Khan and Roach on the right road
The boos following Amir Khan's defeat of Marco Antonio Barrera suggest the Bolton lightweight still has some way to go to placate his more trenchant critics - and that the British disease of wanting to see their own fail has yet to be eradicated.
Put simply, Khan did what he had to do at the MEN Arena in Manchester, although the manner of victory wasn't entirely satisfactory. However, promoter Frank Warren, having seen three of his fighters suffer potentially career-ending defeats on the undercard, would surely disagree.
The cut sustained by Mexican legend Barrera in the opening round certainly spoilt the fight as a spectacle, but Khan still did enough to show that his partnership with venerable American trainer Freddie Roach, only two fights old, is having the desired effect.
Khan was too fast, too strong and ultimately too young for his 35-year-old opponent, although it shouldn't be forgotten that Barrera was effectively one-eyed for most of the fight. Crucially, Roach is also succeeding in moulding a more patient, cerebral fighter.
"I thought I had everything, but as soon as I got together with Freddie I realised I was making a lot of mistakes and that I had to change," said Khan after his fifth-round technical decision over the bloodied Barrera, a former three-weight world champion.
"When I saw the blood, I stayed focused and stepped back - the old Amir Khan would have tried to knock him out.
"Training with Freddie was like doing a jigsaw, everything just fell into place. Freddie is the man who can take me all the way. He makes champions and hopefully I'm his next one."
Roach declared the victory Khan's "first step on the road to greatness". And as the trainer of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and former trainer of Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and James Toney among others, the softly-spoken Roach, who learnt under the legendary Eddie Futch, presumably knows what he's talking about.
Questions will persist about the fragility of Khan's chin, but only because he used his physical advantages to such great effect that Barrera was unable to get near him. Which is, of course, half the battle.
Warren, who had suggested beforehand that the fight was effectively an eliminator for the WBO lightweight crown, sounded more cautious at the post-fight press conference, revealing that Khan could instead have one or two more tune-ups.
The good news is that Juan Manuel Marquez, who beat Barrera in 2007 and who some believe to be the best fighter in the world, has vacated his WBA and WBO belts and is rumoured to be stepping up to light-welterweight to fight the 'retired' Floyd Mayweather.
As for Barrera, who turned pro at the age of 15 and who has engaged in 72 fights (almost unheard of in the modern era), surely it's time to hang 'em up and get fat, just as Naseem Hamed decided to do after losing to Barrera in 2001. Barrera is neither "Baby-Faced", nor an "Assassin", any longer.
While Khan put his impressive display down to old-fashioned discipline and attention to detail, Enzo Maccarinelli admitted after his knockout defeat to Nigeria's Ola Afolabi that he hadn't sparred a single round in the lead-up to the fight.
"I find that amazing," said Warren, who also expressed surprise that Enzo Calzaghe, Maccarinelli's trainer, had been spending time in court with his son Joe, who is involved in a legal battle with Warren, instead of in the gym with his charge.
Afolabi, who was born in London and who now lives in the United States, fought the perfect fight against Maccarinelli, sensing the Welshman was struggling early on and letting him blow himself out before delivering the coup de grace in round nine. It is difficult to see where Maccarinelli goes from here.
So too Nicky Cook, who looked to be in control of his bout with Puerto Rican Roman Martinez before walking onto a scything left hook in round four and bidding farewell to his WBO super-featherweight title.
Add Newbridge's Commonwealth light-middlweight champion Bradley Pryce, knocked bandy by Manchester's Matthew Hall, to the list, and it was shaping up to be a night to forget for Warren, whose list of headline fighters is dwindling.
Thankfully for Warren, the new and improved Khan was on hand to ease the pain. The first step on the road to greatness? Let's just say it was a step in the right direction.