Amir Khan should hate Lamont Peterson. Think about it. He ruined Khan's run into the upper echelon of 140- to 147-pound fighters by beating him in December. Then he ruined their rematch by testing positive for banned substances.
After a scramble to find a different opponent, Khan will now battle Danny Garcia on Saturday, July 14 in Las Vegas. He will be looking to get back on track, but Garcia is no tune-up fighter.
He is 23-0 with 14 KOs. He's 24 years old and hungry.
He has steadily raised the level of his competition, and this fight with Khan is the biggest of his young career. Garcia's dad is in fighting form, even if his son isn't, as Angel Garcia had some fighting words for Khan.
The elder Garcia was especially hard on Khan during the pre-fight press conference.
He said, via Pound4Pound.com:
Whatcha gonna do? One two, roll out – all night? One two, roll out? Come on, man! When Danny starts laying his hands on you man…you’re overrated! July 14 and STILL undefeated, super lightweight champion of the world, Danny “Swift” Garcia! It is what it is!
It's all just fight hype, and I don't believe it will have any effect on the outcome. Nevertheless, it's mildly entertaining fodder leading up to the fight.
Here's how you can catch the fight and some analysis on this matchup.
When: July 14, 2012, 11 p.m. ET on HBO
Where: Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev.
Live Stream: HBO Go (Paid Service)
The Book on Khan
Despite two losses, Khan is still considered one of the brightest young stars in the sport. The first came via devastating KO from Breidis Prescott, seen below:
The second was very controversial, as Peterson out-pointed Khan but was proven to be on a banned substance at the time.
In the ring, Khan has great hand speed, solid power and good overall athleticism. He has a ton of heart—at times, too much.
He has the skills to be a slick boxer that avoids potentially dangerous exchanges, but he prefers to trade. This tendency almost got him into trouble against the hard-punching Marcos Rene Maidana. He ultimately beat Maidana, but not before being rocked a couple times.
Check out these highlights of Khan-Maidana:
There are some questions about his chin, but I think they are overblown. The shot that finished him against Prescott was right on the button. He took hard shots from Maidana, was rocked, but regained his wherewithal.
Khan has said that he will defeat Garcia and then move up to welterweight. He has his eyes set on Floyd Mayweather Jr. But then again, doesn't everybody?
He actually has a great shot at making the fight happen. He could present a huge payday for both him and Floyd, and an alternative to the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao superfight.
The Book on Garcia
Garcia is hungry, but he let me down a bit with his performance against an old and bloated Erik Morales in March. He won, but not in the fashion you'd expect a 24-year-old, up-and-coming fighter to win over an over-the-hill opponent.
Here is some of the action from that fight:
He doesn't have explosive power, and that could be an issue against Khan.
He has some decent boxing skills, but he stands very flat-footed. That is a recipe for disaster against a fighter like Khan. Khan is mentally a welterweight at this point, and it takes great conditioning to make the 140-pound mark.
His power is substantial, and Garcia's defense and flat-footed tendencies may leave him in the line of fire too often.
Garcia's last three fights have come against solid competition: Morales (sort of), Kendall Holt and Nate Campbell. He has been unable to score a KO in any of those fights, though he dropped Morales.
His biggest challenge will be to find a way to make Khan respect his power.
I've got Khan all the way in this one. Specifically, I think he'll KO Garcia between the fourth and sixth round. He has the two-inch reach advantage, more speed and more power.
Garcia will be game, but Khan should romp in his last bout at 140 pounds.
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