Amir "King" Khan scored a unanimous-decision win over Chris Algieri on Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in the main event of the Premier Boxing Champions event.
Khan's hand speed, movement and combination punching proved impressive enough for one judge to give him the slight edge and two judges to see him as a six-point winner.
ESPN.com's Dan Rafael has the official scorecards.
I scored the fight 115-113 and find it hard to see a six-point advantage for Khan.
Khan's performance was a winning one, but Algieri deserves credit for his toughness and effectively employing the only strategy he could against a quicker opponent. Usually, Algieri is the faster man in the ring. He's a classic boxer who lacks the power to stop most opponents. Against Khan, he had to stalk and pursue. All in all, he played the role as well as he could.
Algieri came into the bout with just eight knockouts in his career. He did buzz Khan in the first round with a hard right hand and at least one other time in the fight. However, his success was exclusive to isolated power shots that didn't have enough on them to drop even the fragile chinned Khan.
On the strength of his counter-punching, Khan was able to win the CompuBox battle and that advantage likely led to his victory.
Algieri did push the pace and kept Khan in retreat much of the fight, but he didn't land enough to offset the shots he took.
Khan wants to fight Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. next. He made that clear in the post-fight interview, per Spike TV on Twitter:
However, it's unclear whether he was impressive enough to warrant the golden ticket that everyone in his weight region would love to cash in. Many in the boxing community weren't moved by Khan's performance. Showtime's Brian Custer tweeted this after the fight:
In response to his doubters and to add some shine to his win, Khan responded via Twitter on Saturday morning with praise for Algieri and perspective for his victory.
Khan has a point, but so do his naysayers. He needed to defeat Algieri more handily, and that may not have been a fair expectation considering his opponent is a bit underrated. On the flip side, Khan still has some concerning defensive flaws that were again exposed on Friday night.
Had he been in the ring with a more powerful puncher, he might have found himself in serious trouble.
Khan would still be an interesting opponent for Mayweather because of his speed, but it's hard to imagine Money having issues connecting with Khan's chin and ultimately stopping him. Maybe those facts will get the fight made after all.
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