Last night Amir Khan well and truly proved to all his critics that he is a world class boxer who has matured into a disciplined fighter who can trouble any welterweight out there.
The Brit who has recently turned 28 faced off with former two-weight world champion Devon Alexander in a fight he had to win if he was to get the potentially huge fights next year.
Many felt that this was a 50-50 fight beforehand but this wasn't to be the case as Khan put on an absolute boxing master class. Alexander is a slick, stylish southpaw with very good boxing skills but he was just not in Khan's league.
Khan appears to have a new sense of maturity and seems to be reaping the rewards of his tutelage under trainer Virgil Hunter. Khan is much more of a thinking fighter who creates his opportunities without taking risks and remains concentrated on the task in hand.
This was only Khan's second fight at welterweight but he looks more solid and strong at the weight. His speed is still sensational and combined with a new defensively sound technique he is a match for anyone.
Statistics Tell The Story
The fight statistics really tell the tale of the fight with Khan connecting with 243 punches in comparison to Alexander's 91. Perhaps the most remarkable statistic is that of the jab. Khan landed 123 of the 342 jabs he threw whereas Alexander landed only 22 of the 242 jabs thrown. That means that Alexander had only a nine percent success rate on his jab.
Khan was defensively excellent by keeping Alexander away from him and keeping his hands high when Alexander did try to throw. This was the performance of a man who has finally realised the effectiveness of disciplined offensive work combined with defensive prowess.
With Khan showing this sort of performance and skill-set a fight with pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather would be a very intriguing one. Mayweather is a supreme technical boxer who is able to adapt to the style of his opponent but he is not as quick as he used to be.
Khan definitely has the edge in speed when throwing combinations and his style has the potential to cause real problems for Mayweather. Khan isn't a come forward out and out aggressive fighter like many who have fought Mayweather. Mayweather loves a come forward slugger who he can out-box and counter.
Trying to counter the speed of Khan would be much more difficult and there are those who believe that Khan has the beating of Mayweather including the likes of Paulie Malignaggi. Whether Khan has the beating of Mayweather is questionable but he certainly has the ability to challenge Mayweather like we haven't seen in a very long time.
There are those who are calling for Khan to face fellow Brit and IBF world champion Kell Brook in what would be a huge domestic dust-up between two real rivals. This fight would be a big stadium fight probably at Wembley and would create a huge buzz for the sport in this country.
A fight between the Brook and Khan should happen but not now if Khan can secure a fight with Mayweather or indeed his fellow stable-mate Manny Pacquiao.
A fight with Pacquiao would also be a huge one and with Pacquaio seemingly running out of opponents to face, Khan could be next.
Time To Get Behind Khan
It is time that British fight fans get behind Amir Khan and support him. For far too long he has been the subject of ridicule and abuse but he has shown that he is in fact an elite level boxer.
2015 could be a huge year for Amir Khan and it is hard not to get excited following an amazing performance against Devon Alexander.