman (31-0-1, 18 KO) vs. Jason Davis (11-8-1, 3 KO): Guzman wins via TKO in second round.
  • Seth Mitchell (20-0-1, 14 KO) vs. Taurus Sykes (25-7-1, 7 KO): Mitchell wins via KO in fifth round.
  • Sharif Bogere (18-0, 11 KO) vs. Chris Fernandez (19-11-1, 11 KO): Bogere wins via unanimous decision.
  • Jessie Vargas (13-0, 7 KO) vs. Ramon Montano (17-9-2, 2 KO): Vargas wins via unanimous decision.
  • Jamie Kavanagh (4-0, 2 KO) vs. Jacob Thornton (2-2, 0 KO): Kavanagh wins via TKO in first round.
  • Randy Caballero (6-0, 4 KO) vs. Robert Guillen (5-9-3, 1 KO): Caballero wins via unanimous decision.
  • Alfonso Blanco (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Gustavo Medina (1-3-1, 0 KO): Blanco wins via TKO in third round.

British boxer Amir Khan wanted to show his ability to take a punch Saturday when he met the heavy-handed Marcos Maidana at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Mission accomplished.

Khan (24-1, 17 KO) edged Maidana (29-2, 27 KO) in a narrow, unanimous decision Saturday to retain his WBA super lightweight title.

Despite taking early control in the first round when he knocked Maidana down with a vicious left hook to the body, Khan absorbed arguably the most damage of his career in the later rounds.

The worst of it came in the tenth, when Maidana landed his signature overhand right early in the round that buckled Khan’s legs. He spent the rest of the round simply trying to survive, circling away from Maidana’s power hand and tying him up at every opportunity.

A key moment of the fight came in the fifth, when referee Joe Cortez took a point away from Maidana for throwing an elbow when the two were tied up against the ropes.

In the end it was Khan’s speed and his chin that earned him the win, as he weathered Maidana’s attack and simply out-boxed him in the majority of the rounds. According to ringside stats, Khan landed a total of 273 punches to 156 for Maidana.

The final scores were 114-111, 114-111 and 113-112 — all in Khan’s favor.

Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KO) vs. Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KO)

Round One: Khan comes out and looks to touch gloves and Maidana tries to tag him with his guard down. Khan makes him miss but Maidana catches him here early with a right hook. Khan circling around the ring. He’s okay for now but that hook caught his attention. Now he starts to work his game, stringing together a series of hooks and then coming with the straight left. Khan visibly so much faster than Maidana. Maidana jabs to the body and throws that looping overhand right but Khan avoids. Now a huge body shot lands for Khan with twenty seconds left in the round and Maidana winces in pain. He goes down. Back to his feet with under ten seconds left and he ties up with Khan just to survive the round.

Round Two: Khan catches Maidana early with a right hook and then another. Maidana steps forward aggressively but can’t catch Khan. Now he does with a nice left hook that Khan weathers well. Khan slips a punch and counters with the left. Two more left hooks for Khan and then he attacks the body again. Khan pours it on now with a series of hooks, Maidana defends fairly well though. Big right hook lands for Khan and he follows it with a flurry. His speed is really something. Left hook lands to the body for Khan.

Round Three: Maidana the aggressor here early, looking to set up that overhand right with the jab. Khan circling away and making Maidana miss. Straight right lands for Khan. Khan misses with a big punch and Maidana presses forward and catches him with a right hook against the ropes. That hurt Khan. Khan backing up now and Maidana fits in a right uppercut. Khan clinching up against the ropes. Cortez breaks them up. Khan back in rhythm now as he connects a two-punch combination. But Maidana comes back with a jab and now a hook to the body.

Round Four: Maidana chasing Khan around the ring. Khan circling to the left. Nice combination for Khan. Now a hard left hook lands for Khan then the right hook. Maidana goes low with a jab to the body, Khan counters with a flurry. Two left uppercuts land for Maidana and Khan retreats. Maidana chases and Khan ties him up. Maidana throws a left hook to the body and Khan complains it was below the belt. Maidana again with the left uppercut through the defense of Khan.

Round Five: Khan slips a punch and lands a nice straight left under the chin of Maidana. Now a flurry of hooks from Khan. Maidana looking to work the jab, great head movement by Khan to avoid. Nice three-punch combination from Khan but Maidana bullies through and lands the left uppercut again. Now they tie up and Cortez is going to take a point away from Maidana for punching on the break. Action resumes, Maidana coming forward. Maidana reaches in with a straight right and Kahn counters perfectly with a left uppercut. Straight right grazes off Khan’s head from Maidana and he finishes round with a series of hooks.

Round Six: Khan sets up a straight right with two effective jabs. Maidana walks him to the corner and throws the left uppercut, Khan’s speed too great though, he makes him miss. Maidana pushing forward relentlessly. Khan catches him with a right hook but Maidana still coming forward and now he lands a few hard punches with Khan against the ropes. Khan lifts up his arms to show he’s OK but Maidana still swarming him and lands the right hook again. Now Khan ties him up to slow things down. Crowd chanting ‘Amir’ as action resumes and Khan ties Maidana up again as he comes forward. Khan constantly circling to his left and Maidana catches him with another right to finish the round.

Round Seven: Maidana lands the jab early and then a right hook as Khan threw the left. Khan picks up the pace now, Maidana covers up. Now Maidana stands in front of him with his hands down and invites him forward. Maidana coming forward and he lands a right uppercut on the back end of a three-punch combination. Now an overhand right for Maidana. Two more uppercuts for Maidana. Khan ties up Maidana’s right arm but his left is free and he assaults Khan with five to six hooks with the left hand. Khan backs up to the ropes and covers up the rest of the round.

Round Eight: Khan ducks under a left hook and catches Maidana with a right. Right uppercut lands for Khan. Now an uppercut, left hook combination for Khan. Straight right for Khan and he’s dominating the round. Maidana tries to go to the body, Khan eludes and counters. Maidana fits in a left uppercut near the end of the round, but only a grazing shot. That round all Khan.

Round Nine: Big left uppercut lands for Khan early. Maidana pushes him to the corner but Khan immediately ties him up and Cortez will separate them. Khan fires off a four-punch combination and the last one finds Maidana under the chin. Maidana drops his arms again and he appears frustrated at chasing Khan around the ring. Maidana with a wild overhand right, he slips and falls down. No knockdown. Khan seems very comfortable now. He’s still circling around the ropes but he’s making Maidana miss much more than earlier in the fight and Maidana seems to be tiring from it.

Round Ten: Jab, jab, jab from Khan. Straight right for Khan. His speed advantage even more noticeable here in the later rounds. Maidana now lands a huge overhand right and Khan’s legs buckle. Maidana following aggressively and Khan is hurt. Two more punches land for Maidana. Khan backing up. Really hurt. Back on the ropes and Maidana is teeing off. Left lands for Maidana now a right hoook. Khan in the corner with over a minute still to go. Khan able to tie him up but Maidana comes right back on the break and lands the right hook. Khan in a lot of trouble. Straight right now for Maidana and Khan can’t do a thing but cover up. Maidana swings so hard he falls over into the ropes. Khan finally fires back now. He lands a straight punch for Maidana takes it and lands another right hook of his own. Maidana’s corner encouraging him to come forward.

Round Eleven: Khan wants to touch gloves and Maidana ignores it and comes out swinging. Khan circling around the ring. Maidana tracking him down. Maidana pumps out the jab, trying to set up the right hook. He pushes Khan to the corner, Khan ties him up. Khan lands a vicious left uppercut here on a counter that snaps Maidana’s head back. He’s Frankenstein though, he walks right through it and keeps on the attack. Khan bleeding from the nose now. Khan jabs and follows with the right hook. Khan circles and he takes a look at the clock. Ten seconds left and Maidana lands a right uppercut with Khan’s back to the ropes.

Round Twelve: Now finally the fighters touch gloves here in the final round. They tie up and it looked like Khan took a headbutt from Maidana. Maidana chasing him again and he lands the right uppercut with Khan against the ropes. Big right hook from Maidana but it was to the back of the head and Cortez chastises him. Khan ties him up and Maidana guilty of punching on the break again. No point taken away this time. Khan circling and backing up. Huge swing and a miss from Maidana with the right hand. Now the right hook lands and Khan covering up. Maidana lands a hook to the body, Khan circles away. Now Khan answers with a series of straight punches. Fifteen seconds left. Khan lets his hands go and gets Maidana to cover up. Bell sounds.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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