Opinion: Goodbye Khan, Hello Garcia
SINGAPORE - The glass chin – the proverbial waterloo for boxers who are not just presumed weak physically, but more so mentally – reared its ugly head Saturday night, July 14, at the the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The undefeated junior welterweight titlist from Philadelphia, Danny “Swift” Garcia (24-0, 15KO) lay waste to Amir “King” Khan (26-3, 18KO) in four action-packed rounds, scoring a huge upset in the process whilst unifying the WBC and WBA 140 lb. titles and capturing The Ring lineal junior welterweight strap.
Khan, who has had vulnerability issues in the past with a glaring defeat to Breidis Prescott back in 2008, was never able to fully recover from a vicious left hand by Garcia in the third round which sent Khan reeling to the canvas.
Khan attacked relentlessly often in the first two rounds and in the third round while throwing a double uppercut combination, threw caution to the wind and totally forgot about defense as Garcia clubbed him with a counter left hook – “the same left hook I hit Erik Morales with” said the Puerto Rican.
Damaging for Khan
Instead of the punch being the hero of the story, it was Khan’s inability to recover quickly which took centerstage.
Simply put, Amir Khan has difficulty recovering from being staggered with power punches. Once he gets tagged with a hard shot, he feels it and is on wobbly legs for the rest of the fight.
Freddie Roach can only do so much to improve a fighter past his physical limitations -- the rest is just poor genetics.
This is a huge setback for Amir Khan, who has now lost his last two fights and has dropped out of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes. With that fight now presumably off the table, Khan goes back to the drawing board to try and figure things out.
Danny Garcia on the other hand has made his mark on the 140 lb. weight class, and is now a huge player in the division. Exciting fights are to be made with Lucas Matthysse and Juan Manuel Marquez, the other two junior welterweight stalwarts.
Even a fight with Marcos Maidana would prove full of fireworks.
Indeed, the future looks bright for Danny “Swift” Garcia, while Khan will need to climb mountains to redeem himself from his devastating loss.
New star Garcia
Garcia had perhaps his best performance to date and undoubtedly the biggest win of his young career. Garcia displayed a full arsenal of offensive and defensive skills, and a maturity that goes far beyond his years.
“I always knew I had it in me, I just needed a great fighter in front of me," said Garcia in the post-fight interview with Max Kellerman. "I feel like the great fighters bring the best out of me. Amir Khan was a great fighter and I knew if I fought him it would bring the best out of me.”
Trying to explain his corner’s gameplan, Garcia said “He [Khan] was going to jump on me early ‘cause Freddie Roach said I’m a slow starter. So I said, you know what I’m gonna slip shots, I gonna feel his speed, I gonna feel his power and then after the third round I’m just gonna try and step it up. I landed a good shot and it just changed the momentum of the fight.”
With the win, Garcia moves on to bigger and better things and whoever he chooses to fight will be in for a rough battle.
A viable opponent for Manny Pacquiao perhaps? We shall soon see. - Rappler.com
Carlos Cinco is Rappler's boxing analyst. Read his boxing stories at www.fightcardboxing.net and follow him on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB. All opinions expressed in this article are his own.
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