Khan struggles to overpower Vegas

Author: Daily Mail
Amir Khan
Vagas blocking a hook from Khan

Amir Khan was given the fight – and the fright – he needed as he continued his climb back towards the big time.

He won the second fight of his comeback by a mile, as he should, but this was not the easy walk in the park he had predicted.

Samuel Vargas, having arrived in Birmingham virtually unheralded, took his punishment like the truest of ring warriors to last the 12-round distance. 

This, and the right hand to that supposedly egg-shell chin from which he had to climb quickly from an early knock down, ended up being part of Khan's preparation for the super-fights to come.

The crowd in Arena Birmingham accepted that and cheered the victory.

They cheered even louder when he asked them if they would like him to fight first the legendary Manny Pacquiao, then his British arch-rival Kell Brook in the months ahead.

There is never a dull moment with their Amir. There were more knock-downs a-plenty to keep the excitement at fever pitch, especially when Khan could not resist going into slug-fest rather than boxing his way to a routine win. 

Vargas was down first. Then both hit the canvas and bounced back in the second round. Khan landed another knock down thereafter but had to answer jaw question by riding occasional big rights later.

How Vargas was still there at the end after taking so many quick-fire batterings only his heart and chin could answer.

But even though he lasted longer than expected the man from Colombia via Canada could not fulfill his prediction, either. He had anticipated that if he landed a good shot it would be good-night Mr Khan.

Instead he fulfilled his purpose. Khan vowed to be better when Pacquiao and Brook come a-calling. And after this minor war he knows he will need to be.

He will also have to use his boxing skills more to avert a far greater calamity than this against any world class opponent, even though the scores were unanimous and wide. On my card I gave Vargas one consolation round near the end.

Khan came into a pretty full Arena having just made welterweight by the skin of his underpants the day before but bursting with his customary self-belief. 

Despite having to strip naked at the weigh in to scale exactly the 10st 7lbs limit Khan insists he is as comfortable at welterweight as he feels at home in Birmingham.

Well, this is the division he grew into after winning two word tiles at light welterweight which followed his Olympic silver medal and his many friends and followers living in and around the second city helped swell the crowd close to 10,000.

Not bad for a fight he made no bones about saying he expected to be "a walk in the park" against "an opponent who has no right being in the same ring with me."

But then, no matter the naysayers, the public know Khan is never in a dull fight. Win or lose, knock-out or be knocked-out, he brings a huge fighting heart, talent of a similar magnitude and above all electrifying speed to every encounter.

Even the supposed glass jaw brings its own sense of danger to the excitement.

So he came out for this, the second fight of his comeback, to roars of expectation. Who doesn't enjoy a roller-coaster ride? And here was Khan apparently on the up again after being sent crashing to the canvas by Canelo Alvarez some two years ago.