In the wake of recent events, Amir Khan had the unique opportunity to strike a blow for the overwhelming majority of decent, law-abiding British Muslims in a sporting context and the 18-year-old Olympic silver medallist did not disappoint on his professional debut. Millions watched ITV’s live transmission of Khan’s two-minute demolition of his limited opponent. David Bailey found himself on the canvas twice within the opening thirty seconds before finally submitting.
The bout was on the under card of what was supposed to have been a heavyweight title grudge match between British champion Matt Skelton and former world title challenger Danny Williams. But Williams failed to show up for the press conference and he failed to show up for the fight itself. In his absence, a local butcher was called up as a last-minute replacement and he acquitted himself well under the circumstances despite being hopelessly outclassed.
In America, Bernard Hopkins’ unbeaten twelve-year middleweight reign came to an unexpected end when Jermain Taylor gained a controversial split points decision over the 40-year-old champion.