Amir "King" Khan (29-3) made easy work of Luis Collazo (35-6) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
The former WBA and IBF light welterweight champion boxed circles around his opponent for 12 rounds en route to a unanimous-decision victory.
ESPN's Dan Rafael has the final scorecards:
In his first bout at 147 pounds, Khan was impressive and looked like a good next opponent for Floyd "Money" Mayweather, should the pound-for-pound champion knock off Marcos Rene Maidana in the main event.
Golden Boy Promotions accurately described Khan's performance:
The punches were slashing and cutting more than being heavy and painful. Boxing News talked about how Collazo was taking the shots:
Khan is not winning Collazo's respect, but he doesn't need to to win the fight #TheMoment— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) May 4, 2014
Through the first three rounds, Khan's hand speed and movement proved to be too much for Collazo. Several stellar combinations jutted Collazo's head back. The tough Puerto Rican kept coming forward, but he was clearly being outclassed.
In the fourth round, a short right hand sent Collazo to the canvas.
He wasn't hurt, but it undoubtedly put him in a five-point hole after losing the first three rounds. When Collazo got up, he went to an unconventional style and approach.
Showing almost no respect for Khan's punching power, Collazo walked toward Khan with his hands down looking for the left-hand counter.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated understood Collazo's approach:
Collazo fighting with his hands down, hoping to goad Khan into a brawl. Understandable strategy. But it isn't working. At all.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
By the fifth round, Collazo seemed resigned to the fact that he couldn't win a boxing match against Khan. His only chance at victory seemed to be landing the one big shot.
Through seven rounds, Rafael had it scored just as I did.
The eighth round was an interesting one. Khan's movement began to slow, and Collazo seemed to be having some success closing the distance. Unfortunately, Collazo resorted to a bit of dirty tactics. He was penalized a point for hitting below the belt.
He would go below the border again in the final round.
Khan was also penalized a point for excessive holding. But it was not before Collazo landed a hard right-left combination. It was easily his best sequence of the fight.
To Khan's credit, he took the shots better than he has in the past.
Khan came back strong in the late rounds. He knocked Collazo down twice in the 10th. The first one came courtesy of a well-placed left hook to the body. Collazo didn't drop immediately, but a flurry of punches from Khan did the job moments later.
At one point, it looked as if Collazo was going to quit. He simply laid against the ropes and wouldn't offer any punches back. His body and psyche may have been saved by the bell.
After this romp, Khan's stock is sky-high. In front of an American audience and as part of the biggest fight card of the year thus far, he had the best performance of his career.
After the fight, Khan wasted no time calling Mayweather out. Per Box Nation he said:
Even if Khan doesn't get Mayweather next, he should get a major opponent in his next fight.
Collazo's efforts were disappointing. Not as much because he was outclassed by a superior opponent but more so because he seemed to stoop to questionable tactics out of frustration.
That didn't match his MO coming in.
Nonetheless, he should get another opportunity against an up-and-coming prospect. That could represent his last chance at a serious payday.
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