Khan bruises Collazo for win

Amir Khan, Luis Collazo

LAS VEGAS -- Amir Khan thought he had a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. locked up months ago and was bitterly disappointed when Mayweather bypassed him and elected to fight Marcos Maidana instead on Saturday night.

So Khan, a former unified junior welterweight titlist, accepted a spot in the co-feature, moved up to welterweight and scored a clear unanimous decision against former titleholder Luis Collazo at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, hoping his victory was enough of a statement to put himself at the front of the line to face Mayweather in the fall.

"Definitely, people want to see that fight between me and Floyd," Khan said. "He's fighting guys who are strong, but styles make fights, and I believe my style would cause Floyd a lot of trouble."

Although Khan was the clear winner, scoring three knockdowns and outboxing Collazo to win 119-104, 119-104 and 117-106 -- ESPN.com also had it 117-106 -- the victory was not without some worrisome moments, especially when Collazo really shook him up in the eighth round.

Khan was in command from the outset, showing much faster hands, good movement and power. He hurt Collazo with a pair of right hands early in the second round and also landed a solid left hook.

In the third round, Khan dropped Collazo, catching him with a short right hand during an inside exchange.

Khan sure didn't look like a fighter who had been out of the ring for 13 months, a layoff caused mainly because he thought he had the Mayweather fight and pulled out of the late stages of negotiations for a fight with then-welterweight titlist Devon Alexander in December.

"One thing about [trainer] Virgil Hunter is it's the first time we ever spent a long time together," Khan said. "He taught me some good things and I put them together tonight. [Collazo] was very awkward.

"I think it was great to have that layoff. I needed a break from boxing but at the same time I needed to work on some things."

Collazo put himself in an even deeper hole in the eighth round when he landed a very low blow and referee Vic Drakulich, who warned Collazo earlier, took away a point.

Moments later, Collazo landed his best punch of the fight, rocking Khan with a left hand and making his legs turn to jelly. Khan was still hurt when Drakulich took a point from him later in the round for holding.

Khan (29-3, 19 KOs), 27, of England, seemed to be fading in the ninth. He was trying to stay away from Collazo (35-6, 18 KOs), 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was aggressive and trying to walk him down, knowing it might only take one hard shot to damage Khan, whose poor chin has been well-established.

But Khan came back strong in the 10th round, dropping Collazo twice late in the round, first with a big right hand on the chin and then moments later on a combination late in the round.

"I had to hang in there," said Collazo, who landed the big fight with Khan by knocking out former titlist Victor Ortiz by second-round knockout in January. "That's how we do it. I hurt my left knuckle. His style is tough. He kept grabbing me. Things happen."

In the opening moments of the 12th round, Collazo landed a brutal low blow that sent Khan to the mat and Drakulich gave him time to recover, but Khan got himself together and cruised to the bell.

Broner dominates Molina

The brash and flashy Adrien Broner, who won three world titles in three weight classes by age 23, was looking to rebound from his first defeat, when Maidana dropped him twice, beat him up and outpointed him to take his welterweight belt in December.

Mission accomplished, as Broner, now 24, easily outpointed Molina, as expected, winning a unanimous 10-round decision. The judges had it 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. ESPN.com also had it 99-91 for Broner.

"I think he did great," said Mike Stafford, Broner's trainer. "He didn't get hit and he picked that guy apart. He gave him a boxing lesson."

Broner dropped down to junior welterweight, which he had skipped over, to face Molina in what became the mismatch most expected.

"It was a comeback fight and shook the cobwebs off," Broner said. "As you can see I really didn't go through no trouble in that fight. It was a sparring match. [The loss] definitely humbled me in some ways but I'm still Adrien 'The Problem' Broner and anyone can get it."

Molina, 28, of Norwalk, Calif., who hadn't fought since being knocked out in the 10th round by Khan in December 2012, landed a hard right hand in the second round that sent Broner scurrying back to the ropes, but he couldn't follow up. Molina didn't have another chance for a big moment.

In the third round, referee Kenny Bayless gave Broner a warning when he slammed Molina to the mat, after which Molina landed some solid body shots with Broner against the ropes.

Broner (28-1, 22 KOs), of Cincinnati, seemed to begin to get in a groove in the fourth round as he fired combinations and connected with many shots against the more stationary Molina (17-2-1, 7 KOs), who was bruised around his left eye.

Broner started slowly, but by the sixth round he was landing almost at will as Molina's eye began to swell. He taunted Molina in the ninth round, drawing boos from the crowd as he won going away, although not in impressive fashion.

"This is def the right weight for me," said Broner, adding that he would like to fight Manny Pacquiao, as unlikely as that is. "The last weight was right for me, but there were just some things I didn't do."

• Super middleweight J'Leon Love (18-0, 10 KOs), whom Mayweather promotes and has tabbed for stardom, survived some rocky moments and a knockdown to win a 10-round decision against the slower Marco Antonio Periban (20-2-1, 13 KOs) in the opening pay-per-view bout.

The judges had it 97-92, 96-93 and 95-93, all for Love. ESPN.com also had it for Love, 97-92.

A hard jab from Love, 26, a Michigan-born Las Vegas resident, started Periban's nose bleeding in the second round. Periban, 29, of Mexico, did damage with right hands in the third round and had Love in some trouble, but the action really picked up in the wild fifth round, when Periban badly hurt Love with a right hand. But Love bought time by tying up Periban, which might have saved him from the stoppage because referee Jay Nady had trouble breaking them apart.

When the fight resumed, Periban unleashed several hard shots and dropped Love to a knee. But he also threw five punches while Love was down -- some of which connected -- and Nady shoved him to get him to stop, knocking Periban to the ground. Surprisingly, Nady did not warn Periban or take points for the blatant punches while Love was down.

"He's a tough dude. It was a good fight," Love said. "He has a very awkward style. He hit me with a good shot and I knew it was smart to take that knee."

Love cut a tiring Periban by the left eye and had him in some trouble as the sixth round came to an end. Periban was fading and Love kept a hard jab in his face round after round.

Periban dropped to 0-2-1 in his last three, having lost a vacant super middleweight world title bout to Sakio Bika last June followed by a 10-round draw with Badou Jack in September.

• Las Vegas cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti (6-0, 6 KOs) stopped John Shipman (3-2, 2 KOs), of Amarillo, Texas, at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the fourth round.

• Super middleweight Ronald Gavril (9-0, 7 KOs) of Las Vegas broke down Tyrell Hendrix (10-4-2, 3 KOs) of Los Angeles to score a knockout when referee Russell Mora called it off at 1 minute, 58 seconds of the fourth round.

• Middleweight Anthony Ogogo (6-0, 3 KOs), a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist who claimed his hardware in front of the London home crowd, dominated Jonuel Tapia (8-5-1, 5 KOs) of the Bronx en route to a third-round knockout. Ogogo put together a combination of punches and badly hurt Tapia in the third round, forcing referee Nady to intervene 46 seconds into the round of what was Ogogo's second bout in the United States.

• British welterweight Ashley Theophane (35-6-1, 11 KOs) dropped Angino Perez (15-5, 13 KOs) of Miami in the second round and stopped him on his feet in the third round when referee Kenny Bayless waved it off at 2 minutes, 44 seconds. Theophane bounced back from a split decision loss to Pablo Cesar Cano in September on the Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez undercard.

• Las Vegas super middleweight Lanell Bellows (7-1-1, 6 KOs) blew out Thomas Gifford (2-2-1, 1 KO), of Hot Springs, Ark., dropping him with a right hand in the first round and dropping him again with a clean right hand at 1 minute, 17 seconds of the second round. After the second knockdown, referee Jay Nady immediately stopped the fight without a count.

• Las Vegas cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti (6-0, 6 KOs) stopped John Shipman (3-2, 2 KOs), of Amarillo, Texas, at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the fourth round.

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