LAS VEGAS – Amir Khan was not happy when he was passed over as Floyd Mayweather’s opponent Saturday in favor of Marcos Maidana, whom Khan had already beaten.
And he took it out on Luis Collazo, knocking Collazo down three times en route to an impressive unanimous decision victory over the Brooklyn fighter in a 12-round non-title bout on the undercard of the Mayweather-Maidana “The Moment.”
Khan, who earned $3 million for the victory, had dropped Collazo in the fourth round, then two more times in a big 10th round, when Khan totally dominated Collazo and nearly finished him. But Collazo survived the round, delaying the inevitable and saving himself a knockout loss in the process.
But it was all Khan from the start, who was fighting as a welterweight for the first time after taking a year off.
Khan won on all three judges’ scorecards, by scores of 119-104 twice and 118-106.
“One thing about me training with (new trainer) Virgil Hunter,” Khan said. “It’s the first time I’ve spent good time with him. He taught me good things that you can only put to practice in the ring.”
Khan said it was a tough fight to return to after 13 months off at 147 pounds, and especially with Collazo coming off a good knockout win over Victor Ortiz.
Khan said he felt the ring rust through the third round. “I needed a break from boxing but at the same time I need to work on some stuff.”
Khan, from Bolton, England, improved to 29-3 with 19 KOs with the victory and put himself in a prime position to fight Mayweather next, probably in September.
Collazo (35-6, 18 KOs), said he hurt his left knuckle and said “Khan’s style was difficult. He kept grabbing me.”
“I had to hang in there, that’s how we do it. You gotta take me out. This is what it’s all about.”
Khan said he wanted Mayweather next. “I’m the only one to have the speed and explosiveness to give him trouble.”