Amir Khan has a lot more work to do with Virgil Hunter, if he's even capable of changing his style in the long run. Today's fight in Sheffield raised some big red flags, as Khan had to survive a much tougher than anticipated fight with Julio Diaz, but the good news for fans is that it was a hell of a lot of fun to watch, as Khan fights often are.
Khan won on scores of 114-113, 115-112, and 115-113, surviving a fourth round knockdown and a serious charge in the final three rounds from Diaz. BLH scored it 113-113, but we also gave Diaz a 10-8 round in the 10th, and then the final two rounds, as well. Add that to a 10-8 fourth round, and it was 7-5 Khan in terms of rounds for our card, but worked out to an even score overall.
The scores, it should be noted, were entirely fair, and there didn't seem to be any bias whatsoever in the cards that the judges turned in.
Khan (28-3, 19 KO) was pretty upbeat after the fight, complimenting the toughness of Diaz, and giving him plenty of credit. Of the knockdown, Khan said, "He caught me while I was off balance, and I couldn't get my stance back. I went down. I kept moving to recompose myself. That's what happens. There are little things to work on when we go back in the gym."
The 26-year-old Khan had a worrisome performance in many respects, but that's for Virgil Hunter to worry about. (Hunter, as is usually the case, used some positive reinforcement after the fight, saying nothing but good things.) From the perspective of a fight fan, Khan provides consistent entertainment. This bout was somewhat reminiscent of his battle with Marcos Maidana.
It's easy to say, "Same old Khan," and then be all, like, "SMH," but the point is now that we do know who Khan is, and what type of fighter he is. And there are worse things in the world than a vulnerable, exciting fighter.
As for what's next, Richard Schaefer says Khan will return in December in a world title fight.
From the Undercard: Terry Flannigan stopped Nate Campbell after four miserable rounds of action, during which Campbell (36-11-1, 26 KO) looked just completely finished, a fighter burnt to a crisp in the ring. It was genuinely sad to watch a fighter who used to have the determination, heart, and drive of Nate Campbell reduced to the shape he was in today, and still fighting. Flannigan (20-0, 6 KO) deserves no flak for the matchmaking or for doing his job, and Campbell deserves no flak for being a worn-down, 41-year-old fighter. It was just plain tough to watch.