Amir Khan finally got what he wanted. He became a world champion at the MEN Arena, Manchester, last night, delivering a marvellous, crafted boxing lesson to lift the World Boxing Association light-welterweight championship belt from Ukrainian Andreas Kotelnik.
It was a thrilling effort by Khan whose lightning hand speed and remarkable fitness gave him the advantages to go well ahead on points in the first ten rounds.
Khan’s thrilling hand speed told from the opening round as, light on his feet and circling, Kotelnik was forced to soak up Khan's jabs and left-right combinations. It set a pattern for the battle.
Khan does have a vulnerable chin as we have seen, but the problem for his opponents is, they have to catch him first. Khan’s defence looked stronger but there are still signs of rawness about Khan at times, but for the record he did not look overawed by his step up in weight and class against Kotelnik, 31, fighting in his fifth world title bout. Subtle changes will be worked on by the master tactician and trainer Freddie Roach in his Hollywood Wild Card Gym.
Yet Khan has come of age. Now all he has to do is keep improving and stay at world level.