19 Jul 2009

Khan crowned world lightweight champion

11:44 am on 19 July 2009

Briton Amir Khan has been crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight champion at the age of 22 after convincingly beating Ukraine's Andreas Kotelnik with a unanimous points decision in Manchester.

Khan, who won Olympic silver at lightweight as a 17-year-old in Athens in 2004, was relentlessly on the attack all night in a performance of great confidence that relieved Kotelnik of the title in the 31-year-old's third defence.

Khan, in his first world title fight, looked sharp from the first bell and, though Kotelnik rocked him in the third round, the local favourite's blurringly fast combinations continually found the target to build an early lead.

The youngster, raised a few miles up the road in Bolton, had terrific support at the MEN Arena and gave his fans plenty to cheer with a phenomenal work rate as he rained punches on the champion.

The experienced Kotelnik, whose record was 31-2-1 coming into the fight, had been expected to come on strongly in the latter stages but was unable to launch any sort of sustained attack in the face of Khan's relentless punching.

Khan's dominance was reflected on the judges' scorecards as one made it 120-108 and the other two 118-111 in his favour.