Khan/Fortuna Win on Spike TV

By Robert Ecksel on May 29, 2015
Khan/Fortuna Win on Spike TV
By beating Algieri Friday night, Khan set up a possible showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) decisioned tougher than expected Chris Algieri (21-1, 8 KOs) by scores of 115-113 and 117-111…

Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, former WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs), from Bolton, Lancashire, UK, decisioned tougher than expected Chris Algieri (21-1, 8 KOs), from Huntington, New York, by scores of 115-113 and 117-111, possibly setting up a showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

Also on the telecast, Javier Fortuna (28-0-1, 20 KOs), from La Romana, Dominican Republic, decisioned tough but outclassed Bryan Vasquez (34-2, 18 KOs), from San Jose, Costa Rica, by scores of 116-112 and 117-111 twice to win the vacant WBA World super featherweight title.

In the main event, Khan, fighting out of the blue corner in red trunks with blue trim, was expected to win the fight easily. He’s the more seasoned fighter. He has consistently fought better competition. And this fight was supposed to be an audition, as though any audition was necessary, for an eagerly anticipated fight with The Man.

But Algieri, fighting out of the red corner in black and blue trunks, proved to be tougher customer than Khan expected or was prepared to deal with. Adding flexibility to his championship heart and chin, Algieri brought the fight to his opponent, upsetting his game plan and forcing Khan to give away rounds as he adjusted.

It was a solid victory for Khan. It didn’t, however, come easy. He’s a better fighter than Algieri, a more decorated fighter than Algieri. He is faster. He has heavier hands. He has an Olympic pedigree, ring savvy, and the starrier résumé. But Algieri, even in losing, showed himself to be a boxing chameleon. He was able to adapt to his environment. He was able to adapt to Amir Khan.

The last time Algieri fought at the Barclays Center, on June 14, 2014, he defeated Ruslan Provodnikov to win the WBO welterweight title. An odds defying performance if there ever was one, Algieri knew better than to slug with a slugger. He boxed and moved and moved and boxed, frustrating Provodnikov while peppering his face with punches.

In his next fight, against Manny Pacquiao on November 23 that same year, he was totally ineffectual. Pacquiao was on Algieri the way a cheetah is on a gazelle. One judge gave him a round. The other judges and the rest of us saw it as a wipeout.

But the Algieri who showed up Friday night was another Algieri altogether. Pressing forward, determined to test Khan’s chin, there were moments when he rocked the Bolton Bomber and forced him to readjust. Not that there was ever any doubt who the winner would be. It’s just that the former wrestler and kickboxer who came to boxing late continues to earn respect.

Even with canny John David Jackson in his corner, we shouldn’t expect Algieri to go much further than he’s come. He’s had a fine career—especially since he lacks knockout power—but he’s a stepping stone, a future gatekeeper, albeit one who keeps improving. But however much Algieri improves, he will never be good enough (as though being a former world champion and millionaire isn’t good enough).

Khan on the other hand, having beaten the man Pacquiao beat before he got the big fight with Floyd, believes it’s his turn for a monster payday. But one wonders if he has what it takes, not to beat Mayweather, but to even compete with Mayweather. If Khan gets the fight and loses, it won’t come as much of a surprise. Join the club, Amir. His subpar performance against Algieri, while ultimately successful, beggars the question: Is Khan is as deserving of a Money shot as he believes?

                                                                  * * *

In the co-main event, Javier Fortuna, fighting out of the blue corner in gold trunks trimmed in black, outclassed game Bryan Vasquez, fighting out of the red corner in red trunks with blue and white trim.

A long and lean southpaw with power in both hands, Fortuna isn’t a perfect fighter. He doesn’t throw straight punches. He hardly ever moves his head. He keeps his hands at his sides. But he is athletic. He is fast. And his doggedness is off the charts.

Vasquez tried to keep it close and had his moments. He came into the fight as the thinking man’s fighter, the guy who could box against a guy who could punch. But Fortuna wasn’t about to be pigeonholed. He fought on the inside and outside. His long looping punches more often than not found the mark. He wore down Vasquez bit by bit, round by round, and as the fight progressed the Costa Rican looked like a man in over his head.

It was, nonetheless, an exciting, all-action fight. Vasquez, who is more tough than talented, needs to return to the drawing board. All Fortuna needs to do is keep on doing what he’s doing.

In an attempt to cover all the bases in this championship fight, the WBA hired six anonymous professional judges to watch the fight live on Spike TV with the sound muted. Their scores were entered after each round into a website application and streamed in real-time to the WBA. 

All six review judges scored the fight in favor of Javier Fortuna. One judge had it close, at 115-113. While the other review judges scored it more comfortably for the winner, with scores ranging from 119-109 to 117-111.

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  1. SweetScience 04:57pm, 05/31/2015

    Completely agree. Khan did zero to pad insurance that he deserves the title fight against floyd. I will say this… I do believe Khan would do better vs Mayweather than he did against Algieri, because Mayweather wouldnt be on relentless attack against Khan. Khan wobbles and/falls so easily, but Algieri built a perfect gameplan against Khan. Algieri showed he can fight in so many styles at the drop of the hat. If only he could build a knockout powerpunch like Ortiz or Maidana (ya cant teach a punch as strong as GGG or Canelo), he would be phenomenal. I believed Algieri to be way too vanilla and ho hum even when he had hype for the pacquiao/provodnikov fights. The way he fought this weekend, he changed my mind. He was all heart and full of talent. If only he could add a knockout.
    Anyway, i agree with you fully. Khan has not shown himself any the wiser with this fight to deserve floyd. I do, however, since it looks like the boxing powers want khan to consistantly be i a spot where he can grab the gold, since he will prob. Get the fight anyway, i do believe his style can fight floyd better than it did against algieri. I honestly think Khan could surpise floyd, maybe even beat him or come close depending on the judges. bUT that does NOT mean he deserves the chance to do it

  2. Critical Beatdown 02:07pm, 05/31/2015

    Khan needed to be WAY more impressive than he was. He landed some clean shots but rarely stood in there. Algieri deserves credit for being relentless, but watching Khan backpedal for most of the fight (against a lighter hitter) makes me imagine him and Floyd doing the same thing in the same ring. Can’t imagine it’d be worth watching. Khan is regressing at this point, or at least not progressing.

  3. SweetScience 01:14pm, 05/31/2015

    KID BLAST:
    Good POINt! Just like GGG letting Monroe, Jr. Back in the fight to look vulnerable to Cotto or Canelo!
    Just might be

  4. SweetScience 01:08pm, 05/31/2015

    Honestly, i cannot believe how easily it is to predict that Khan will wobble in a fight. Ive never before seen a fighter that has been so highly touted out the gate as khan… Put into sooooo many golden opportunities when his jaw is truly glass. How can he get knocked out ThReE times, one of which was so recent in his fight lineage, then only win two fights over what the world sees as B fighters at best, and now he is in line to fight Mayweather?  I do get it that Khan is lightening quick and has sime of the best tools in the trade. He really does.  But ye did NOt make better than Pacquiao did against Algieri. Matter of fact, if ya watch the full fight, i believe it to be a round away from a DRaW, if not a draw as is!! He almost went down i. The first two rounds! Everytime he nailed algieri, algieri came right back at him. The only thing is that khan did to possibly separate himself were the combos, which were brilliant, but did not effectively sway algieri. I believe Khan to be a force. Im blown away that he took Silver at the age of what, 17? He has been fighting pro for a decade and be is still this young into his prime? Unbelievable! I highly respect him. I also believe he would be a good face of the sport, seeing now that they are grooming him to takeover the mayweather/pacquiao era. It is apparent as all heck that it is his spot to take. But a few fights ago he was knocked out by a guy that doesnt knock people out! And that wasnt the first time! I believe khan to be a deserved celebrated champ… But the timing of him in the same sentence as mayweather just as mayweather says he wants to begin the exit came outta nowhere!!! There are guys coming off big wins that have big records, the ability to walk mayweather down, cut the ring, and still deliver deathblows that deserve the fight just as much. I hope i am not coming off as saying the khan reign should not happen. Just saying, algieri looked just as phenomenal as khan friday, and that khans run of fights were not one sided, and the resume POST-olympics is not FULLY stating a case that he deserves more than others when it comes to mayweather. Just cuz the timing is right that he wont be fasting that month, doesnt mean he has built the case to be the one true fighter that gets floyd! I know it sounds like im downing khan, i dont mean to. Im in his corner. Im just saying, his jaw and resume is not yet of some others’...

  5. beaujack 06:59am, 05/31/2015

    Amir Khan is another example of a fighter making his bones as a lightweight puncher with great swift power, only to lose this hitting powers when he goes up to welterweight where his punches do not have the same effect on his welterweight opponents…I recall the great LW champion Ike Williams a feared puncher at 134 pounds, gaining weight and entering the WW division where he was not nearly as effective…
    Henry Armstrong, a ring marvel was the exception to the rule…

  6. Jim Crue 06:34pm, 05/30/2015

    Right you are Peter. I forgot about that one.

  7. peter 06:06pm, 05/30/2015

    Google “Rocky Marciano—Ezzard Charles” and you will see what I mean.

  8. Jim Crue 02:31pm, 05/30/2015

    Peter,
    It’s Marciano knocking out Walcott in that iconic photo

  9. peter 02:20pm, 05/30/2015

    The photo accompanying this article is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It ranks up there with Rocky Marciano’s right hand distorting Ezzard Charles’s face.

  10. Kid Blast 12:56pm, 05/30/2015

    Here is today’s conspiracy theory. Khan deliberately looked off so he can lure Mayweather into a fight and thereby win more money that he has ever dreamed of.

  11. No10Point 12:16pm, 05/30/2015

    I to had it 115/113 for Khan.
    Also agree about Khan not being in the same league as May Jr or Pac.
    And agree again that if Algieri had at least a 50% KO ratio Khan would have been down more than once. Some serious punches were cleanly landed.

    Algieri should go back to 140.
    As far as Khan goes. Not sure what the next fight is. Hard sell to get May Jr.
    Really only viable fight would be Thurman. I’m not sold on Thurman. He just isn’t what the hype says. So vs Khan it’s a toss up fight. Khan can definitely out box Thurman. But Thurman can catch and hurt Khan.

    I really think Khans best bet in regards to making money
    is Brook. I’m pretty sure that would be a BIG draw at Wembley. And as I don’t expect Brook to have to much of an issue with Gavin tonight. They will both be looking to make a fight.

  12. riz 11:54am, 05/30/2015

    I reckon Khan was a bit off last night maybe he had gaywether on his mind then the job at hand “speed Kills” always,  very eager to see him make gaywether defend his lousy title

  13. Pete The Sneak 08:55am, 05/30/2015

    Well, pretty much what I said on the Khan/Algieri ‘Matchup’ thread…Algieri would give Khan a tougher fight than expected, but Khan would walk off with the win…I can still see that Khan remains a sucker for a good left hook, and Algieri did land a couple of good ones (along with some pretty good rights)...If Algieri would have been a fighter with any semblance of power, Khan would probably have been down a couple of times….Khan/FMJ? No thanks, I think I’ll pass…Peace.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:39am, 05/30/2015

    Chris…Chris….Chris….c’mon man….. time to try something new. Here’s a thought, how about more variety in that arsenal of yours, like using your head…literally,  why are you the one always getting butted in the face or…you’ve got shoulders, elbows, forearms right?....use them Godammit!.... and those text book straight rights are just fine but how about putting a little loop on those punches and catching your opponent on the side of his jaw or maybe even his temple for a friggin’ change. You’ve come late to the party and you’re doing just fine but you could do a whole lot better, Bud. Robert Ecksel says you lack KO power but guess what, Hopkins and Ward can’t hit worth a shit either ....why do you think they fight the way they do?.....bingo!

  15. Kid Blast 05:10am, 05/30/2015

    The Rabbit no longer is a rabbit and gains respect in a loss. As for Khan, he no longer is a top candidate for Mayweather—too boring. Maybe Khan should fight Thurman.

  16. Darrell 02:36am, 05/30/2015

    Khan…..pft.  Here’s hoping Floyd doesn’t give that undeserving bum a payday.

  17. Clarence George 02:28am, 05/30/2015

    A more competitive fight than I’d anticipated.  I never cared for Algieri, but he impressed me last night.  That doesn’t mean, however, that he’ll ever attain heights greater than the upper level of the second-tier.  I had Khan by 115-113.  A win, sure, but no reason to gloat (the 117-111 scores are hard to defend).  His hand speed could cause problems for Mayweather, but won’t be enough to score a win.

    I’m not overly impressed by Fortuna.  He’s tough (even truer of Vasquez), but very flawed.  He’s also a showboat, which doesn’t sit well.  Beyond me why his 12th-round antics got cheered.  Kid’s stuff, indicating an unwarranted contempt for a worthy opponent, for the fans themselves, and even for the sport.

  18. NYIrish 01:32am, 05/30/2015

    Good exciting fight. Algieri provided his share of doubt.

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