From Maidana To Malignaggi, Amir Khan's Five Best Performances In The Ring

To celebrate his 34th birthday, we look back at the Bolton fighter's best moments in the ring
13:00, 08 Dec 2020

As a former unified light-welterweight world champion, an Olympic silver medallist and one of the most famous British sportsman since the turn of the millennium, it's clear that Amir Khan has had a pretty great career in the ring and in a professional career that began all the way back in 2005, 'King' Khan has fought a who's who of top talent.

To celebrate Khan's 34th birthday, we've pick out our five favourite performances from the Bolton fighter... 


Vs Marcos Maidana (December 11, 2010, Las Vegas)


‘King Khan’ made his Vegas debut against the tough-as-nails Argentine Marcos Maidana in a thriller at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.

It was almost over inside the first round when Khan landed a wonderful combination of body punches and dropped his opponent to the canvas but it nearly ended in disaster for Khan in the tenth when he was dazed by a crunching right hand and a subsequent flurry of uppercuts.

He managed to survive the onslaught and regained his composure over the next two rounds to claim a unanimous points decision. The fact Maidana would give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a real scare four years later, shows just how good Khan's win over the South American actually was.


Vs Zab Judah (July 23, 2011, Las Vegas) 


Under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach, Khan returned to Vegas for the second time in seven months after a war of words with Brooklyn's Zab Judah  on Twitter led to their July 23 showdown.

Khan put in a career-best performance against Judah, bamboozling the American over five rounds before stopping the affair with a big body punch to unify the IBF and WBA super-lightweight title.


Vs Paulie Malignaggi (May 15, 2010, New York)


It’s no secret that Amir Khan’s best weapon is his blistering speed but never was it as deadly as it was against Paulie Malignaggi, whom he squared off with at Madison Square Garden a decade ago.

Malignaggi was top operator going into the bout and his only defeats at the time were against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Diaz - a loss he’d already avenged. 

Khan  completely outmatched the New Yorker and was ahead in every round before stopping ‘The Magic Man’ in the eleventh. After the fight Malignaggi, now a respected pundit, said:  "I've fought two elite fighters, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan. From here, I'm not sure where I go. I'll sit down with my team. I don't want to be a punching bag."


Vs Devon Alexander (December 13, 2014, Las Vegas)


Now under veteran trainer Virgil Hunter’s guidance, Amir Khan followed his game plan down to a tee and patiently outboxed the talented former two weight world champion over 12 rounds.

All three judges scored heavily in Khan's favour with scores of 119–109, 118–110 and a shutout of 120–108.

Khan reiterated his desire to fight Floyd Mayweather after the victory and promoter Oscar De La Hoya said: "So now I know why Mayweather doesn't want to fight him. He was brilliant. I wouldn't have fought him. He is hitting his peak just now. He looked incredible."


Vs Luis Collazo (May 3, 2014, Las Vegas)


Unbeaten since 2011, Luis Collazo was billed as a potential banana skin to Khan going into this one on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather and Maidana’s first scrap at the MGM Grand.

However, it ended up as one-sided as a fight can get thanks mostly to Collazo's insistence to fight with his hands down - so cocksure was he that Amir Khan's power couldn't trouble him. A regrettable battle tactic for the former world champion who lost on the judge's cards of 117–106, 119–104, 119–104, barely landing a punch over the distance.

This article first appeared in The Sportsman on 06/04/20

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