Amir Khan may not have elevated his career, but he certainly stabilized it with a win tonight over a determined Carlos Molina, stopping Molina after 10, one-sided rounds, when Molina's corner stopped the fight.
Khan (27-3, 19 KO) wasn't a totally new fighter under trainer Virgil Hunter, but there were some obvious improvements. His footwork was better, and as Showtime commentator Paulie Malignaggi pointed out, and Khan discussed prior to the fight, he worked a lot on his positioning and where to go after throwing punches, not leaving himself in bad spots as often as he used to, particularly in his last two fights against Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.
Molina (17-1-1, 7 KO) gave a really big effort, but was just out of his depth against a bigger, much faster, and stronger man. He did get some openings, and did his best to take advantage, but even landing clean shots, he wasn't strong enough to bother Khan. Molina was cut in the first round and never fought without blood staining his face tonight, but he never gave up on himself.
He also never won even a minute of the fight, as Khan was just too good for him. There was a notable difference in class, and it was all in Khan's favor. Being bigger didn't hurt, either. Molina was very respectable in his effort tonight, and his performance was the best he could do. But he couldn't handle Amir Khan's speed and ability.
This is a big night for Khan personally more than it is a big night for Khan's boxing career. Beating Molina doesn't mean Khan is "back," but it does mean he's not gone.
After the fight, Khan addressed ringside spectator Danny Garcia and said, "If I would have fought Danny Garcia tonight, I would have knocked him out. That's the truth." He added that he's ready to rematch Garcia any time, anywhere. Garcia has Zab Judah lined up for February 9, but a win there, and Khan possibly winning a spring fight of his own, could make for a nice summer rematch in 2013 between those two.