Khan stops Judah to add title
By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Boxing Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP)—Amir Khan won a second piece of the 140-pound title Saturday night, stopping veteran Zab Judah with a body punch in the fifth round of a scheduled 12-round unification bout.
Khan threw a right hand that landed just at the belt line of Judah, who went to the canvas. Judah stayed there on his knees as referee Vic Drakulich counted him out at 2:47 of the fifth round.
Judah acted as if he was surprised to be counted out, but got up and went to his corner as Khan celebrated with his cornermen. Judah had earlier complained about being butted by Khan and was bleeding from his nose and cuts to his face.
The win was an impressive one for Khan, the former Olympic silver medalist who likes to call himself the best pound-for-pound boxer in England. He came in as a 5-1 favorite, and had no trouble against the southpaw Judah, using his quickness to beat him to the punch in almost every exchange.
Khan won the first four rounds on all three ringside scorecards.
“I think my speed overwhelmed him along with my power,” Khan said. “I thought I was hurting him and it was only a matter of time.”
The end came when Khan landed a right hand that appeared to be legal, but just barely. Judah went down and stayed there with his back to Drakulich as the referee counted him out.
Khan, who improved to 26-1 with 18 knockouts, was fighting in the same ring where he engaged in a brutal slugfest last December with Marcos Maidana, a bout that was voted fight of the year by boxing writers.
Khan won that fight narrowly, but was lackluster in his previous title defense in April against Paul McCloskey in his hometown of Manchester.
“We trained hard and I was in the best condition of my life,” Khan said. “Zab is a great fighter but he was a little awkward. I knew he was getting hurt but he kept moving away and ducking.”
Judah, who appeared to have trouble getting off his punches, said he thought the referee was giving him a standing 8-count to allow him to recover from a low blow and was confused when the fight was stopped.
“It was a low blow. I was trying to get myself together,” Judah said. “That was self-defense right there.”
Judah came into the ring with a piece of the 140-pound title, but looked every bit his age of 33 in a fight he was never really in. Judah fought defensively most of the way, and when he tried to trade with Khan usually came out on the losing end.
Ringside punch stats reflected Khan’s dominance, showing the British fighter landing 61 of 284 punches to 20 of 115 for Judah.