Saturday, July 18, 2009

Live Blog: Amir Khan vs Andriy Kotelnik

Welcome to The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of the junior-welterweight clash between Amir Khan and Andriy Kotelnik.

Updates will start from the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester with the first televised under-card bout at 4 PM EST (9 PM GMT).

If you've been with us before for a live blog, welcome back. If this is your first time, thanks for checking us out. Feel free to participate by giving your scores and comments.

Coverage starts at 4 PM EST (9 PM GMT)

Amir Khan 139.6 lbs (20-1) vs Andriy Kotelnik 140.0 lbs (32-2-1) - 12 rounds

Sky is listing the under-card as Matthew Hall vs Anthony Small, along with the 3 Olympians, James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders. Hopefully we'll get to see at least some of Kell Brook vs Michael Lomax and Enzo Maccarinelli vs Denis Lebedev.

If you are here early, check out our recent stories including a preview of tonight's show:

Amir Khan vs Andriy Kotelnik Preview... by Dave Oakes

For fans of boxing history, check out Carlos Acevedo's story on Max Baer's 1937 bout with British Empire champion Ben Foord at the Harringay Arena in London - Dark Mirror: When Max Baer met Ben Foord

We've also got a preview on the other UK show happening tonight: Cleverly vs McIntosh Preview... by Matt Chudley

Plus Lee Patyon's thoughts on some up the upcoming big fights happening in the next few months: Vitali Klitschko vs David Haye, Floyd Mayweather vs Juan Manuel Marquez, etc...

Refresh this page often as updates will be frequent

19.45 We're now less than 90 minutes away from the start of our live blog. Let's hope we're in for a great night of boxing.

20.30 Thirty minutes to go. It's time to get the snacks and drinks ready!

21.05 Sky's coverage has just begun. We've got Johnny Nelson, Glenn McCrory and Nicky Piper joining Dave Clark.

21.08 Jimmy Lennon is our MC tonight. He's just begun the intros for Hall v Small.

21.10 Small is wearing a suit for his ring entrance and is looking very confident as usual.

21.12 Hall is now on the way to the ring.

21.15 The introductions are complete and the first fight of the night is about to begin.

21.18 The first round is over with very little action in it. Small looks scared to death whenever Hall gets close and seems to be more interested in clinching than fighting. Small recieved a warning from the referee late in the round for taking to Hall when in the clinches. Hall's round 10-9.

21.22 Small starts this round better and is landing some accurate punches. Hall responds with a hefty left hook to the body. Small lands a nice uppercut midway through the round but Hall comes back with another good body shot. A much more entertaining round with Small landing the better punches. Small takes the round. It's 19-19 on my scorecard.

21.26 Small is frustrating Hall with some slick movement and switch-hitting. Hall is not backing down and continues to chase Small around the ring. Small is still clinching on the inside a lot and has recieved another warning from the ref. Even round. 29-29

21.30 Small lands a fast left hook at the start of the round. Hall has a small cut by his left eye, it looked like a left hook caused the cut. The round was very similar to the last but Hall did a bit more work to take the round. 39-38 Hall.

21.34 The fight seems to have settled into a pattern of Small hitting and moving and Hall chasing him down. The referee has warned both fighters during the round about clinching close up but in truth, it's mainly Small doing the clinching. Small has landed a couple of flashy shots in this round whilst Hall is srtuggling to land clean. Small edges the round. 48-48.

21.38 Nothing much is happening in the first half of the round. Small seems happier dancing and clinching than he is fighting. Small has a storming last minute to the round, catching Hall clean with some nice uppercuts and flashy combinations. Hall is running out of ideas. Smalls round. 58-57 Small.

21.42 A clash of heads early on has left Hall with a bad cut above his right eye. Hall is trying desperately to land a big shot but Small is countering him and catching him clean with some hard punches. A right hook by Small seems to have an effect on Hall but he responds yet again. This is Small's best round of the fight, he's starting to tee off on Hall, who seems unable to avoid the slashing punches. 68-66 Small.

Hall's cut looks a bad one. Blood is streaming down his face.

21.46 Small is really turning up the pace now. He's landing to head and body with real venom. Hall is taking punches clean and is starting to unravel. Small has got him going, a big right hook has hurt Hall badly, Small jumps on him and is landing with every punch he's throwing. Hall is going to get knocked out here. Hall's been stopped just before he was about to hit the canvas. What a stoppage by Small, he started cautiously but turned up the pace the longer the fight went on. A great performance by Small.

Next up is Olympic hero Billy-Joe Saunders, who for me, is the Olympian who has made the best adjustment from the amateurs to the pro ranks.

Saunders is making his way to the ring. He's getting a big intro, there must be a lot of pressure for such a young fighter with so much attention on him.

His opponent is Matt Scriven, who's a decent pro but nothing special. Hopefully he'll take Saunders a few rounds.

22.04 Scriven lands a nice right hook at the start of the round but Saunders takes it well. Saunders is the aggressor and has bloodied Scriven's nose with a stiff jab thrown from his southpaw stance. Saunders is looking impressive, he's bullying Scriven and is really rattling punches into Scriven's ribs. Saunders takes the round in very impressive fashion. 10-9 Saunders.

22.08 The start of the round is delayed a few seconds due to Scriven forgetting to put his gumshield in. Saunders is taking his time a bit more in this round but is still hammering away at Scriven. He's got Scriven trapped in the corner and is landing some classy hooks to head and body. The referee has stopped it, Scriven wasn't hurt but he was taking far too many punches and wasn't throwing anything back. Saunders remains unbeaten and looks like he's going to provide us with some exciting fights over the next few years.

Next up is another Olympian, Frankie Gavin. Gavin is the only Brit to ever win the World Amateur Championship.

22.17 Gavin is in the ring, as is Graham Fearn his opponent.

22.23 Gavin is taking a look at Fearns early on, he's picking his punches well and has landed two well timed left uppercuts and a perfectly picked right hook. Fearns caught Gavin with a decent hook towards the end of the round but Gavin seemed unbothered by it. Gavin's round 10-9.

22.27 Gavin's working well behind a stiff looking jab. Gavin lands a hefty bodyshot that sends Fearns dipping to the canvas, all credit to Fearns who has picked himself up with the count at 7. Gavin's looking for the stoppage, he's putting together some lovely combinations. A right hook, straight left combo sends Fearns to the canvas yet again. Fearns gets to his feet but the fight is waved off.

Olympic gold medalist James DeGale is the next man in the ring. It'll be interesting to see what kind of reception he'll get from the fans. He's been a target for the boo boys so far in his career.

DeGale is making his way to the ring. Thankfully there aren't that many people booing tonight.

Jimmy Lennon is introducing De Gale and his opponent, Ciaran Healy.

22.42 DeGale is looking to land hard punches straight from the bell. He's already landed some hard hooks and looks like he's hurt Healy numerous times in this first session, Healy is looking like he's not enjoying this one bit. DeGale lands two heavy body shots and Healy is down. He's up but isn't going to last long, and he hasn't, DeGale has caught him to the body again and Healy is going down again as the bell rings. The corner have thrown the towel, the fight's over.

DeGale is starting to adapt to the pro game and is putting a lot more power into his punches than he was in the amateurs. Healy was never going to provide him with a tough test but DeGale did what he had to by stopping him in the first round.

The main event is next. This is make or break time for Khan.

Sky have just interviewed Naseem Hamed, he's picking Khan to win.

Khan is making his way to the ring. He's getting a huge reception from the 20,000 fans packed into the M.E.N Arena.

Kotelnik is now making his way to the ring. He's getting booed but the few proper boxing fans in attendance are applauding him.

Khan starts as the 1/4 favourite. I think he'll win but I wouldn't put a penny on him at those odds.

The introductions are over, the fight is about to begin.

23.07 The bell sounds for the first round and starts with a quick jab followed by a straight right. He's using his jab well and isn't rushing in, he's also keeping his hands up better than he has in the past, he still looks open at times though. A good first round for Khan, he's boxing in and out of range well and took that round easily. 10-9 Khan.

Freddie Roach warns Khan about leading with the right.

23.11 Kotelnik is struggling to match Khan's hand speed. Khan's moving well and is boxing very well so far. Kotelnik lands a good straight right with a minute of the round remaining, Khan took it well but wouldn't be advised to take many more like it. Khan is still in charge and takes the round. 20-18 Khan.

23.15 Kotelnik lands a good body shot at the start of the round that had Khan looking disorganized. Khan responds well though and is using his jab masterfully. Khan is boxing well but Kotelnik is looking dangerous. Kotelnik is being the aggressor in the fight with Khan moving around the edge of the ring picking his punches. A close round but I think Khan edged it. 30-27 Khan.

23.19 Khan lands a good left to the body early on but Kotelnik trhows back immediately. Both fighters are looking to land to the body. Kotelnik is blocking most of Khan's punches in this round but isn't landing that many of his own. Another close round but I think Kotelnik just edged it. 39-37 Khan.

23.24 Khan starts with two left hooks to the body again, the ref tells him to keep his punches up. A right hand from Kotelnik lands flush and has an effect on Khan, to his credit, Khan comes back well and lands some sharp punches himself. Khan lands a nice three punch combination towards the end of the round. Despite Kotelnik landing a big punch earlier in the round, he didn't do enough after that and allowed himself to get outworked by Khan. 49-46 Khan.

23.28 Kotelnik is throwing some desperate looking punches at the start of the round, I think he's becoming frustrated at not being able to pin Khan down. Khan's jab is still his best punch and he's followed it up twice with fast left hooks that landed flush. Kotelnik lands a nice right hook towards the end of the round but Khan answered it with two stinging hooks of his own. Khan is outworking Kotelnik and takes the round. 59-55 Khan.

23.32 Kotelnik is trying desperately to pin Khan down and land a big shot but Khan is boxing exceptionally. He still needs to keep his gloves up, you always get the feeling Khan's defence could let him down at any minute. Khan's defence has been very good tonight though. Khan's speed is still giving Kotelnik trouble, Khan is having great success with straight punches and is landing the heavier looking shots. 69-64 Khan.

Freddie Roach tells Khan to stay focused and keep his chin down.

23.36 Kotelnik looks like he's slowing down a touch and is throwing desperate looking punches again. Kotelnik lands a nice left hook to head and body combo but it doesn't have any effect on Khan, Kotelnik follows up seconds later with a good right hand. Khan's not landing that much in this round but he's avoiding most of Kotelnik's big punches. He bobbed and weaved out of the way of a combination beautifully towards the end of the round. Kotelnik slightly edged the round though. 78-74 Khan.

23.40 Khan lands a nice body punch at the start of the round before moving out of the way of Kotelnik's attempted reply. Kotelnik lands two left hooks clean on the chin midway though the round but Khna takes them well again. Khan's jab is still working well and he's still landing more punches than Kotelnik. Khan's stamina is holding up well but he's still got be very careful defensively. Kotelnik caught him with a few hard punches in that round but Khan still won the round on workrate. 88-83 Khan.

23.44 Khan's fast straight punches are working well for him again. Kotelnik is giving it everything but just can't find that jackpot punch he needs. Khan's landing with fast punches that Kotelnik can't block. It must be really disheartening for Kotelnik, everytime he lands a good punch Khan comes back with three or four. 98-92 Khan.

23.48 It's another fast starrt by Khan but he has to take a clubbing right hand before coming back with his own punches yet again. Khan throws a blistering five punch combination halfway through the round but Kotelnik comes back with two hefty looking hooks that land high on Khan's temple. Khan's getting involved a bit too much in this round but is holding his own when trading punches. Kotelnik just edged the round for me. 107-103.

Roach is telling Khan to be careful and stay focused. He's three minutes away from being world champion.

23.52Kotelnik lands a big right at the start of the round, Khan's got to be very careful here. Kotelnik is really pouring the pressure on. A huge right whistles past Khan's chin as Khan pulled back from a punch with his hands down. Khan's trading instead of moving but is still holding his own. 10 seconds to go, the bell rings. Khan's definately become world champion. I gave the last round to Kotelnik but Khan takes the fight 116-112 on my card.

I've got a feeling the judges scorecards will be a touch wider than mine. The rounds I scored for Kotelnik were very close rounds.

The judges scorecards read: 120-108 and 118-111 twice in favour of the winner and the new WBA champion of the world... Amir Khan.

I've got to say that the score of 120-108 is very harsh on Kotelnik. To not give him a round is scandalous. There was no doubting who the winner was though, it'll be interesting to see whether Khan stays at light-welterweight or drops back down a division. Based on this performance I think he should stay at this weight, he looks very comfortable there.

That concludes tonight's blog. Thanks to everyone who was reading.


TheBoxingBulletin said...

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