LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Britain’s Amir Khan withstood a furious challenge from Argentina’s Marcos Maidana to retain his WBA light welterweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Maidana landed a right hand early in the first round that appeared to hurt the champion. But Khan (24-1, 17 KOs), responded in dominant fashion, dropping the challenger to the canvas with a fierce body shot at the end of the round.
Maidana recovered, however, and began to stalk Khan and in the third round, he landed some strong right hands which he followed in the fourth with a series of uppercuts.
Maidana hurt Khan again with right hands in the sixth, but in the eighth and ninth rounds the champion appeared to be in control, circling his opponent, unleashing fast combinations and then moving out of harm’s way.
Maidana (29-2,27 KOs) landed a huge right hand that hurt Khan badly in the 10th round, and a series of punches had Khan in trouble but he stayed on his feet and survived the round.
The champion then regained his composure in the final two rounds to win a unanimous decision with two of the three judges scoring the fight 114-111 while the third scored it 113-112.
“He’s a great fighter and he hits hard, but my chin was tested,” Khan said. “I proved today I have a chin. You can tell by his record he’s a hard puncher, and I took everything he gave me.”
Maidana was disappointed with the result.
“I thought I won. I thought I did enough in the final rounds to win the fight,” he said.
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