Former light-welterweight king Amir Khan looked awesome as the Briton made a successful first foray into the 147lb division with a one-sided performance against Luis Collazo.
Khan used his blistering hand speed from the get-go and had the rugged Collazo bewildered as he put the early rounds in the bank. The Bolton fighter kept a high guard as Collazo struggled to get off any clean shots and seems to have added more power to his arsenal with the extra weight.
In the fourth round, the bemused Collazo tasted the canvas from a short right, and at this stage was being bullied by Khan, who certainly looked the stronger of the two despite pre-fight statements to the contrary.
Collazo, 33, shipped straight right hands from Khan all night and cut a frustrated figure at the midway point as the Olympic silver medallist settled into his rhythm for the second half of the contest. Consistently dropping his guard to entice his opponent in were the adopted tactics by Collazo more often than not, although the bait wasn’t taken by Khan who kept his composure throughout.
Into the seventh and Khan predictably began to slow due to the ferocious pace he set through the first six rounds, giving Collazo more joy until his work was smothered up close by the 27 year-old.
A low blow in the eighth from Collazo was immediately jumped on with a deduction by referee Vic Drakulich, who then equalled the punishment as Khan clinched and held when caught with a first clean left hook.
Khan was shaken, although took the shot well, but it was enough to give Collazo his first round taking into account the two penalties. At this point, Collazo knew only a knockout would do as Khan had most of the first eight rounds sewn up, including a knockdown. Collazo proceeded to taunt the ex-world champion to engage, but Khan brushed of his advances.
Collazo stalked his foe throughout the ninth to gain some sort of momentum as Khan started to tire slightly from his endless movement around the ring. That better ninth woke Khan up though and in the tenth he had Collazo down twice. Collazo complained of low blows and pushing down on the back of his head, but both were scored by Drakulich as Khan pulled away on the cards.
The eleventh saw Khan take a round off knowing full well he was miles ahead of Collazo, before a messier twelfth session put the fight in the judges hands. Emphatic cards of 119-104 (twice) and 117-106 were read out by Jimmy Lennon Jr. as Khan put himself firmly in the frame for possible clash with headliner Floyd Mayweather Jr in the next twelve months.
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