Khan retains title with TKO win after 76 seconds

Amir Khan retained his WBA light-welterweight title in stunning

fashion Saturday, knocking down unbeaten American challenger

Dmitriy Salita three times before the fight was stopped after only

76 seconds.

Khan (22-1, 16 KOs) put Salita on the canvas after barely 10

seconds at Metro Radio Arena. Khan then hurt him with a left,

forcing another count, and followed up with a lightning-quick

combination to send the New York-based fighter down on one

knee.

Salita (31-1-1) got up but was unsteady on the ropes, and the

referee stopped the bout to give Khan his first defense of a title

he won by beating Andreas Kotelnik of Ukraine in July.

Few gave Salita much of a shot against Khan, who is considered

one of the most talented up-and-coming fighters at 64 kilograms

(140 pounds) in the world.

“It was very explosive,” said Khan, who won silver for Britain

at the 2004 Athens Olympics. “We had too much power for this guy.

I’m a growing young man and developing as a man. After the first

shot, I could see his legs buckling and I just had to take my time.

I knew he was going.”

Khan praised trainer Freddie Roach for turning around his career

since losing in 54 seconds to Breidis Prescott of Colombia in

September 2008.

“It was a blessing in disguise, what happened against Prescott.

I got beat and came back stronger,” Khan said. “I’m getting

stronger and quicker. Freddie said to take it easy, pick the right

shots and you’ll take this guy out – and we did.

“Freddie is a great trainer, he’s like a father figure to me,

and to have him in my corner means a lot. Everyone knows I’m a

hardworking fighter, and if you put the hard work in you’re going

to get the benefits.”