Amir Khan dominates Carlos Molina with 10th round TKO

December 16, 2012

Khan bloodies Molina (Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime)

Los Angeles – Britain's Amir Khan (27-3, 18KO's) bounced back from two consecutive recent losses to defeat Carlos Molina (17-1-1, 7 KO's) Saturday night via a tenth round technical knockout in a one-sided bout at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The win earned Khan the vacant WBC Silver Super Lightweight Championship.

Under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter, Khan was able to implement a more disciplined stick-and-move approach that highlighted his superior hand speed and reach, but protected his suspect chin.

"Virgil is a great trainer and I feel I am getting better as a fighter," said Khan, who was previously trained by Freddie Roach. "He is teaching me boxing, speed, patience, picking the right shot and knowing when to throw it."

The more cerebral style suited Khan well, as he dominated and bloodied the smaller, less-athletic Molina, pitching a shutout on all three judges' cards prior to the stoppage.

In Round One, Khan established his jab early, got off first in the exchanges, and peppered Molina with fast-handed combinations before circling out of harm's way with his feet. That pattern of activity would be virtually mirrored for every subsequent round of the fight, as Molina struggled to land any significant shots.

“I don’t know what happened,” Molina said.  “I wanted to pull the trigger, but I couldn’t get my hands to go.  I had a lack of precision.  He was fast in his jab, and I was hesitant in trying to get in because he has a long reach."

By Round Two, Molina's face already showed wear and tear, as it was reddened by the Khan onslaught. Molina would suffer a cut eye later in the fight that turned his face into a bloody mess.

Molina also didn't help his chances by failing to close the distance and effectively pressure Khan. As a result, Khan kept the action primarily at a distance in the center of ring where he could best use his speed and reach advantage.

Khan's early success deflated the raucous pro-Molina  hometown crowd, and by fight's end the most vocal fans in the arena were "Khan's Army," his traveling, flag-waving cheering section repping Pakistan and England.

The key, as Khan explained, was to keep his composure and not get drawn into a  war.

“I stuck to my game plan which means I stuck to the jab,” said Khan. “Carlos took some good shots and kept coming forward.  That is when I thought to myself I am going to have to stick to the game plan and not get too aggressive."

Still, Khan was clearly the busier guy in the ring, throwing 679 total punches to only 335 for Molina. He was also the more accurate puncher, landing 312 shots, or 46% of his punches, compared to merely 87 (26%) punches for Molina. Khan was particularly accurate on his power shots, as he landed them at a 56% clip (156 of 278).

Immediately after the fight, Khan called out the boxer who dethroned him and happened to be at ringside, WBA Super, WBC, and Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Champion Danny Garcia.
“I am my biggest critic.  After each fight I always think what did I do and why did I make the mistakes I did.  Danny Garcia caught me with a good shot, but I will fight him anytime, anywhere.”

Undercard: Deontay Wilder enters "KO of the Year" race with Round 3 stoppage win

Undefeated 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (26-0, 26 KO's) picked up another win with a spectacular one-punch, third-round knockout over previously undefeated Kelvin Price (13-1, 6 KO’s), to capture the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship.

Moments after Wilder appeared to stun Price in a clinch, the referee broke the fighters apart, giving Wilder plenty of space to gather momentum and stride into his shot.

The 6-foot-7 Wilder then nailed Price with a long, picturesque right hand to the head at the 51-second mark of Round Three.

Wilder was even on two scorecards and ahead on the other when he landed the haymaker that halted the bout in dramatic fashion.

The charismatic Wilder had plenty to say after the bout.

"Bomb squad baby.  I practice patience in the ring because I know my punch is going to come and my opponent is going to get hit,” said Wilder.  “It’s just a matter of time, but when it comes, it’s going to work and tonight it did."

“Everyone has their season and it might not come when you expect it, but it does come.  Tonight my season came for me.  My experience has started to pay off and I felt great in there tonight. I feel more polished now.”

Price offered no excuses.  “I felt like I was controlling the action and just getting into my rhythm,” he said.  “Then he hit me with a good shot.  I could have continued, but I take my hat off to Deontay.  He’s very strong and was the better man tonight.”

Undercard: Alfredo "Perro" Angulo earns tough win

Junior middleweight Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KO’s) won a 10-round decision in a slugfest over Jorge Silva (18-3-2, 14 KO’s), earning 97-93 scores on all three judges' scorecards.

The bout was a crowd-pleasing, non-stop action brawl in which the sluggers took turns pummeling each other.

Silva, who many assumed would be mere cannon fodder for Angulo, proved to be a tough-as-nails customer with an iron chin and a huge heart, as he withstood Angulo's heavy-handed shots and landed his own haymaker left hooks and overhand rights.

“I asked for a fighter that would make me work because I wanted to see where I really was after taking a year off,” Angulo said.  “I think I am a lot better than I was then.  I threw a lot of punches and he did too, but I had to take it slow because I felt a bit sluggish in there.  For some reason I came in the ring tonight at 168, which I have never done before.  I thought I could knock him out in the 7th or 8th round, but he went into survival mode."

“I’m happy I got the work and it makes me feel good that I have a better idea of where my career can go.”

Said Silva, “That was a really tough fight and I thought I was doing enough to win some of the rounds the judges gave to him.  It was a hard fight and I had to fight every round."

“He was strong and hit me with some good shots.  I was expecting a tough fight tonight and that is what the fight was.  I’m disappointed I didn’t get the win.”

Ultimately, Angulo's activity and work rate won him the fight, as he landed 292 of 806 punches (36%), compared to 228 of 682 punches (33%) for Silva. Angulo also closed the show strongly, throwing 127 punches and landing 45 power shots in the last round.

News and Notes

  • Numerous boxing celebrities attended the bout, including Andre Ward, Shane Mosley, Peter Quillin, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander, Robert Guerrero, Freddie Roach, Abner Mares, and Canelo Alvarez. Recording artist Ginuwine sang the national anthem.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for The Daily Sports Herald

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