It was no contest in Newcastle.
About 10 seconds into the evening's main event, WBA junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan sparked Dmitriy Salita with a right hand that sent the New Yorker to the mat.
It was over then. On jelly legs and with glassed-over eyes, Salita attempted to fight on. Desperately, he clutched and grabbed at Khan, hoping to get his legs back beneath him.
Another Khan flurry sent him back to the mat. Salita got up once more, but again the young Brit threw his lighting-quick hands in abundance, sending Salita down again, forcing the referee to stop the fight after just 76 seconds of work.
Not bad, Amir. Not bad. Buuuut...
What Khan (22-1, 16 KO) did today was ravage a fighter that anyone who had seen them both fight knew was overmatched. It's OK. Salita was the mandatory challenger -- Khan didn't make that the case, the WBA did. Salita had not earned that position, really, and while I'm not saying that BoxRec.com has flawless rankings, they're generally within the ballpark on current fighters.
Salita was ranked 63rd in the world at 140 pounds with that shiny record of his, now 31-1-1 (16 KO). Sixty-third. Well behind such luminaries as Giuseppe Lauri, Mike Dallas Jr., and Frankie Figueroa. Would anyone have been impressed that Khan beat Frankie Figueroa, for instance?
I'm not saying don't congratulate Khan for a ruthlessly efficient performance, for showing his power is real, for showing his speed is real. Khan's a good fighter. But we're dealing with a guy they're hyping as a phenom. This "phenomenal year" of Khan's has consisted of a garbage win over an old, shot, overweight Marco Antonio Barrera, a very solid win over the very solid Andriy Kotelnik, and now a wipeout of a guy that shouldn't have been in there in the first place.
I'm just saying. And I like Khan a lot, but there's still very much for him to prove. That said, he did more than I expected today. I figured he'd badly rout Salita, but he tore him to shreds with the first solid punch he landed. It was game over, man.
On the undercard, Kevin Mitchell (30-0, 22 KO) outclassed the guy whose entire reputation is wrapped up in his defeat of Khan, Colombian Breidis Prescott. Prescott (21-2, 18 KO) really was never in the fight. Having watched Miguel Vazquez disable his bombs in Prescott's last fight, this is more or less what I expected. A good win for Mitchell, but I was already positive he was much better than Prescott. Mitchell won on scores of 119-110, 118-111 and 117-111. Bad Left Hook scored it 117-111.
John Simpson continued his hot streak by stopping Stevie Bell in the seventh round on a cut. Bell was out of the fight (I had Simpson up 6-0 in rounds) and had fought bravely trying to change the momentum, but nothing was working. His corner decided not to risk his safety any more than they had to.