Boxing: Khan career in jeopardy after brutal beating

Briton advised to call it quits after ignoring trainer and reverting to the foolish slugger of his youth while irresistible Haye triumphs in London

On a night of savage excesses in the boxing capitals of Las Vegas and West Ham, two British fighters each experienced brutal defeats in fights that ended the so-called boxing season.

In Las Vegas, Amir Khan walked from the comfort of all that he has mastered as Freddie Roach's protégé went back to his wild days as a foolish slugger and was stopped on his feet but out of his head in round four. Khan lost his recently restored WBA belt but Danny Garcia's fists inflicted something far more severe than the passing of a gaudy bauble; Khan's entire career is in jeopardy after yet another rubber-legged finale.

Meanwhile, David Haye finally found a series of punches to separate the bravery from the reality in Dereck Chisora's audacious attempt at revenge for their much-publicised public brawl in February. In round five of a pulsating fight, Chisora was wrong-footed and, as he lunged forward, Haye connected with a stunning southpaw left to drop Chisora just as the fight was getting very interesting. Chisora somehow beat the count, struggled on but a final left hook sent him down again and as he stood unsteadily at nine, the referee waved it off with one second in the round remaining. It was one of the best British heavyweight fights.

It was also a night for the sport's fans with more than 30,000 turning up in the rain at Upton Park to create what was, by fight time, a carnival or pantomime atmosphere that was instantly shattered by the intensity of the two fighters in the ring. Haye was defending a reputation that was hurt when he offered a swollen toe as an excuse for losing to Wladimir Klitschko last July, Chisora was fighting for pride after Haye had bundled him to the ground when they clashed in February; both had redemption as their personal motivation going into the ring.

Haye, a former world champion at two weights, fought a cautious and sensible opening round but by round three was being repeatedly forced to fight his way out of corners. Chisora moved forward, blocking punches but missing with too many and fatally neglecting his jab, which would have helped him control Haye's movement. Both were sucking in large gulps at the end of rounds and it is possible that the mental pressures of the fight added to their early fatigue; it was a giant domestic fight and too easily and lazily dismissed as a sideshow attraction.

"Del was better than I expected and I had to be at my best in there – luckily for me, I was," admitted Haye. The pair embraced at the end, both seemed relieved to be able to finally put the ugliness way, way behind. Chisora has a lot of fights left and Haye continues to insist that he has just one and that it has to be against Vitali Klitschko, the world champion who beat Chisora over 12 rounds in February of this year. Haye was simply irresistible against Chisora and put together the final punches that would compliment any heavyweight.

Khan, like Haye, was the betting favourite going into his fight with Garcia but unlike Haye he refused to stick with a plan, and once again let his often catastrophic fighting heart take over and replace any tactics.

Khan performed to plan for two rounds but was dropped shockingly in round three by a looping left that connected with his neck and chin. Khan bounced down, staggered up and was given the benefit of the doubt by the referee. It ended in round four with Khan dropped twice more but pleading for his career when it was waved off. Khan has been in this position before and was gallant in defeat on that occasion but, at 25, his hard, hard life in the ring appears to have aged him. He also, it needs to be remembered, was an Olympic finalist at 17 and fought about 40 times in the year before the Athens Olympics in 2004. Garcia can fight but he got lucky and has been extended many times by smarter, but not necessarily better, fighters than Khan.

There was much bold and complimentary talk in the defeated fighters' camps at the two remote venues on Saturday night. However, Khan has the most to do, the most to salvage, the most to lose and the heaviest decisions to make. Carl Froch, the current IBF super-middleweight champion, was not alone in suggesting that perhaps it was time Khan called it a day. Any suggestions that Chisora is finished are based on an ignorance of the details that can warp the facts; he has lost four of his last five fights but only to good fighters and only Haye has hurt him. The future is genuinely confused for Khan and could involve a switch in weight and trainer. Haye, meanwhile, is a set of contract negotiations away from a super fight against Vitali Klitschko.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor