Photos: Khan Dominates Alexander. Thurman Calls Out Maidana. Mares & Ramirez Wage War.

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LAS VEGAS (Dec. 13, 2014) – Amir Khan won a convincing 12-round unanimous decision victory over Devon Alexander in a matchup of two of the fastest welterweights in the world on Saturday in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

 

The impressive victory was nearly a shutout, with Khan winning 119-109, 118-110 and 120-108 to remain undefeated at 147 pounds and extend his winning streak against southpaws to seven.

 

In just his second fight at welterweight pounds, Khan was the supremely accurate boxer. The former unified super lightweight world champion landed 54 percent of his power punches to Alexander’s 32 percent and 43 percent of his total shots versus Alexander’s 20 percent. But it was Khan’s hand speed and combinations that were too much for Alexander, who couldn’t get inside against and take any chances against the Brit.

 

“We knew we had to make a statement at 147 pounds,” Khan said. “I was up against a very skilled fighter and I knew we couldn’t make any mistakes. I’m the best boxer with the quickest hands in the world and I think this was one of my best performances.

 

“I’m getting better as I’m getting older. I have the best jab in the business and my speed causes a lot of problems for guys.”

 

Khan, who has been campaigning for a chance to fight pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather, stated his case for a mega-fight in 2015.

 

“I really believe I earned my shot against the best fighter in the world, which is Floyd Mayweather,” Khan said. “I believe he’ll have problems with my speed, movement and accuracy. I’m going to leave it to my team and let’s hope we get that fight.”

 

Former two-division world champion Alexander didn’t make any excuses after the fight.

 

“He was the better man tonight,” Alexander said. “My coach told me to get off and I wasn’t getting off. I could have caught him I just didn’t do it tonight. I was supposed to follow the game plan, I was moving good but I just couldn’t move forward and get off.”

 

In the co-feature, Keith Thurman proved he can box as well as bang, showcasing his skills and footwork in a shutout unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated Leonard Bundo, scored 120-107 by all three judges.

 

Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs), who made the third defense of his interim WBA Welterweight World Title, scored a knockdown in the first round, but was unable to find his rhythm and went the distance for just the third time in his career. Regardless, he was the younger, faster fighter. Thurman kept his range and picked his punches, preventing the 40-year-old Bundu (31-1-2, 11 KOs) from consistently landing meaningful shots.

 

“Bundu was a smart fighter,” Thurman said. “He was tricky and he switched. He came to not get knocked out and he was able to do that, but he was unable to win rounds. It was hard to time him because he was always switching it up, but we boxed smart. It was a great learning experience.

 

“I want Marcos Maidana. I see you, let’s go. Mano y mano.”

 

Bundu, who was making his U.S. debut after campaigning mostly in Italy, found it hard to hit the elusive Thurman.

 

“He was moving too much,” Bundu said. “I don’t want to say he was running, but he was running. I got surprised in the first round when he dropped me, but I was fine after that.”

 

Former three-division world champion Abner Mares scored three knockdowns en route to technical knockout over Jose Ramirez in an entertaining scrap that was halted by Ramirez’s corner after the fifth round.

 

Mares and Ramirez traded blows and landed quality punches, but it was the former champion who consistently got the better of the exchanges and landed the more damaging shots. Mares (28-1-1, 15 KOs), who landed 57 percent of his power shots, scored knockdowns in the first, third and fifth round, with the final knockout coming as a result of a vicious three punch combo. Ramirez (24-4-2, 15 KOs) spit out his mouthpiece while on the canvas – resulting in another point deduction – and shook his head, but beat the count and finished the round. But his corner had seen enough and wisely stopped the bout following the fifth.

 

“Ramirez was a tough guy,” Mares said. “He took a lot of shots and he gave me a few, too. My corner was like, ‘Abner what are you doing? Use your distance.’ But I wanted to knock him out.”

 

“All I know is I’m going to be a four-time world champion. I’m going to conquer the featherweight division. Abner Mares is back. I want my rematch against Johnny Gonzalez. It’s going to happen.”

 

Ramirez was a game opponent but couldn’t handle the relentless pressure from Mares.

 

“I’m happy with my effort, but not with the result,” Ramirez said. “This is not where it ends for me. I’m going to continue. Mares is a great fighter. He is No. 3 in the world and I was honored to fight him.”

 

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, Jermall Charlo spoiled the U.S. debut of Lenny Bottai, defeating the Italian via technical knockout at :38 of the third round in an IBF Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator.

 

Charlo (20-0, 16 KOs) was pressing the action from the opening bell and landed a left hook to the head in the third that sent the previously twice-beaten Bottai to the canvas. Bottai’s corner threw in the towel at the same time as referee Jay Nady waved off the bout.

 

“K9, I want you. I want that IBF,” Charlo said, calling out current IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Cornelius Bundrage. “I knew all week this was going to be easy work. I shot that short hook and he ate it. I have to take advantage of this one. It’s been a long time coming for Team Charlo. Everyone believed in me and now I’m here.”

 

Bottai, who fell to 22-2 with nine knockouts, complained that an earlier low blow from Charlo played a factor in the loss.

 

“I thought the low blow took a little steam out of me,” Bottai said. “I caught a luck punch but I’m OK.”

 

Jermell Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) didn’t lose a round in a unanimous decision victory over Mario Lozano (27-6, 20 KOs), scored 100-90 by all three judges.

 

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast, Errol Spence Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) landed at will and scored a fifth-round TKO (2:45) of Javier Castro (27-8, 22 KOs) in a dominating performance against an outmatched opponent..

 

SHOWTIME Sports will offer the latest installment of the award-winning original documentary seriesALL ACCESSwith two mini-Epilogues next week. “ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE: Khan” premieres on Friday, Dec. 19, immediately following SHOWTIME BOXING SPECIAL EDITION and “ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE: Thurman” premieres Saturday, Dec. 20, immediately following SHOWTIME BOXING on SHOWTIME EXTREME.

 

Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will air on Monday, Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME ad will be available On Demand

Photo Credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

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Photos & Official Weights: Amir Khan – Devon Alexander

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Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Golden Boy/Golden Boy via Getty Images

Photos/Quotes: Amir Khan – Devon Alexander Final Press Conference

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LAS VEGAS (Dec. 11, 2014) – The Media Center at MGM Grand in Las Vegas was buzzing today as some of boxing’s brightest stars took to the stage and addressed the media ahead of their respective bouts on the “Royal Battle: Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander” fight card taking place this Saturday, Dec. 13 live on SHOWTIME from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
 
Here is what the fighters had to say at today’s press conference.
 
AMIR KHAN, Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion
 
“This is a great fight and a great fight card overall from top to bottom.. It’s almost like pay-per-view. But it’s a great opportunity for my fans to see me fight.
 
“From me, you can expect to see a lot of explosiveness and movement. I don’t understand why Devon is saying he’s fought better than me when we’ve fought most of the same guys.
 
“I’ve fought a lot of top guys, too. It sounds to me like Alexander is trying to give himself confidence; saying things to pick himself up.
 
“I feel like a different fighter at 147 pounds. I feel stronger. I’m happier making weight.
 
“I am not taking this fight lightly. I am not looking past it one bit. Devon Alexander is tough and I am going to stay focused.”
 
 
DEVON ALEXANDER, Former Two-Division World Champion
 
“I am ready to go 15 rounds if we had to. This is a tough test and I’m ready.
 
“I’ve dreamt of this my whole life. Headlining in Las Vegas is a dream come true and I plan on taking full advantage of this.
 
“I’m as prepared mentally and physically as I’ve ever been for a fight. If you look at my resume, I’ve fought top guys throughout my career. Khan is a good fighter and this is going to be a great fight.
 
“I’m going to stand and fight. This isn’t going to be a track meet. At least not for me.
 
“I know I’ve got a lot of fans back home pulling for me and I’ve got some fans in the UK too that will be rooting for me on Saturday night too.”
 
 
KEITH THURMAN, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion
 
“I know a little about my opponent; he just beat an unbeaten 28-year-old and he was a 2000 Olympian. Bundu is active in the ring and likes to get into a rhythm. He’s not a huge puncher but he places them right where they can do damage. He’s making his U.S. debut.
 
“I plan to provide him with a traditional ‘One-Time’ welcome to America. I plan to come out and box smart and take it from there. My shoulder is fine and I’m excited about getting back in the ring.  
 
“I’m not looking past Bundu, but I’m looking through him to 2015 when I expect to start fighting Top-5 fighters on a consistent basis.”
 
 
LEONARD BUNDU, Undefeated Welterweight Contender
 
“I’m excited to be here. I am here to gain some respect. I am 40-years-old, but I feel much younger. I know it is a hard test for me on Saturday, but I am going to give it my all.
 
“I am Italian and like fine wine, I get better with age.”
 
ABNER MARES, Former Three-Time, Three-Division World Champion
 
“I’m willing to fight anybody. There are some great possibilities for me: Leo Santa Cruz, Jhonny Gonzalez, Lomachenko. If these fights can be made, I want them.
 
“Expect the old Abner Mares on Saturday. The hunger is back, the passion has returned. I’m back with my original team.
 
“I’ve won three world titles in three divisions but I don’t call myself a former three-division champion. I think of myself now as a future four-division world champion.”
 
 
JOSE RAMIREZ, Top Featherweight Contender
 
“This Saturday, I will be facing a tough fighter in Abner Mares.  This Saturday is going to be a war between two Mexicans and I am here to be victorious.”
 
 
JERMALL CHARLO, Undefeated Junior Middleweight
 
“I am happy to be on this show. Lenny says he is seasoned and I am ready to serve you all some Italian sausage.
 
“Me and my twin brother have been through a lot of adversity. Getting world title shots and not being able to compete in them, but we overcome it and we are ready to put on good shows on Saturday night.
 
 
LENNY BOTTAI, Junior Middleweight Contender
 
“What do I expect from the fight? I expect a great battle. I expect it to be a stepping stone to make my name in the U.S.
 
“I hear that I keep getting called a seasoned fighter. I come from Italy where the cheese is the best seasoned cheese in the world, so I am going to show what seasoned fighters can do.”
 
 
JERMELL CHARLO, Top Junior Middleweight Prospect
 
“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to fight for the world title. I moved past that. I am staying focused and in control of what’s going to take place on Saturday.
 
“I am going to continue to grow, continue to stay smart and stay focused..”
 
 
ERROL SPENCE JR., Top Junior Middleweight Prospect
 
“It is going to be another great performance. Hopefully by next year I will be fighting one of these guys in front of me and fighting for a world title.”
 
 
VICTOR ORTIZ, Former Welterweight World Champion
 
“Once again we are starting over.  This was a very tough camp, but we are here. I am sharing this podium with some great fighters. I am at the back [of the dais] today, but you better believe I will be in the front with the fans someday soon.”
 
 
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions
 
“Saturday night is going to be one of those nights where every fight is action-packed and entertaining.
 
“This card is stacked. It is going to be a special treat for all of the fans that watch it live at MGM Grand or live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
 
“It is a token of appreciation to all of the fans and saying thank you. Thank you for supporting this wonderful sport of boxing.
 
“Both of the main event fighters understand that they are facing greatness in each other and it is going to be a tough fight. A tough fight for both guys, but that is what they love.”

Photo Credit: Tom Hogan

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