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Khan: Majoring in Superstardom 101 at Pacquiao University

Manny is rubbing off
on the rising star




Saturday night, as Amir Khan battered a listless Zab Judah around the ring, we were watching something pretty remarkable. It wasn’t a masterpiece, and it wasn’t always pretty, but Khan took the fight to Judah and dominated every second of each round. The remarkable thing wasn’t so much the performance, but the manner in which Khan dismantled his opponent. He threw rapid fire punches from all different angles, he used sharp footwork to stay out of range of any dangerous counterattacks, and he attacked violently when he felt that his man was in trouble. Sound familiar?


   It pretty much sums up every Manny Pacquiao performance in the last five years.


Amir Khan throws a left to the face of Zab Judah during their super lightweight world championship unification bout at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) - Amir Khan throws a left to the face of Zab Judah during their super lightweight world championship unification bout at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) | Getty Images


Amir Khan has been with trainer Freddie Roach for a few fights now, and he’s had the benefit of sparring with Pac Man frequently. Against Zab Judah, we were treated the results of that sparring. Clearly, he’s learned a couple of tricks from Manny.


     The people who felt Judah would or could win the fight were basing their opinions on Judah’s still excellent power, and the fact that Khan’s blowout loss to Breidis Prescott a couple of years ago still puts his chin in the category of “iffy.”


What they didn’t count on was the fact that Khan was in absolutely no danger whatsoever of even being hit. On the extremely rare occasion that Judah attempted to throw a punch, Khan was usually well out of the way by the time it got to him.


    What seemed to baffle Judah wasn’t so much Khan’s size and hand speed, though both are imposing, but the angles at which the flurries were coming from. He had the same expression on his face that Pacquiao’s opponents have, the one that says “where the hell did that come from?” By the time Khan finished Judah with a body shot in the fifth round, Judah was a broken down, bloody mess. Regardless of where the shot landed, and this writer is of the opinion that the punch was borderline but clean, Judah was hopelessly outmatched.


Khan now has a ton of options. He can stay at 140 and hopefully get a fight with Tim Bradley. They are regarded as the best two fighters in the division, and they would have scrapped Saturday if not for Bradley’s inexplicable rejection of the fight. There are other terrific options for him there as well, including a rematch with Marcos Maidana. The other option, and the one that seems inevitable, is to climb up to 147 and take on the winner of Mayweather/Ortiz, though his sparring partner may have first crack at that.


As for Judah, this most likely marks the end of the road for him as a marquee fighter. He’s had a solid but frustrating career, showing flashes of utter brilliance in between maddening inconsistencies and erratic performances. For every breathtaking uppercut he’s landed, he’s countered it by refusing all too often to throw punches. Sprinkle in his attempts to both choke referee Jay Nady and castrate Floyd


Mayweather, and it’s safe to say Judah fell short of the expectations that were thrust upon him when he first entered the pros.


For Amir Khan, the future looks incredibly promising, just as Judah’s did early in his career. If Khan keeps taking tips from the Pacman, the top of the sport may not just be a possibility; he’ll be residing there imminently.


More columns
by Lou Catalano

Dannie Williams plans to bash his way to the top

Rios, Antillon remind us how the sport should look

Sugarless: Can a faded Mosley shock boxing?

Nobody is safe: Marquez latest victim of crazy 2011

Enough is rarely enough for proud fighters like Morales

Lucian Bute might be the best of the super middleweights

Kelly Pavlik re-emerges

Leow, Pavlik ready to make a run at 168

Zab takes one last shot at glory







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Lou Catalano was born in Buffalo, NY. 

He graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a bachelors degree in English.


He is a Bills and Sabres fan, born and raised, and fell in love with boxing as a teenager

after watching Roy Jones wail on poor Vinny Paz.


Lou currently lives outside of Buffalo

with his wife and two sons, and his hobbies include playing sports (Madden and NHL included) and hainging out wiht family and friends.

CLICK HERE to contact Lou Catalano


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