Between Khan, Malignaggi, Ortiz, and Campbell, it was Amir Khan that Had the Best Night
Saturday, May 15 was a great night of boxing in the 140 pound weight class, with four fighters, two fights, and each fighter stepping into the ring that night looking to emerge as the clear future of the 140 pound world. Amir Khan crossed the pond in his first fight on American soil against Paulie Malignaggi and Victor Ortiz looked to resurrect his career facing off against crafty veteran Nate Campbell. So which Junior Welterweight stole the show on May 15?
The Junior Welterweight extravaganza started off with the match-up of the young lion versus the old lion in “Vicious” Victor Ortiz versus “The Galaxy Warrior” Nate Campbell. Both fighters came to ring with a look of urgency. This was a fight that was going to go one or two ways, either Ortiz would be suckered by the slick veteran to fight his fight, or Ortiz will step up and prove the “The Galaxy Warrior” needs to call up his alien friends and phone home.
In the first round of the Ortiz/Campbell fight, Campbell looked the more comfortable of the two, but near the end of the round, Ortiz caught Campbell with a shot and pushed Campbell down. This was ruled a knockdown.
In rounds two through four, Ortiz gained a lot of confidence, firing away with combinations to the head of Campbell. Also, Ortiz was landing straight left after straight left and plenty of left hooks to the head and body of Campbell which kept him at bay.
By round five, Campbell had a little success, momentarily rocking Ortiz with a counter right hand, and throwing body shots to Ortiz’s ribcage, but Ortiz continued to throw vicious combinations and hard punches to Campbell body and head, overwhelming Campbell for the duration of the fight.
Ortiz was awarded the unanimous decision victory over Campbell, but even though the fight was a shutout, Campbell did have minor success against Ortiz when he pressured Ortiz against the ropes and hit Ortiz to the body.
The main event pitted two fighters who trash talked each other throughout the events leading up to the fight, Amir “King Kong” Khan versus Paul “The Magic Man” Malignaggi. Both fighters came to the ring looking confident and ready. This was a fight where the question comes to mind, will King Kong conquer the American or could The Magic Man make King Kong disappear?
Both fighters came out in round one fast, Malignaggi throwing combinations and Amir Khan throwing perfect stiff left jabs and overhand rights. Khan surprised Malignaggi in this fight because he boxed well with Malignaggi when they stood in the middle of the ring.
From round two through round ten, Khan mesmerized Malignaggi with the stiff left jab, the overhand right, hard power combos to the head and body, and brilliant counter-punching.
Finally the end came for Malignaggi in the eleventh when Khan continued to pepper him with the stiff left jab once again, and the combinations smothered any hopes of Malignaggi trying to pull off a knock out, which Malignaggi has done only five times in his career. Referee Steve Smooger stepped in and saved Malignaggi from any more abuse. Khan wins via sensational eleventh round TKO victory.
So again the question will be asked, which 140 pound fighter had the best night on May 15, 2010. The answer is Amir Khan. Ortiz had a great night as well, but the old lion, Nate Campbell, pulled out a couple a tricks in that fight to give Ortiz a bit of trouble.
Amir Khan surprised a lot of boxing experts because not only did Khan dominant Paulie Malignaggi from start to finish, but to the surprise of many he did not pressure Malignaggi, he simply out boxed him. A lot of Khan’s success on Saturday night can be credited to his trainer Freddie Roach because he taught Khan how to effectively use his height and how to jab at a distance to keep Malignaggi guessing.
So what’s next for the four Junior Welterweights? The future is really unclear for Ortiz, Campbell, and Malignaggi, but for Amir “King Kong” Khan, there is a familiar name that everyone would like to see him fight, Marcos Maidana. Will Khan fight Maidana? If these two tangle, with Khan’s newly adopted boxing style, it would be a great fight.
In the meantime, as fight fans, all we can do is sit and wait to see who fights who in what is arguably the best weight division in boxing, the Junior Welterweight division.