King Khan Invades New York!
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Over 21 years (1206-1227) Genghis Khan, considered the father of modern day Mongolia, and his horsemen conquered a larger area and population than the Romans did in over four centuries. His Mongol Empire ran from Northern China to the Afghan border, Siberia to Tibet and Turkey to Russia—uniting the nomadic tribes of Northeastern Asia. Khan revolutionized the social structure and reformed traditional laws. Steeped in the concept of meritocracy and religious tolerance, the Mongol Empire was one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse empires in history. Many tribes were Buddhist, Muslim, Shamanist or Christian because religion was a personal concept. These fundamental principles would not become common practice in Europe until centuries later. Maybe it is only coincidence that Khan and his Mongol hordes invaded Punjab in 1221 because 789 years later another Khan is unifying people of all races, religions and ethnicities. Amir “King” Khan, born and raised in England, the grandson of Pakistani immigrants, has captured the imagination of the United Kingdom and is one of England’s biggest sports starts.
Fight night, over 2,000 British fans wearing t-shirts with “Khan’s Army” emblazoned on the front, representing various races, religions and ethnicities made the trip across the Atlantic to support their hero. Boisterous, singing at the top of their lungs they marched into Madison Square Garden in an attempt to take over the minds and hearts of the American public. No surprise that their leader, Khan, is a descendant of the legendary warrior race—Janjua Rajput. When the opening bell rang for Khan’s defense of his WBA junior-welterweight championship their cheers were so deafening that you had no idea that Brooklyn’s born and bred Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi was in his hometown.
There is an old adage in boxing that styles make fights. Allow me to add another—size makes fights. From my vantage point in Madison Square Garden the size disparity was so egregious it looked like a middleweight was facing a lightweight—the five-feet-ten Khan seemed so much bigger than Malignaggi who was only two inches shorter. Not only was he taller, but he seemed much more defined and ripped. As expected, from the onset, Khan (22 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 16 kos) took command by driving his smaller opponent backwards with a stiff jab. The usually slick-boxing feather-fisted Malignaggi (27 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 5 kos) had no answer for Khan’s jabs and occasional right cross. Round after round Khan stalked the New Yorker, piling up points, swelling his left eye, which was as purple as an eggplant by the third stanza. Malignaggi could not get out of the way of Khan’s jabs. Every time he moved the jab was in his face. Malignaggi landed the occasional hook that bounced off Khan’s chin like a pebble off an elephant’s behind—absolutely no effect.
Khan won every round. After Round 6 the
action in the stands rivaled that in the ring as inebriated fans
inspired by the courage of alcohol decided to replicate what we were
watching. By the end of Round 8, security was on its way to remove the
seventh person from the venue. However, little did they know that they
weren’t going to miss much because the fight was over from Round 1 as
Khan never let his foot off the gas. At the end of Round 10, Referee
Smoger went to Malignaggi’s corner letting him know that he would give
him another round to turn the tides. However, the next round was shaping
up like the previous ones and Smoger intervened at 1:25 to call a halt
to the one-sided fight. Amir Khan conquered the Big Apple and is
hell-bent on unifying all the junior-welterweight titles.
In the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, General Custer and his army suffered the worst American military defeat. I am sure that he was advised not to engage Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse’s combined forced of Native Americans. I can only hope that Khan takes heed to the poignant lesson and moves his army back across the Atlantic instead of heading west to St. Louis—home of WBC and IBF junior-welterweight champion, Devon “Alexander the Great” Alexander. Khan’s propensity for bringing his right leg forward when he throws his right hand would prove disastrous against a sharp-shooter like Alexander. Despite the tutelage of Freddie Roach, Khan’s technical deficiencies would be exposed by a fighter of Alexander’s caliber. I am somewhat surprised at the height at which he carries his hands because it is difficult to generate explosive punching power when your hands are carried alongside your ears. Unlike Malignaggi, Alexander can punch, his one-punch knockout of lion-hearted Juan Urango in March sent shockwaves throughout the division. It has been proven that Khan’s chin has as much glass as a Baccarat chandelier and would shatter under an Alexander uppercut or straight left. Word to the wise—go back across the Atlantic!
Ortiz Out Boxes Campbell
In the 10-round co-main event junior-welterweight “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (26 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 21 kos) of Ventura, California used effective lateral movement and out boxed former IBF & WBO lightweight champion Nate “The Galaxy Warrior” Campbell (33 wins – 5 losses – 1 draw – 25 kos) of Jacksonville, Florida capturing a unanimous decision by scores of 100-89 twice and 99-90.
The relentless Campbell came forward but was unable to corner the elusive Ortiz who performed like a matador by sidestepping his advances. In the opening round Ortiz was credited with a knockdown which appeared to be caused by a push instead of a punch much to the dismay of the complaining Campbell. Ortiz pitched a shutout on two of the judges’ scorecards as he danced, side-stepped and parried his opponent, oftentimes stopping on a dime to unload from his explosive arsenal before he disappeared to another part of the ring.
However, the 38-year-old Campbell rarely took a step backwards and tried to no avail to land a big punch on his fleet-footed adversary. Ortiz stuck to his game plan by displaying another part of his repertoire by boxing from long distance.
UNDER CARD ACTION
Brooklyn’s finest, middleweight Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs (19 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 16 kos) captured the vacant NABO & NABF middleweight titles by dropping Juan Astorga (14 wins – 4 losses – 1 draw – 9 kos) of Brownfield, Texas twice in Round 2 of the scheduled 10-rounder forcing the referee to call an end at 41 seconds. There is nothing to be learned from this performance, except that Astorga can’t take a punch.
Junior-welterweight Breidis “The Khanqueror” Prescott (21 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 18 kos) of Miami, Florida by way of Barranquilla, Colombia reminded everyone why he destroyed Amir Khan in 54 seconds back in 2008 by dropping Jason Davis (11 wins – 6 losses – 1 draw – 3 kos) from Vancouver, Washington twice in the third round with body shots ending the scheduled eight-rounder at 1:11. The lanky Prescott threw his hands in the air after he landed a devastating straight right to Davis’ body that sank him to the canvas for the second time. Prescott knew that the fight was over.
New York heavyweight and Penn State University alum Tor Hamer (11 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 8 kos) suffered his first defeat at the hands of tall and mobile Kelvin Price (6 wins – 0 losss – 0 draws – 4 kos) of Pensacola, Florida. This was a big step up for the awkward Hamer who despite a good amateur background is a project. Hamer who is always fighting downhill because most of his weight is placed on his front leg walked into a left hook in Round 2 that sent him to the canvas momentarily. Not short on courage, he got up and fought back. Price kept boxing with a long jab for the entire fight and captured a six-round split decision by scores of 58-55 twice, the dissenting judge had it 57-56 for Hamer.
With Freddie Roach in his corner, Irish amateur star Jamie “The Nuisance” Kavanagh of Dublin, Ireland won his professional debut by stopping William Ware (1 win – 2 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Augusta, Georgia at 1:39 of Round 2. Ware appeared to be more interested in meeting Freddie Roach than he was concerned about losing a prize fight as he was smiling while talking extensively with his opponent’s trainer as the ring announcer made his way into the ring.
Morganville, New Jersey middleweight Dennis “Momma’s Boy” Douglin (8 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) with his mother and trainer Saphya Douglin in his corner, was impressive in keeping his unbeaten streak alive by stopping the well-traveled Joshua “Poison” Onyango (13 wins – 18 losses – 1 draw – 11 kos) of Trenton, New Jersey by way of Lake Victoria, Kenya at 1:10 of Round 2. “Momma said knock you out,” and Douglin listened.
It was a night of virtual shut-outs as Khan and Ortiz dominated their veteran opponents in the talent laden junior-welterweight division. Hopefully, Khan will listen to his advisors and stay clear of Devon Alexander. Maybe the best move is to defend his title against a young contender on British soil. Nevertheless, he will have his head handed to the Queen on a silver platter if Freddie Roach doesn’t correct his technical deficiencies. Ortiz is back in the junior-welterweight title conversation by shutting out Nate Campbell. Maybe he will make the trip to England to fight Khan. Ortiz’s right hook and Khan’s chin would make for a smashing good fight.
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