British fighter Amir Khan retained his WBA light-welterweight title last night with a unanimous decision victory over Argentina’s hard-punching Marcos Maidana at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas.
Khan, 24, put the challenger on the floor in the first round of a thrilling contest, which swung one way and then the other, with the classier work coming from the champion, who improves his record to 24-1, with that solitary loss to Breidis Prescott.
27 year-old Maidana was constantly frustrated by the champion’s speed and threw an elbow in the fifth, for which he was deducted a point, but came on strong in the later rounds as the Olympic Silver Medallist waned in the final two rounds.
The three judges at ringside scored the contest 114-111, 114-111, 113-112 to hand Khan his third successful defence of the title, which he claimed from Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik in July 2009 and will only enhance the Briton’s soaring reputation in the United States.
On the undercard, Victor Ortiz’s chances of securing a bout with Khan took a knock, as he could only manage a majority draw with American former WBO title challenger Lamont Peterson, who was put down twice in the third round.
One judge still handed the ten round bout to Peterson 95-93 despite the knock downs, with the other two judges scoring the contest 94-94 and the two fighters may have to do it all again, but Ortiz, almost certainly, will miss out on his big night against Amir Khan.
Dominican two-weight world champion Joan Guzman kept his unbeaten run in tact with an easy nights work up at welterweight, he handed American Jason Davis his eighth loss with a second round knockout and took his record to 30-0-1.