Amir Khan totally outclassed Zab Judah tonight in Las Vegas, and scored a fifth round knockout on a body shot.
Judah (41-7, 28 KO) complained that the punch was a low blow, but most seem to feel, as I do, that it was Judah looking for a way out, a somewhat familiar page from the Zab Judah playbook that we've seen in past losses to top fighters. Khan (26-1, 18 KO) was far more active than Judah, landed all the best punches of the fight, and clearly flustered Judah early and often. It appeared that once Judah got a taste of Khan's hand speed, he was lost in the ring. He created no offense, and the exaggerated "comeback" of Zab Judah was proven to be little more than a marketing tool. Khan proved that he's no Kaizer Mabuza tonight, and Judah proved that he's no Zab Judah.
In all candor, I don't find the result or what went down in the fight surprising at all. Our staff was 6-for-6 in picking Khan without the younger Englishman having much trouble with the veteran American, and it played out even more one-sided than I think we expected, but not shockingly so. Khan wasn't exactly eye-popping tonight, he was just clearly superior to Judah in every way. All Zab appeared to have in his arsenal was a counter left hand that still had smoke on it, but couldn't land. Khan was completely in control from the opening bell until the knockout.
After the knockout, Judah pleaded his case to HBO's Max Kellerman, but the replays showed less of a blatant and obvious foul than Zab either believed it was, or wanted everyone else to believe it was. What Judah does from here on out is anyone's guess, but he now has no belt, and I don't think he's going to get a passionate fan rally looking to see him in another major fight.
Undercard: James Kirkland, Peter Quillin, Gary Russell Jr, and Ronny Rios were among those victorious on an undercard filled with mismatches. For our full results, click here.
Live Gate Blues: The draw in Las Vegas tonight was no doubt disappointing. Writers in attendance tweeted that they figured it was around 6,000, but with half at best of that being paid attendance. As late as 15 minutes before the fight, the Mandalay Bay was empty. Amir Khan did his best tonight to turn in a star-making performance, and hopefully he does become a draw, but this is two straight fights that were either heavily papered (Maidana) or assumed to be heavily papered (Judah) in Las Vegas. For all the world, it seems like he should be fighting in New York instead of Las Vegas, but as long as Vegas is paying for his fights, that's probably where he'll be.