• Boxing

Slick Khan wins in controversial fashion

ESPN staff
July 24, 2011

Amir Khan took a big step towards a 2012 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jnr. by stopping Zab Judah in the fifth round of their Las Vegas clash on Saturday.

Victory unified the world light-welterweight titles for Khan, but it did not come without controversy after the fight-ending punch left the Judah camp claiming a low blow. The Brit appeared to dig an uppercut into his rival's waistline, but when the ref counted him out there was a look of shock on Judah's face.

The finish tainted a marvellous clinic by Khan, who seems to grow in maturity with every fight. His trademark speed proved far too much for Judah, but it was his patience and understanding of punch selection that will have been most pleasing to coach Freddie Roach.

Khan established his authority from the opening round, firing out the jab before unleashing flurries that often ended with a right hand landing on Judah. The first stanza went to the Brit, as did the next three.

As Khan has openly admitted, his style does leave him susceptible to the odd counter, and Judah found a home for a short right hand in the second round. But the greater volume of strikes was coming from Khan, who began to pepper the face of his rival.

By going downstairs to the body Khan regularly opened up opportunities to find Judah's chin, leaving his opponent swollen under the left eye. The nose was also bleeding, and it was no surprise that the finish arrived in the fifth.

He set things up by ambushing Judah to the head, forcing the veteran into close quarters. From there, Khan sent a right uppercut to the waistline - legally - crumpling Judah who was counted out with 13 seconds remaining.

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