Boxing: Khan embarrasses Salita, retains belt with first-round TKO
Boxing Khan embarrasses
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Amir Khan retained his WBA light-welterweight title in stunning fashion Saturday, knocking down unbeaten American challenger Dmitriy Salita three times before the fight was stopped after only 76 seconds.
Khan (22-1, 16 KOs) put Salita on the canvas after barely 10 seconds at Metro Radio Arena. Khan then hurt him with a left, forcing another count, and followed up with a lightning-quick combination to send the New York-based fighter down on one knee.
Salita (31-1-1) got up but was unsteady on the ropes, and the referee stopped the bout to give Khan his first defense of a title he won by beating Andreas Kotelnik of Ukraine in July.
Few gave Salita much of a shot against Khan, who is considered one of the most talented up-and-coming fighters at 64 kilograms in the world.
"It was very explosive," said Khan, who won silver for Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"We had too much power for this guy. I'm a growing young man and developing as a man. After the first shot, I could see his legs buckling and I just had to take my time. I knew he was going."
Khan praised trainer Freddie Roach for turning around his career since losing in 54 seconds to Breidis Prescott of Colombia in September 2008.
It was a blessing in disguise, what happened against Prescott. I got beat and came back stronger," Khan said. "I'm getting stronger and quicker. Freddie said to take it easy, pick the right shots and you'll take this guy out - and we did."
For Salita, the Ukrainian-born orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, the loss represented the first of his professional career.
After putting all of his energy for the past year into securing a chance at the belt, it will likely take some time for the "Star of David" to decide what direction to take next.
var cont = `Stay Informed
As the war against Hamas unfolds, our unwavering newsroom remains committed to covering Israel's most profound crisis.
Sign up for our newsletter to get real-time news and in-depth analysis from our top reporters.