• Amir Khan v Julio Diaz

Khan survives huge scare to beat Diaz on points

ESPN staff
April 27, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Amir Khan climbed off the floor to beat Julio Diaz © PA Photos
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Amir Khan picked himself up off the canvas to keep his career on track with a battling points win over Julio Diaz.

He has talked about being a new, improved fighter under Virgil Hunter - following back-to-back defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia - with a greater emphasis on his defensive skills - but he was put down by a crisp shot in the fourth.

But unlike in his loss to Garcia where he could not find a response, Khan regrouped and also survived a real scare in the final couple of rounds to claim a gritty points success in their catchweight fight at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.

Khan came into the bout saying it could be his final fight on home soil and for three rounds it was going to script as he kept Diaz out of range by boxing behind his jab.

The chin, though, has always been suspect and Diaz served warning by getting through with a couple of shots in the third. It was a warning not heeded by Khan as a chopping overhand left from Diaz rocked the Brit and he was sent to the canvas by a follow-up left.

A confident Diaz went forward in search of the big shot in the fifth but, unlike the Garcia fight, the initial knockdown did not do severe damage to the legs.

The seventh saw both fighters enjoy success and Khan did well to curb his instincts to avoid being drawn into a brawl.

Diaz looked to be flagging in the ninth, but he dispelled that in the tenth by catching Khan with a powerful shot and Khan retreated into lockdown mode.

The 11th was a huge round for Diaz as he caught Khan with some massive shots. On more than one occasion it looked like he would go down, but somehow he remained on his feet and kept Diaz off until the bell.

Khan was in survival mode in the 12th and he somehow kept his opponent out of range to take the fight to the judges' scorecards.

Diaz never looked in any trouble in the fight and caused huge problems, but it was Khan who was rewarded for his greater workrate with a unanimous, albeit narrow, win.

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