Mon, Feb 19, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Khan defeats Medjadji in seconds

AFP , LONDON

British boxer Amir Khan, right, throws a punch to knock down French fighter Mohammed Medjadji and finish the fight in the first round during their lightweight fight at Wembley Arena in London on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Amir Khan blew away Frenchman Mohammed Medjadji after just 55 seconds at Wembley Arena on Saturday and then insisted the quickfire demolition was proof he could be world champion by the age of 21.

Khan, 20, extended his unbeaten record to 11 wins without breaking sweat after storming to his quickest professional win.

It was Khan's fourth first-round knock-out win, but none has come sooner and in such a chilling manner.

Medjadji was left staggering by what Khan later described as a short "six-inch punch."

Britain's 2004 Olympic silver medalist landed a chopping right -- his first power punch of the fight -- which felled Medjadji.

The 30-year-old French fighter lasted six rounds with Khan's British rival Kevin Mitchell in December 2005, but Khan made a statement by doing it a lot sooner and in style.

Medjadji tried to beat the count, but when he got to his feet he stumbled around the ring and the referee quickly waved the contest over.

Unbeaten lightweight Khan had won his first title up at light-welterweight in his last fight, when he out-pointed another Frenchman Rachid Drilzane for the IBF Intercontinental title.

But Khan's immediate future is at lightweight and he gave up the title before Saturday's scheduled eight-round bout and he boldly claimed he would soon be ready for a world title shot.

"I'm a lightweight and I will fight anyone at lightweight in the world right now," he said.

"If I would have caught anyone with that punch, even someone like Kevin Mitchell, they would have gone. People say I'm not strong and I can't pull off a big shot, but I proved a lot of people wrong with that punch. Anyone who takes that shot, they are gone," Khan said.

"I'm going to be world champion by the age of 21 and be the youngest world champion Britain has had, and that shot showed it. That was a six-inch punch and I was waiting, being patient, until I got the chance and when I saw it I took it. I have been working on that shot in the gym with Oliver Harrison, my trainer, and it worked for me tonight," he said.

"I didn't go in there looking to knock him out in the first round, but when the chance came I took it. Not many people could have taken that punch," he added.

Next up for Khan is a fight on Welshman Joe Calzaghe's world title bill at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on April 7.

Katsidis beats Earl

Australia's Michael Katsidis won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) interim lightweight title after forcing Graham Earl to retire at the end of the fifth round at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

Katsidis sent the Englishman to the canvas three times before Earl decided enough was enough and opted not to come out for the sixth round.

The Australian will inherit the full version of the WBO world title without throwing a punch if the champion, Acelino Freitas of Brazil, does not defend against him after his next fight.

Katsidis, from Queensland, maintained his unbeaten record by dominating former British and Commonwealth lightweight champion Earl, a former bank manager from Luton, from the first bell.

The 26-year-old, who had prepared for this fight at the renowned Gleesons Gym in New York, claimed his long training camp had paid off.

"I left the hot weather of Australia three months ago to train in the cold and snow of New York, but it has all been worthwhile," he told reporters. "More blood and sweat in the gym has made it easier for me tonight."

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