Boxer Khan survives Gomez test

Amir Khan had to pick himself up off the floor before successfully defending his Commonwealth lightweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Michael Gomez at the National Indoor Arena here Saturday.

Victory meant Khan had won all 18 of his fights since turning professional after winning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the AFP reported.

But Khan, having knocked Gomez down in the first round, was on the canvas himself early in the second and this fierce yet brief contest suggested the British rising star was still some way off fighting for a world title.

Khan agreed he'd made errors on the way to his latest victory, telling ITV: "I got caught with a left hook and I dropped my hands but I didn't make that same mistake again.

"It was one of those flash knockdowns but I got straight back up.

"This was one of my toughest fights but I learned from my mistakes. I will watch the video and work on them and continue my journey to the world title."

Gomez said of his compatriot: "He is a world class fighter with world class vulnerabilities but his hand speed beat me.

"I don't think I performed too well in the biggest chance of my life."

Khan, 21, dominated the first round and landed a powerful right uppercut before a combination of punches floored Gomez who, when he got back up, was then hit by a series of heavy blows.

However, he survived the onslaught and hit back at the start of the second round when his left hook over the top of a jab saw Gomez, 31 on Saturday, knock down Khan, who had to take a standing count and looked unsteady on his legs for several seconds afterwards.

Khan was being dragged into Gomez's fight, with much of the action taking place at close quarters.

Nevertheless Khan's superior hand speed saw him land with a succession of heavy punches.

But in the fourth Gomez landed with a forceful hook to the ribs hurting Khan, who again responded with a flurry of blows.

Early in the fifth Khan dropped Gomez to the canvas again with a powerful body shot. Gomez was absorbing plenty of punishment, including a series of jabs to the head, but still kept coming forward.

However, after another burst from Khan, referee John Keane stopped the contest to the evident dismay of the brave Gomez, who by this stage looked all but out on his feet.

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