Amir Khan impresses before Carlos Molina is pulled out before the 11th round
Amir Khan got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion, recording a stoppage win over Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.
Last Updated: 19/12/12 4:22pm
Knowing his career was on the line after back-to-back defeats, the Bolton boxer clinically took apart his previously unbeaten opponent in a fine display of his skills, Molina's corner pulling him out at the end of the tenth round.
Crucially light-welterweight Khan showed he had learned the errors of his ways in losing to American duo Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, who was watching on from ringside.
Patience and a tight defence was the virtue preached by new trainer Virgil Hunter, though there was still the occasional rush of blood to try and finish with a flourish that led to him taking the odd big shot.
A left hook caught him on the chin in the first round, while a right in the final minute of the second saw the raucous crowd rise in the hope that the home favourite could be set to cause an almighty upset.
Khan was then backed up against the ropes in the third, though he showed some of the defensive abilities that Hunter has been teaching him by covering up, allowing him to launch a plethora of upper cuts on the counter.
As the bout wore on the Brit began to turn it into an exhibition. His rapier-like jab and blurring hand speed left Molina's face in a mess, with the his rival struggling to see out of his left eye after a cut had opened up in the opening stages of the bout.
His corner pleaded with referee Jack Reiss to let him have one more round after the doctor inspected the damage at the end of the ninth, allowing Molina a final chance to try and find a punch from nowhere that would swing it his way.
However, having been unable to barely land a glove on the now supremely confident Khan in the three minutes that followed, it was only right for Molina's men to spare their fighter - who had moved up from lightweight to take his opportunity - from taking any further punishment.
For Khan - who is now 26-3 as a pro - the performance was just as important as the victory. His career now back on track after a turbulent 12 months, the 26-year-old can look forward to some big fights in 2013.
Admitting he is his biggest critic the Brit acknowledged he was still a work in progress. It did not, however, stop him from calling out for a rematch with Garcia, who is due to face Zab Judah on February 9.
"Virgil is a great trainer," Khan said afterwards. "I'm getting better as a fighter and he's making me be patient.
"If I use my speed in the right way there's no one who can touch me in the world. I just get too ballsy for my own good - I start getting wild.
"I know I made mistakes. I'm my biggest critic. I criticised myself after watching the fights with Garcia and Peterson. If I was fighting Garcia today I would have knocked him out - that's the honest truth.
"I'm ready for Danny Garcia. He was lucky, he caught me with a good shot. I'm ready to fight him anytime, anywhere, any place."