Amir Khan survived the challenge from Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas -- barely. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
We'll have a lot more on tonight's fight with expanded analysis, but for now here's a quick n' dirty roundup and some quick comments. It was a hell of a night of boxing. And don't forget to check out the recap from Frank Warren's big show in Liverpool earlier.
Las Vegas, Nevada
- Amir Khan UD-12 Marcos Maidana: Khan retained his WBA belt on scores of 114-111, 114-111 and 113-112. This was a terrific fight, not so much because it was all that even (I had it a wider 115-110 for Khan), but because we saw two guys and pretty much everything they can do, and every flaw they have displayed in 36 minutes. Khan (24-1, 17 KO) looked sensational early on, even flooring Maidana (29-2, 27 KO) with a brutal body shot combo in the first round. The shots were nasty, and Maidana's face showed the pain. He doubled over and went down. But he got up, and after relentlessly hounding Khan and walking through Amir's best shots, Maidana finally cracked Khan perfectly in the 10th round, which led to three minutes of a wobbling Amir Khan surviving the onslaught. If you missed this fight, catch a replay. And I'll have a lot, lot more on this one. There's tons to talk about with this fight.
- Victor Ortiz D-12 Lamont Peterson: I missed this fight, but BLH's Matt Miller had it close for Ortiz, but remarked that he didn't feel as though Ortiz had "earned it." When the draw scores were read, those in our live thread who had watched the fight didn't react with any outrage. I know I've often "picked on" Victor Ortiz, but I just don't see it with him. Yes, he's talented. He's a good fighter. He's strong. But is he really someone you should be giving this much promotion to making a star? No. I strongly feel he is not that sort of fighter. And I'm not saying someone like Timothy Bradley is, either. But Ortiz definitely isn't. Ortiz is now 28-2-2 (22 KO) and Peterson is 28-1-1 (14 KO). If you're an Ortiz fan though, don't worry. Golden Boy and HBO are too far invested in this kid bucking what are now some pretty clear odds against him being a Junior Oscar to give up now. Hopefully we won't have to endure any more image rehab fights like Antonio Diaz, Nate Campbell and Vivian Harris, but I wouldn't be shocked if that's basically exactly what happens. Ortiz is only 23, but to me it feels like it's really sink or swim time. But his age can be used to say, "Well he's still young, so..."
- Off-TV Undercard Results: Joan Guzman TKO-2 Jason Davis ... Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell KO-5 Taurus Sykes ... Sharif Bogere UD-8 Christopher Fernandez ... Jesse Vargas UD-8 Ramon Montano ... Randy Caballero UD-4 Robert Guillen ... Alfonso Blanco TKO-3 Gustavo Medina ... Jamie Kavanagh TKO-1 Jacob Thornton
(Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime)
Brick will have more on these two fights later. This is another one -- if you missed it, make sure you catch it.
- Joseph Agbeko UD-12 Yonnhy Perez: The rematch of one of the best fights of 2009 didn't quite live up to the original, but was the fourth good fight in a four fight night nonetheless. Agbeko, despite being out of action for over a year, looked fresh in this one, and as if his team came into the fight with a different gameplan. Perez pressed forward continuously behind high volume, as he did in the first fight, but instead of trading, Agbeko fought backing up, slipping punches and countering with effective combinations. the few times when Perez had the most success was when Agbeko abandoned this game plan and traded with Perez like he did in the first fight. Despite not quite having the insane workrate of the first fight, the two fighters still combined for nearly 1900 punches. Scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 for Agbeko in a well-deserved decision. Bad Left Hook had it 117-111 for Agbeko, who scored the most effective punches in the vast majority of the rounds. The result sets up fights between Agbeko and Abner Mares, and between Perez and Vic Darchinyan, in the next round of the Showtime bantamweight tournament.
- Abner Mares SD-12 Vic Darchinyan: It's easily the biggest win in the young career of Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KO), who largely outboxed Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KO) en route to a close win on scores of 114-112, 115-111 and 111-115. Bad Left Hook had it 114-112 for Mares, who overcame an early deficit a la Marquez-Pacquiao I, only this time it didn't end in a draw. In fact, there really were plenty of parallels between the two fights. Mares went down in the second round on a left hand and lost a point early on for low blows. He was also busted open pretty badly on his hairline in the first round as the result of an accidental head clash. But he fought through the blood, fought through Darchinyan using more lateral movement than I can ever recall, and in the end he wore Darchinyan out. Vic fought the last few rounds on fumes and looked desperate. Darchinyan did his usual bit after the fight, which frankly is always just whiny when he loses. But we're talking about the guy who says Nonito Donaire didn't knock him out, so what can you expect? I felt Mares definitely deserved to win the fight, and that 115-111 for Darchinyan was borderline silly. This was a Fight of the Year contender, and really had a little bit of everything. Drama, power punching, blood, shifts in momentum, chippiness. Like the Khan-Maidana fight, I felt this was poorly refereed -- over-refereed would be the correct term, I think. But like Khan-Maidana, the fight was too good to get weighed down by the third man.
- Off-TV Undercard Results: Eric Morel UD-8 Juan Jose Beltran ... Cesar Seda Jr. TKO-1 Ernie Marquez ... Chris Avalos RTD-4 Cecilio Santos
St. Petersburg, Florida
Dhafir Smith UD-12 Jeff Lacy: Smith, a 24-19-7 journeyman, used his jab while moving backwards for 12 rounds, forcing Lacy to chase him around the ring without throwing many punches, to get the unanimous decision. This is Lacy's third loss in his last four fights, and you can make a pretty solid argument that he should have lost every fight since he faced Joe Calzaghe. If it wasn't official before, it is now - stick a fork in Jeff Lacy.
Cristian Mijares UD-12 Juan Alberto Rosas: Mijares (41-6-2, 18 KO) completes a comeback from three straight losses in 2008-09 by picking up the IBF super flyweight belt against Rosas (32-6, 26 KO). Reportedly, this was an awful style clash. After a few rounds where Mijares outboxes Rosas with combination punching, as Rosas tried to cut off the ring, Mijares got on his bike for the remainder of the fight, throwing out punches with little intent, but winning rounds simply because Rosas couldn't catch up with him.