Monday, December 17, 2012

Former world champion Amir Khan stops Carlos Molina after 10 rounds

Former world junior welterweight champion Amir Khan of Britain halted a two-fight losing skid on Dec. 15 by stopping Carlos Molina at the end of the 10th round it the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Khan had lost a controversial split decision last December to Lamont Peterson of America and was then knocked out in the fourth round by Danny Garcia, another American, in the summer. Many fans thought he beat Peterson and it was later revealed that the American had failed his drug test. He was also ahead n points against Garcia until he got caught and dropped.

This was an important fight for the former Olympian as a third straight loss would have severely damaged his career, especially against a light puncher such as Molina. However, since Molina had an unbeaten record when he entered the ring it was seen as a decent tune-up fight for Khan to get back on track. It worked, and his record rose to 27-3, with 19 Kos with the win while Molina fell to 17-1 with 7 Kos.

Khan was simply too good for his opponent as he exhibited blazing hand speed, excellent foot movement, and a durable chin. In fact, the only thing keeping Khan from becoming an all-time great appears to be his questionable chin. He gained some confidence after beating Molina, but one wonders how he’ll stand up when hit flush on the button by a harder hitter.

Khan doesn’t really possess one-punch knockout power himself, but he wears fighters down by landing in volume. Even though he was fighting in Molina’s hometown, it would have been hard to score any of the rounds against him. Molina suffered a cut during the fight and after the 10th round his corner had seen him take enough punishment and decided to put an end to the contest.

It was Khan’s first fight with his new trainer Virgil Hunter since firing Freddie Roach after the loss to Garcia. Hunter is best known for working with the undefeated American Andre Ward. Khan said he wanted to try and stay away from toe-to-toe brawls and use his boxing skills to get the better of his opponents. He achieved this against Molina, but still put on an exciting show.

Khan said Hunter’s teaching him how to be more patient while still throwing flurries in volume. He said he stuck to his game plan against Molina even though he was tempted to step in and slug it out with him at times. Molina was more or less hand-picked by Khan’s team though for this bout as he’s quite stationary and doesn’t have much power. Khan won every round on all of the scorecards and connected on 312 punches out of 679 thrown. Molina managed to land just 87 shots.

Molina said Khan had an excellent jab and speed and he’ll just have to work harder if he hopes to beat fighters of Khan’s class in the future. Khan challenged Garcia to a rematch after the bout and most fans would like to see one. If he can keep away from Garcia’s power there’s a good chance he’ll regain the title from him.

Ian Palmer

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