On this day in 2009: Amir Khan makes short work of world title defence

·2 min read

Amir Khan retained his WBA light-welterweight title with a stunning first-round victory over Dmitriy Salita on this day in 2009.

The Bolton fighter needed just 76 seconds to dismantle the previously unbeaten New Yorker in Newcastle.

The victory continued Khan’s impressive comeback after his own shock first-round loss to little-known Colombian Breidis Prescott the previous year.

The referee halted the contest after just 76 seconds
The referee halted the contest after just 76 seconds (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Khan had bounced back from that defeat, the first of his professional career, in style by beating Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera and then overcoming Ukrainian Andreas Kotelnik to take the WBA belt.

He was in no mood to let up as he took the fight to Salita from the first bell. Salita was sent to the canvas by a swift left-right combination from Khan after just 10 seconds and was met by a further flurry of hits when he regained his feet.

Salita dropped to one knee and then got up again but, as the bombardment continued, Puerto Rican referee Luis Pavon stepped in to call a halt.

It was Khan’s 22nd win in 23 professional fights.

Victory continued an impressive return to form for Khan after a shock defeat the previous year
Victory continued an impressive return to form for Khan after a shock defeat the previous year (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“It was very explosive,” said Khan, then 22. “After the first shot I could see his legs buckling and I just had to take my time. I knew he was going.

“It was a blessing in disguise what happened against Prescott. I got beat and came back stronger.”

He went on to retain the belt in further wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana and Paul McCloskey and beat Zab Judah to add the IBF title before losing his belts to Lamont Peterson in Washington in 2011.

Having taken his record to 34-5 in the years since, including defeats to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Terence Crawford when fighting for world titles, Khan is scheduled to face long-time rival Kell Brook in a grudge match in Manchester in February.

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