Amir Khan picked up the biggest win of his young career when he defeated the tough Adrian Pang via unanimous decision at ONE: Immortal Pursuit.
Khan, who holds the ONE Championship record for most knockouts in the history of the organization, was coming up against Pang who had not been stopped since 2006. As expected, the two martial artists put on a brilliant show for the fans in Singapore.
The Singaporean came out and immediately took control of the center of the cage. His ability to seamlessly combine all strikes together caused headaches for Pang early. Khan chipped away at the lead leg of the Australian with a stomping side kick time and time again. This kick, in particular, ensured that Pang respected the range and timing of Khan’s strikes.
Pang didn’t have an answer for Khan’s smooth operating style inside the cage. He looked flat-footed in comparison to Khan’s flowing footwork and was unable to take the fight to Khan in the first round.
The low side kick to the knee and thigh continued to be the key factor for Khan through rounds two and three. By mid-way through the contest, it was clear that Pang needed to bite down on his mouth guard and become a little reckless if he wanted to change the potential outcome of the contest.
Pang started to close the distance and make the fight a little scrappier. However, Khan showcased an excellent ability to fight off the clinch. In one case, he separated from Pang and landed a flush left high kick as he retreated.
But, “The Hunter” eventually got his way toward the end of the second round and lifted Khan up above his shoulders before slamming him to the mat. Khan immediately returned to his feet, but Pang picked him up again before taking him to the middle of the cage to dump him on his back. The Singaporean avoided the danger of Pang’s ground game by quickly working back to his feet.
The third round wasn’t terribly different from the first two. Pang continued to walk forward and turn the contest into a ‘fight’, while Khan calmly outworked his opponent by using his speed and reach advantages.
The judges unanimously agreed that Amir Khan had won the contest.
The win moved Khan to 9-2 and marked his sixth consecutive victory. The unanimous decision victory did snap Khan’s streak of stoppages dating back to 2015, however. Next, we can be certain he is looking to close in on a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship. He has previously announced his wish for a rematch with Shannon Wiratchai, and that definitely seems possible sometime next year.
After the contest, Khan thanked Pang before also paying respect to his training partner Eddie Ng:
“I want to thank Adrian Pang, he is one hell of a fighter. He may be old of age, but he has a young heart of a lion.”
“I owe this to Evolve MMA and my trainers,” Khan declared. “I dedicate this fight to Eddie Ng. Without him, I couldn’t progress this fast.”
Adrian Pang’s third consecutive defeat meant that his record fell to 22-11-2. His granite chin was on display again in Singapore and he showed that he is more than capable of challenging even the most promising of young contenders at ONE Championship.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.