With four rounds left and the fight still up for grabs, Amir Khan was implored by trainer Virgil Hunter to bring the heat to Chris Algieri.
“Rip those quick uppercuts and dig underneath,” Hunter ordered his fighter after the eighth round Friday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “Turn into a damn tiger for me."
Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) finally found The Moment at the 1:29 mark of the 10th round. His vicious, head-swiveling right uppercut drove Chris Algieri (20-2, 8 KOs) backward, highlighting a late-fight surge that cemented Khan’s victory by unanimous decision.
“Amir was already boxing and countering well [through eight rounds], landing the cleaner, sharper punches,” Hunter said. “But Algieri's forward-moving body language made it look like he was doing more than he was. You never know how judges score that."
Through eight rounds, two of the judges had Khan slightly ahead, while judge Don Ackerman had the bout deadlocked at 76-all. Khan then won the ninth and 10th rounds on all three judges’ scorecards to take control of the fight.
“I thought I was winning the early rounds easily, but in the later rounds, my trainer started yelling at me," Khan said. “He wanted me to start staying inside and in the pocket, pushing him back and landing cleaner shots.”
Although Algieri was the aggressor for much of the fight, Khan still landed more total punches (218-199) and power shots (154-145), including that vicious uppercut in the 10th round.
“Working inside more than usual, that was a learning experience for me,” Khan said. “I still have to work on my inside game in the gym, but now I know I have the ability to stand in there and fight, if necessary.”
For complete coverage of Khan vs Algieri, visit our fight page.