Amir Khan reminded the world what a truly great boxing sensation he is with an emphatic victory over Luis Collazo last night during his welterweight debut at the MGM Grand.
The British fighter, who was competing in his first bout in over a year, claimed an eye-catching unanimous decision victory over the experienced and highly dangerous American.
"It was tough because Collazo was very awkward, but we pulled it together and came out with the win," Khan said.
"It was a tough fight to debut at 147 pounds after a 13-month lay-off. Not many fighters would take a fight like this.
"I've got a lot of respect for him, he's one of those guys who makes everyone look bad but I'm lucky to have had a great performance against him.
"I knew it was going to be a war, it was going to be a hard, tough fight. I'm glad it's over and now we're going to move onto bigger and better things."
Khan is six years younger than Collazo and their stats are remarkably similar, but it was to be the former who would shine in Vegas.
The Bolton-born fighter started the fight in a positive fashion, going forward at Collazo and throwing some neat combinations that we are familiar with seeing from him.
His opponent certainly looked the more cautious in the early stages as every time he looked to impose himself he was getting caught on the counter by Khan's razor sharp right hands.
In the second round Khan unloaded some magnificent combinations that rocked Collazo after catching him flush on an unprotected face. The American's hands were constantly hanging down by his sides in a risky bid to draw Khan forward, but he kept getting caught by the Brit's lightning quick jab.
Collazo hit the canvas in round four when he was caught square in the face by a short right hand, but he didn't seem to be in too much pain as he got to his feet and stormed straight after Khan. Both fighters landed some good combinations as the fight opened up for the first time and Collazo claimed perhaps his best round.
A lot of holding and tactics were on show throughout the contest and Collazo continued to fight with his gloves tauntingly low, daring Khan to come forward and leave himself vulnerable.
In round six the 33-year-old American landed a powerful uppercut and right hook combination, which was followed by lots more clever grappling from Khan that was clearly frustrating his opponent.
As the fight drew on Khan continued to demonstrate his tactical awareness as well as his natural boxing talents, picking Collazo off and giving away few opportunities.
By round nine the American was constantly talking to the 27-year-old, trying almost every trick in the book to get Khan's concentration to drop, with both fighters having points docked for their tricks - Collazo was penalised for a low blow while Khan was deemed to be holding.
In round nine Collazo appeared to be getting closer to Khan now that the referee wasn't allowing the Brit to hold him and despite a cut above his right eye, he continued to charge forward. Khan managed to dance his way out of trouble on most occasions but landed few punches of his own.
Collazo was visibly drained in the tenth and after some exchanges at close quarters, from which Khan landed a powerful combination, the American hit the deck.
He got to his feet briefly before Khan knocked him back down again and he received a standing count. Khan looked to unleash a flurry of punches on the helpless fighter but he couldn't finish the job before the sound of the bell.
In the final two round Collazo looked like a beaten man, sluggishly moving round the ring looking to catch Khan with one killer blow. Khan used his immense speed and clever footwork to evade his advances, before he was caught once again by a frustrated low blow.
Two judges scored the bout 119-104, with the third having it 117-106 and Khan was in no way flattered as his superior hand speed and much-improved defence nullified Collazo, who had won his last four fights.
Khan now hopes that he may finally be in line for a dream fight with the unified welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather.
"People want to see a fight between me and Floyd," Khan said.
"Floyd hasn't seen speed. He's fighting people with explosive power. But styles make fights and I think my style will give him a lot of trouble.
"Floyd looks beatable. He's getting a little older now and that's why a lot of people want the fight now because they want a young lion to come up and they want to see him get beat. I think the only person who has the chance to do that is me."
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