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17 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Mike Sloan

Khan-Garcia Final Presser Becomes Hostile

Khan works out in Vegas
Khan works out in Vegas

Danny Garcia’s father starts trash-talking tirade, Khan promises knockout


By: Mike Sloan inLas Vegas: If the weeks leading up to Saturday’s major fight between Amir Khan and Danny Garcia were teetering on boring and lackluster, everything changed today inside theMandalayBayduring the final pre-fight press conference. Not too much has taken place in terms of verbal barbs between the two camps, but Garcia’s father, Angel Garcia, potentially opened up a can of worms; one that could backfire in his son’s face or work in his favor.


The elder Garcia turned what was a rather typical and mundane presser into one filled with fireworks; so much so that several members of the audience accused him of being racially and nationally insensitive. Angel Garcia began simply by speaking about God and how important a role He has played in his life and the training camp. He blasted those who are non-believers briefly, but reverted to how this fight will be a spiritual fight and he who has the stronger spirit will prevail.


From there, Angel Garcia explained why he and his son remain inPhiladelphiato train because that, he said, is where they are the most comfortable. He continued to explain how he made Danny Garcia work hard and earn everything he’s gotten and how nothing is handed to anybody.


However, Angel Garcia eventually turned it into a tirade and crushed Khan for becoming a superstar by winning only silver in the Olympics and that if he had won the silver forAmerica, he’d be criticized for not winning gold. From there, he laid into Khan for not fighting a “real Latino like Danny” and he’ll “find out what fighting a Latino is really like.”


Angel Garcia then proclaimed that Latinos would essentially rule the world if they’d just work together rather than splintering into 36 separate countries.


“This is Latino blood!” Garcia shouted to a round of laughter and cheers. “This isn’t Puerto Rican or Mexican or Colombian blood! We are a nation! We could have been the biggest nation in the world but we chose not to!”


Everything was still relatively cool at that point, even when Angel Garcia continued to pump up his son for taking on a last-minute opponent with a 28-0 record on the undercard of Oscar de la Hoya- Stevie Forbes when Danny was just 6-0. Angel then blasted Khan and his handlers for never having the sort of confidence to do something like that with the popular Brit, accusing him of being protected without actually saying it.


Angel followed that up with telling the media that their collective feet are so far into their mouths for favoring Khan that they’ll be crying on Saturday night and then proceeded to point at a group of Khan supporters in the audience.


From there, Freddie Roach, Khan’s head trainer, acknowledged the crowd and wished everybody well, but made a point to purposely say, “aside from Danny’s father,” which elicited a chorus of cheers and applause.


Everything for the most part resorted back to the typical normalcy of pre-fight press conferences, but when Danny Garcia took to the dais, his boastful and confident nature came out, though it wasn’t as mean spirited as his father’s appeared.


“My dad talked shit 23 times against 23 opponents and I’ve backed it up 23 times,” Danny Garcia said with a broad grin across his face. “Come Saturday, he talked shit 24 times and I’m going to back it up 24 times, baby! That’s what we do: teamwork. They supposed to believe in you. July 14 I’ll be 24-0, still undefeated and the unified champion. I’ll see you (pointing to Khan) on Saturday.”


When Garcia left the podium, there was a mixture of cheers and boos and a slight level of discomfort mixed with excitement splashed across the face of De la Hoya, who was running the press conference. From there, all that was left was for Khan to step up and speak his mind.


“I have had a great training camp and I’ve been working very hard for this,” Khan said after thanking the usual people. “It’s been a long camp and some have wondered if I over-trained for this fight, but I assure you that’s not the case. I am glad to be back at theMandalayBaybecause I’ve had two great wins here: the one over (Marcos) Maidana and the one against ZabJudah. On Saturday, it’ll be my third great win here and I’ll be taking (Garcia’s) title back home with me.”


But once Khan directed his attention to Garcia and his team, things got heated quickly.


“Garcia’s team can say whatever they want, but I promise you – this is a promise and I’ve never said this, ever. But I will knock out Danny Garcia. I will take that title home. I know Danny Garcia has not trained as hard as me. He can say anything he wants to give himself confidence but I promise you I will knock him out.”



At this point, Angel Garcia was mocking Khan and flipping him the bird, gesturing him to “bring it on” and accusing him of “talking shit.”


“That’s the only way because I will not do anything physical (right here) because his dad talks so much. I am going to hurt his son but I’m going to do it in the ring. I cannot wait until after the fight to stand right here and look at you and see (what you have to say)… He said he’s never seen a Pakistani fight but you’ll see a Pakistani fight on Saturday and knock your son out.”


Angel Garcia had already begun lambasting Khan while he spoke and was shouting more obscenities but when Khan was finished talking, Angel asked the audience who the racist was, referring to how Khan said he (the Pakistani) would knock out Danny. The crowd roared back, “You are!”


After a few moments, Khan and Danny Garcia did the traditional stare-down. Garcia jumped at Khan twice, but Khan never flinched. Garcia then began pointing to his own eyes and demanded that Khan look him in his eyes, not his nose. They began trading verbal barbs until eventually one of the larger men in Khan’s camp separated them. The guard bumped into Angel Garcia, who then shouted that he was shoved and had to be separated even more. Finally, after a few moments of sheer hostility, the tempers subsided and everything became calm again.


Whether or not Angel Garcia was just playing to the cameras to land some additional seats in the arena and eyes on the television or just to get under Khan’s skin remains to be seen. However, the rather placid several weeks leading up to the showdown has turned hostile, which could lead to even more fireworks at the weigh-in on Friday and hopefully many more in the ring on Saturday.



You can also contact Mike Sloan at or follow him on Twitter @mikesloan19


July 12, 2012


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