Amir Khan narrowly escaped an embarrassing end to a celebrated homecoming.
This wasn't likely what Khan had in mind when his camp agreed to fight Julio Diaz in Khan's native United Kingdom, but ultimately he did emerge victorious.
Khan won a hard-fought unanimous decision, but he was dropped in the fourth by a hard left hand. He was rocked on multiple occasions.
Per BoxRec.com, the official scorecards were: 115-112 | 115-113 | 114-113.
Will Khan ever conquer his defense/chin issues?
Unfortunately for Diaz, those moments that put Khan on shaky legs were too few and far between, and he couldn't finish the job.
On several occasions, it looked like Khan's faulty chin would be his undoing again, but he showed a bit more poise after being hurt than he has in the past.
Nevertheless, the frequency by which Khan was tagged with Diaz's left hand has to be worrisome for him and his camp.
This was the punch that began his troubles against Danny Garcia in July 2012.
When looking at these two fighters' skill sets, many—including myself—believed this should have been an easy win for Khan, but it was nothing of the sort.
Although he controlled the action throughout most of the fight, his concentration on defense and weak beard are still issues.
Diaz is a natural welterweight, but this fight was fought at a 143-pound catchweight to allow both men to meet between their weight classes.
Make no mistake: Khan was fortunate to make it out of this fight on his feet, let alone as the winner. With plans of moving up to 147 pounds, Khan has some serious things to consider as he eyes bigger and better opponents.
His chin isn't likely to get any stronger. At a higher weight class, he'll have to face more dangerous punchers.
After Saturday's performance, confidence in his sustained success can't be very high.
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