Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions
BROOKLYN, NY — Amir Khan kept his name alive in the September Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes with a unanimous decision (117-111 twice, 115-113) over an uncharacteristically aggressive Chris Algieri last night at the Barclays Center. What was thought to be a showcase quickly turned into a competitive contest with Khan on his heels. But despite this reversal of roles, Khan’s natural ability was enough to keep Algieri a step behind.
KHAN ADAPTS TO ROLE REVERSAL: Algieri, looking completely filled out and strong at welterweight, relied on his looping overhand rights to counter Khan’s speed. When Algieri landed, most noticeably in the fourth and ninth rounds, he got Khan’s attention and forced him to give further ground. The constant problem was Khan’s speed and workrate, which allowed him to pile up points.
During the first half, Khan took rounds 1-3 and 5-6 while I gave Algieri round 4. I found Algieri’s body work and overall aggression to be very effective later, and I gave him rounds 7-10 on the strength of his cleaner work. But Khan kept enough distance to pepper Algieri’s swollen right eye and sweep the championship rounds to take a hard-earned 116-112 win on my card.
“I thought I worked well inside,” said Khan. “I’ve never done a lot of work in the pocket like that and I plan to do more of that in the future.I give Chris a lot of credit. He came forward a lot more than we thought he would and he had a big chin tonight.
Chris gave it his all tonight. This is the best Algieri we’ve seen in a long time, and if he’d have fought Manny (Pacquiao) that way he might have won.”
NEW TRAINER REINVENTS ALGIERI: While Khan’s comments about the Pacquiao fight were overboard, Algieri’s strategy must be credited to John David Jackson. As his new trainer, he had Algieri sitting down on his shots (at times) while still being smart on defense.
“I thought I pressured Khan well and got my touches,” reflected Algieri. “He definitely didn’t like it when I got into his body.
I thought I hurt him several times, but Khan’s a cagey fighter and he spins off. I guess the judges liked that tonight. I would think the cleaner, harder shots would get a little more respect.”
MAYWEATHER NEXT?: Khan has literally been talking about facing Mayweather for years. With one bout remaining on Floyd’s lucrative Showtime deal, the path seems clear. Guys like Danny Garcia and Andre Berto haven’t upped their profile enough to get it. Kell Brook looked good in his comeback fight, but his U.S. profile still pales in comparison to Khan.
The dark horse is the June 20 winner of the fight between Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner. If that fight turns out to be a barn-burner, there remains a chance Khan’s dream fight gets stolen from him (again).
FORTUNA UD12 VASQUEZ: Javier Fortuna secured his first world title with a decisive win over Bryan Vasquez. This was supposed to be a highly competitive fight, but Vasquez found himself perplexed by Fortuna’s speed and awkward haymakers. Vasquez’s best moments came when he got inside and forced exchanges. But those instances were too sporadic in a bout fought mostly at mid-range, allowing Fortuna to take it via scores of 117-111 (twice) and 116-112.
HEATHER HARDY SD8 NOE NOEMI BOSQUES
MARCUS BROWNE UD10 CORNELIUS WHITE