Khan dominated from the third round onwards to earn victory
By Nabil Hassan
Amir Khan dazzled on his American debut, stopping Paulie Malignaggi in the 11th round to defend his WBA light-welterweight title in New York.
After a couple of even rounds, Khan dominated from the third round onwards using his left jab to break down Malignaggi's resistance.
Khan, 23, landed at will throughout and a desperate Malignaggi, 29, had little in the way of a response.
And in the penultimate round another Khan barrage saw the fight stopped.
The fight at Madison Square Garden started at a frenetic pace, which was unsurprising considering the bad blood between the two boxers.
New Yorker Malignaggi's war of words with Khan had seen a tense weigh-in descend into chaos as the two camps jostled on stage, resulting in Malignaggi falling through a promotional hoarding.
Neither boxer was hurt but it added an extra tension to fight night and there were isolated scuffles among the crowd of 4,412 at the Garden's Theatre venue.
Both traded and landed in an entertaining opening exchange with Khan showing the greater accuracy, landing a fine right over the top in the latter part of the round.
Khan rocked his American opponent for the first time midway through the second with the Bolton fighter putting together a decent left-right combination.
Nonetheless it was the slippery Malignaggi who settled into his rhythm the quicker of the two boxers, making Khan miss too often while also picking him off with snappy counters in the third. But from that point on it was all Khan.
A left hook, right jab from Khan rattled the American during the fourth and the champion followed that up with a fierce right uppercut counter which caught Malignaggi flush. And in the dying seconds of the round Khan landed a right over the top which rocked Malignaggi.
Malignaggi, who by this point was noticeably marked up around the left eye, was on the canvas in the fifth but it was ruled a slip as Khan explored a change of tactic, working the body of the American.
He demonstrated his durability in the fifth with Khan landing a straight right to end another round on a high.
The jab proved successful for Khan in the sixth with the British fighter doubling up the punch for the first time in the fight as he continued to show his class.
Malignaggi's work-rate noticeably slowed in the sixth as the Bolton fighter enjoyed his best round of the fight, also landing with a big right cross.
Malignaggi had the air of a desperate man in the seventh with Khan landing two fierce straight lefts and later a right with little coming back from his American opponent.
Khan's dominance continued in the eighth as he started to boss his opponent, picking him apart with the left hand as Malignaggi's resolve crumbled.
The referee and doctor had a look at Malignaggi before the start of the ninth but it failed to spark the American into life with Khan dominating yet another round with his vicious jab while also landing with a stunning right over the top.
Khan upped the pace yet again in the 10th as he went in search of the finish and Malignaggi spent much of the round back-peddling as his defence continued to fail him.
The referee had another word with Malignaggi's corner at the end of the round, while the doctor also took a look and after a minor confusion he was permitted to fight on.
Malignaggi opened up in the 11th as he desperately went in search of a knockout but that was never likely and after yet another barrage from Khan the fight was stopped 85 seconds into the round.
It took Khan's professional record to 23-1 while for Malignaggi it was his fourth defeat in 31 fights and could signal the end of his career.
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