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Khan stops Salita in 1st round

05
Dec

Amir Khan is no longer the fighter who was stopped by Breidis Prescott in one round in September of last year. And, it appears, Dmitriy Salita is no Prescott.

Khan hurt Salita with a big right about 10 seconds into the junior welterweight title fight and the American never recovered, going down twice more before the fight was stopped only 76 seconds after it started Saturday in Newcastle, England.

Khan, from Bolton, England, was making the second defense of the belt he won by outpointing Andreas Kotelnik in July.

Khan (22-1, 16 knockouts) said he wants to fight in the United States next.

“I want to show the Americans that I have the talent, the speed, the power to do it,” he said in the ring immediately after the brief fight. “ÔǪ I can only get better as I mature. I still haven’t hit my peak. I’m only 22, 23 on Tuesday.

“This was an early birthday present for me. 2010 holds big things for me.”

Salita (30-1-1, 16 KOs) was deemed by many an unworthy mandatory challenger because he’d never faced a world-class opponent. And, obviously, he did nothing on Saturday to change anyone’s mind.

The big right hand, which followed a left hook, in effect ended the fight. Salita scrambled to his feet but his eyes appeared to be glassy and his legs wobbly. He tried to buy time by holding Khan but went down again in a corner when Khan landed a left to the body and then two more rights.

Then, against the ropes, he went down under a barrage of punches and the referee ended it.

Freddie Roach, who trains Khan in his Hollywood, Calif., gym, said his fighter is ready to face anyone in his weight class.

“He can take on the world,” Roach said in the ring. “No one can touch him, I feel. Whoever wants to step up and fight, we’re ready.”

Khan, THE RING's No. 3-rated junior welterweight, is expected to be one of Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners if the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is made. The Briton could also fight on the Pacquiao-Mayweather undercard, which would give him major exposure worldwide.

In a preliminary bout Saturday, unbeaten Briton Kevin Mitchell (30-0, 22 KOs) outclassed Prescott (21-2, 18 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight fight.

Mitchell, THE RING’s No. 10-rated junior lightweight, was fighting as a full-fledged 135-pounder for only the third time and had never faced a fighter as respected as Prescott.

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