LAS VEGAS, (Reuters) – Britain’s Amir Khan knocked out Zab Judah in the fifth round to add the IBF junior welterweight title to his WBA super lightweight crown in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The end came with a bodyshot that crumpled Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) to his knees. The experienced American complained afterwards that the punch was low but replays showed it was on the belt line and legal.
“I knew he was getting hurt because he kept moving away and ducking,” said Khan (26-1, 18 KOs). “I kept hitting him in the face but the punch that dropped him was clean and on the belt.”
Judah showed effective head movement for the first few rounds, meaning few of Khan’s punches landed cleanly, but the 33-year-old threw very few punches in return, even as Khan pursued him relentlessly.
Khan landed with just 61 of the 284 punches he threw during the fight but Judah threw only 115 punches in return, landing a mere 20, as Khan pursued him relentlessly.
Even with Judah’s evasive techniques, Khan scored with several solid flurries, backing Judah to the ropes and landing right hands that had the largely British crowd roaring with approval.
By the fifth, Judah was no longer able to escape the full force of Khan’s blows. Khan had by now found his range and was landing with increasing ease.
“If it had gone a few more rounds, I would have knocked him out with a clean shot,” said Khan. “It was just a matter of time. I think I overwhelmed him with my speed and power. I could have gone in with a plan to knock him out sooner, but I wanted to take my time.”
Khan had won all four completed rounds on every judge’s scorecard at the time of the stoppage but Judah insisted that the coup de grace had been a foul blow.
“It was a low blow,” he said. “I was trying to get myself together. When the referee started counting, I thought he was giving me a standing eight count. I thought I would have the chance to get up. I didn’t understand.”