THE LION'S DEN: AMIR KHAN v MARCOS MAIDANA

by Eliot Stott


As many British fighters who have tried and failed will tell you, going stateside to either fight for or defend a world title is no easy task.

Whether it be the jetlag, an away crowd or simply being on a bigger stage – going to the US has been particularly difficult for many of Britain’s best over the years.

That's not to say there haven't been many special performances, with British fighters such as Carl Froch, Ricky Hatton & Tyson Fury all travelling abroad for world honours.

Despite the spectacular performances from the aforementioned, Amir Khan’s away record against other world-class operators at such a young age is something to be envious of.

Making his US world honours debut at the age of 23 against 2 weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi compared to Froch (31) & Hatton (27), Khan put in a dominant performance against Malignaggi in the American’s home state of New York.

As well as a successful US debut, Khan has gone onto defeat former world champions Zab Judah, Luis Collazo & Chris Algeri all in convincing fashion. Now aged 33 and 39 fights into his pro-career a final fight in the states later this year is a possibility for the former Olympian.


Although Khan has had success in the US that many British fighters could only dream of, a few career lows have also come stateside.


A brutal knockout at the hands of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez stands out amongst Khan’s defeats, especially considering the huge difference in size on fight night with Canelo clearly coming in a lot heavier than the 155lbs catchweight that both fighters made the day before.

An earlier stoppage and a hugely controversial points loss to Danny Garcia & Lamont Peterson respectively forced Khan to take backwards steps in his career which included returning to the UK as well as spells outside of the ring.

However, despite low points, there are still many highlights of Khan’s US exploits with the Brit’s fight against the fierce Marcos Maidana in 2010 standing out.

Almost 10 years ago, days after his 24th birthday, Khan was making his Vegas debut whilst defending his WBA World Super Lightweight Title against Maidana who’s record at the time was 29-1, scoring knockouts in three out of his last four fights.


Early Rounds


Classically, Maidana started the fight as the aggressor catching Khan a couple of times within the first minute of the opening round. Despite Maidana’s pressure, Khan recomposed himself quickly, putting punches of his own together.

Looking as if it was going to dwindle to the bell, Khan struck with an awesome body shot with 20 seconds left, badly hurting the Argentinian who struggled to make the Referee’s count.


Clearly hurt, Maidana took a barrage of punches before the bell rang and stumbled back into his corner with what looked like might be an early nights work for Khan.

Still looking shaken at the beginning of round two, it began to look like Maidana wasn’t going to be able to live with Khan’s speed at all as the Brit enjoyed a dominant round.


Moving onto round three and Maidana enjoyed his best round yet, connecting on a regular basis and shortening the judges already wide scorecards in the process.

The fourth round started in bizarre fashion as Maidana thought the opening 30 seconds was an appropriate time to adjust his boxing shorts. An ‘amateurish mistake’ as described on commentary; Khan used Maidana’s blunder as an opportunity to dominate the opening period of the round.

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