American journalists praise ‘King Khan’
FORMER British Olympian Amir Khan fashioned a stunning American debut, easily stopping Paulie Malignaggi in the 11th round of a one-sided fight.
The 23-year-old Khan retained his World Boxing Association super lightweight title with a technical knockout of Brooklyn native Malignaggi.
Khan was clearly the better fighter, landing jabs and head shots. Referee Steve Smoger finally stopped the bout in the 11th round after the 29-year-old Malignaggi failed to put up a defence.
“I think with my speed I can catch any fighter,” Khan said. “I knew I was going to catch him and I could see him getting his head knocked back. I could see him get frustrated.”
Malignaggi’s face was swollen and he had to plead with the ringside doctor before the 11th round just to let him continue.
Malignaggi didn’t argue with the decision, tapping his chest and congratulating Khan on the win.
Up next in the 140 pound class for Khan could be fighters such as Marcos Maidana and fellow titleholders Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander.
This was the second title defence for Khan, who landed 132 more punches than the American.
“He knows how to win rounds, man,” Malignaggi said. “He has a lot of ability.”
Khan won the title over Andriy Kotelnik on July 18 last year and then defended the belt with a first-round TKO of Dmitriy Salita.
Khan signed up with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions earlier this year in a bid to improve his standing among US fight fans.
And he didn’t disappoint.
His performance was rightly praised by a number of American sports journalists.
The New York Times said Khan “justified the hype he brought with him from England”, adding “King Khan has come here and delivered. His message was emphatic.”