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Khan vs. Garcia: What Huge TKO Means for Boxing

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 14:  Danny Garcia lands a left hand knocking down Amir Khan of Great Britain during their WBC/ WBA Super Lightweight and vacant Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 14, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured Columnist IVNovember 23, 2016

In boxing, it only takes one punch to win a fight and send two fighters down divergent roads in their respective careers. Such was the case when Danny Garcia defeated Amir Khan by technical knockout in Saturday night's 140-pound championship unification bout.

The punch that may send these two fighters down dramatically different paths came at the end of the third round, when Garcia landed a left hook on Khan, knocking him to the mat. Khan would survive the third round, but Garcia knocked him down twice more in the fourth before the fight was stopped.

It was a shocking upset and a shocking result to a fight that had been dominated for most of the first three rounds by Khan. But when Khan did let his guard down, Garcia exposed him with a brutal right, calling into question once again the glassy nature of Khan's chin.

As the old saying goes, don't throw punches if you have a glass chin. Or something like that.

So what is next for these two fighters? And what does it mean for boxing?

For Garcia, the sky is now the limit. He has big-time wins over Khan and Erik Morales under his (championship) belt, and his surprising upset over the former makes him one of the sport's most exciting young stars.

He sits at 24-0 and holds both the WBA and WBC titles at 140 pounds now. And like Timothy Bradley, he is now an undefeated American fighter looking to capitalize on a shocking upset and prove his win was no fluke.

For Khan, the future is far more murky.

Per the AFP (via Yahoo! Sports), Carl Froch has said he should retire since, according to Froch, he can no longer be considered an elite fighter. Garcia's father even mocked him as "a three-time ex-champion," via ESPN.

Certainly, Khan's legacy—after being considered one of the brightest talents in boxing—is now in question. But he obviously shouldn't retire. He's still one of the most exciting fighters around, and he'll continue to garner interest from fans and other fighters. And if the competitive streak still burns hot in his belly, he'll want to prove that he is in fact an elite fighter.

And that his chin isn't as glassy as we all believe it to be.

In boxing, one punch can change the course of two men's lives. For Garcia, it has made him a household name and one of the new, young stars in boxing. For Khan, it has put his legacy on the precipice. Rebound with a few wins, and earn a chance to be elite once more. Lose a few more fights, and sink into the depths of boxing mediocrity.

One thing is for certain: On Saturday night, the sport of boxing changed once again. It will be exciting to see just how much it did.

 

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