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Amir Khan scores unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 08: Amir Khan during

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 08: Amir Khan during his open workout at IBA gym on December 8, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images) Credit: Getty/Scott Heavey

Amir Khan improves to 24-1, 17 KOs and retains his WBA 140-pound title with a unanimous decision win over Maidana. The judges scored it 114-111 (twice), 113-112.

It wasn't easy, though. Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) nearly dropped Khan in the 10th and won the 11th to make the fight close. Khan needs to improve his defense, especially around the head, if he is going to make the leap into the Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Tim Bradley, Devon Alexander crowd. It was a little too easy for Maidana to land power shots. 

What happens next is anyone's guess. Will Khan get a shot at the Tim Bradley-Devon Alexander winner? Those two will tangle on January 29 at the Pontiac Siverdome on HBO's championship boxing.

Check out the indepth fight analysis below.

Rounds 1-3: It was Amir Khan in a big way through the first two rounds. His combination of speed and power really caught Maidana off guard. He floored Maidana with a vicious left to the body toward the end of the first round. Khan dominated the second round with a lot of straight rights and left jabs. But Maidana came back and took round three, landing a straight right midway through the round. After three rounds: Khan 29, Maidana 27 (Khan 2 rounds, Maidana 1).

Rounds 4-6: This fight is becoming more and more one sided. Khan worked the body the first three rounds. After a slight adjustment by Maidana, Khan started throwing combos at the head. Making matters worse, Maidana had a point taken away in the fifth round after throwing an intentional elbow. Maidana's confidence grew in the sixth, but everytime he got in a shot, Khan came back with a hard right. This happened several times in the sixth. Khan is also making Maidana chase him. At some point his legs will start to give. It is worth noting that Maidana has been landing some solid rights. If Khan isn't careful, Maidana may catch him sleeping. After six rounds: Khan 59, Maidana 53 (Khan 5 rounds, Maidana 1).

Rounds 7-9: Ok, this is a fight now. Maidana has been landing some serious overhand rights. But Khan has thrown his uppercut to keep Maidana on his guard. Maidana won the seventh by virtue of several power shots landed. Khan let Maidana lean into him on more than one occasion. Khan came back in round eight, though, and landed a big uppercut early and a hard straight right midway through the round. Maidana looked very fatigued after the fight. Maidana landed just four punches in the 8th, compared to 24 for Khan. Khan started the 9th with a great uppercut. Maidana was wobbled for a second, but recovered. Khan landed two straight hard rights at the 1:50 mark in the 9th. Those rights have prevented Maidana from making any big moves inside. After nine rounds: Khan 88, Maidana 81 (Khan 7 rounds, Maidana 2).

Round 10-11: Maidana caught Khan with a vicious right early in the 10th. Khan didn't fall, but he got beat up for the entire round. It was a miracle that Khan didn't get dropped. Khan got peppered with power shots. Round 11 started off the way round 10 went. Maidana landed two big overhand rights and one great uppercut. But Khan got his legs under him over the last minute. But Maidana won the 10th and 11th in a big way. After 11 rounds: Khan 106, Maidana 101. (Khan 7 rounds, Maidana 4).

Round 12: The 12th belonged to Maidana. He came on like a freight train. Khan was backing up, while Maidana was landing hard overhand rights. Khan came back the minute of the round and landed a couple of combos in the middle of the ring. He finished off the last 30 seconds in a big way landing several head and body shots and won the 12. Khan wins the 12th. MY SCORE: Khan 116, Maidana 109.

The Judges scored it 114-111, 114-111, 113-112 in favor of Amir Khan.

New York Sports