The cut over Amir Khan’s left eye and the bruises beneath it were evidence of the power in Chris Algieri’s right hand.
This Chris Algieri bore little resemblance to the one who was floored six times in losing to Manny Pacquiao in November. This Algieri was in Khan’s face from the start, absorbing punches, forging ahead and seemingly landing his own shots at will.
Amir Khan hung in to win a unanimous decision over Algieri at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday night, but it was anything but an easy victory.
“This is the best I’ve seen Algieri,” Khan said. “It would have been a different story if he’d fought Pacquiao like he fought me. He'd have beaten Pacquiao. Trust me."
Before he even fought Algieri, Khan was being touted as the next likely opponent for 147-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September. As an English-born Muslim of Pakistani descent, Khan annually observes the monthlong period of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast each day from dawn to sunset.
Khan said Ramadan, which begins this year on June 18 and ends on July 17, has traditionally precluded him from fighting in the weeks following the observation, but that it would not keep him from a potential megafight against Mayweather, who has targeted September 12 as the date for his next bout.
“I can fight in September because Ramadan finishes and will give me enough time to train,” Khan said. “I want Floyd Mayweather. The whole buildup for this fight was about Mayweather, but I was focused on Algieri.”
Fighting for the first time under the direction of trainer John David Jackson, Algieri was sharp in his first bout at 147 pounds. In his loss to Pacquiao, Algieri fought at a catchweight of 144 pounds.
“The Pacquiao fight wasn’t me. I said from the beginning I wanted that fight at 147, but they wouldn’t do it,” Algieri said Friday night. “Tonight, I thought I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I felt like I buzzed [Khan] throughout the fight.”
By the sixth round, the speedier Khan started landing his own rights and left hooks. In the ninth and 10th, Khan hurt Algieri to the body, backing him up with uppercuts to seize control of the fight down the stretch.
“I’ve been under the pressure of Mayweather talk for a long time. It's always, ‘Is Floyd next?’” Khan said. “If I had lost, there would be no talk about Floyd Mayweather.”
For complete coverage of Khan vs Algieri, visit our fight page.