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15 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Mike Sloan

The Lowdown on… Khan vs. Garcia

Garcia arrives in Vegas for Khan Showdown
Garcia arrives in Vegas for Khan Showdown

SecondsOut breaks down the matchup and figures out who will win


By Mike Sloan:The MandalayBay Events Center in torrid Las Vegas will play host to one of the more intriguing showdowns of the year in Amir Khan versus Danny Garcia. Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) was originally supposed to try to exact revenge against Lamont Peterson in May, but when Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone after a random urinalysis in March, the ballyhooed rematch was scrapped.


The popular Brit in turn had no opponent until the scrappy Danny Garcia, an unbeatenPhiladelphianative fresh off a win over Erik Morales, stepped up and took the fight. Suddenly, Khan’s next bout changed from a rematch stemming from a dubious decision into a fight with a dangerous opponent who has never tasted defeat.


Garcia is a terrific boxer-puncher and Khan has deft head and foot movement and clever guile inside the ring. It’ll be a test of patience and a properly-executed gameplan that will pave the road toward victory for both men, but the outcome has always been in doubt.


Until now. has broken down the matchup in all the important categories and has the winner already raising his hands. So if you want to know exactly who will win and how the fight will unfold between Amir Khan and Danny Garcia (23-0, 14KOs) before the first punch is ever thrown, simply continue reading:


Punching power: Garcia has flattened guys like John Figueroa, Mike Arnaoutis, Oscar Leon, and Enrique Colin; guys who are tough but aren’t exactly world-beaters. Khan has taken out similar types like Dmitriy Salita, Oisin Fagan, and Michael Gomez. Sure, he’s stopped Marco Antonio Barrera and Zab Judah, but both of them were shells of their former selves. It’s tough to say who has the more powerful hands because neither is known as a devastating puncher, and neither is considered a current-day Sven Ottke. This category is as close as they come, so if it boiled down to one man taking the other’s shot better, then the edge goes to one (more on that later). Advantage: Garcia


Speed: Both guys have speedy fists, but Khan is the sharper puncher of the two. He uses awkward angles at times and his punches are from areas that are unconventional sometimes. Still, his hands land onto their targets at a more rapid pace and come in with more zip. This is also another closer category because Garcia is a fast puncher, but Khan’s speed is more noticeable. Advantage: Khan


Size: Khan is an inch taller and has a two inch reach advantage, but Garcia has competed at welterweight a few times in his career. With that said, this is the category that usually has little to no bearing on the fight. When reviewing their respective sizes, this matchup is almost identical. Advantage: Push


Age factor: Like the size category, these two men are still young; Khan is 25 and Garcia is 24. Neither has been in an exorbitant amount of wars and while Khan has been knocked out, he’s never really taken any sort of genuine beating. In all actuality, both of these junior welters are as fresh as spring chicks. Advantage: Push


Chin: Garcia hasn’t truly been hurt yet as a pro and hasn’t been knocked off his feet. He appears to be able to deal with pressure and clean punches and his chin has proven to be rather sturdy thus far in his career. Khan, on the other hand, was flattened by Breidis Prescott in under a minute and was seriously hurt against Marcos Maidana. Though he’s shown great resilience against Maidana and Peterson never really hurt him badly, Khan’s chin is the one surrounded by floating question marks. For all we know, Garcia could have a glass chin but one would think that would’ve been exposed by now. There’s only one way to go with this, especially since Garcia could probably take Khan’s best punch better, not the other way around. Advantage: Garcia



Experience: Khan has taken on the likes of Peterson,Barrera,Judah, Maidana, and Paulie Malignaggi. Garcia has tackled Morales, Kendall Holt, and Nate Campbell. Garcia had a terrific amateur career, but Khan was an Olympian. When Khan turned pro, every one of his fights were huge events and he’s fought in front of many more sold out arenas than Garcia has. Khan has also always been under the microscope of the media and fans; Garcia hasn’t had anywhere near that sort of exposure. Khan also has lost and knows how to deal with it. Advantage: Khan


Intangibles: One intangible that has been thrown around regarding this fight is that Garcia is a late replacement opponent for Khan, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Khan was supposed to fight in May; it’s now July and he’s had a full training camp to prepare for Garcia. However, there could possibly be a little disappointment on the side of Khan because he probably wanted to badly get another crack at Peterson after he (and most of the boxing public) felt he got jobbed in their first fight. However, Khan is experienced enough to look past that and have his sights set firmly on Garcia. Khan has also been mentioned as a possible opponent for Floyd Mayweather if the Manny Pacquiao fight can’t be made. A loss to Garcia would destroy his chances of landing that fight.


For Garcia, he still needs to prove his worth inside the ring. Sure, he’s undefeated and toppled a few name fighters, but he hasn’t taken on anybody as talented as Khan or someone who is great and still in his prime, like Khan. A win over the Brit would serve the Puerto Rican-American well and it would certainly catapult him into another major fight. Garcia has also yet to lose as a pro and considering how big a fight this is for him, he actually might have a truckload of pressure that he put on himself. Garcia has also proven to have more reliable stamina as of late, so that should work in his favor as well.


The bottom line: Neither one of these guys is at the A+ level of the elite fighters yet, but they both have enough talent and charisma to eventually get there (or darn close). Garcia is going to be the slightly more aggressive of the two and he’ll box well early on. However, Khan will start to land clean, singular shots midway through and steal back some of the rounds he lost. The action will heat up and each will take turns landing and eating hard, effective punches. The fight won’t ever turn into an all-out fight of the year type of war but it will be entertaining. Khan will appear to be leading going into the championship rounds, but he’ll give one of them away by coasting. In the end, it’ll be a matter of what sort of style the judges prefer because many of the rounds will be extremely close and could go either way. The official ruling will be Khan escaping with a majority decision win. One judge will see it 114-114, another will score it 115-113, while the last will see it inexplicably 118-110 for Khan. Bank on it.



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


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