Philly fighter backs up all of his camp’s trash talk and remains unbeaten after war
By:Mike Sloan ringside in Las Vegas:For all of the boastful trash talking that bordered on racial and ill-tempered from Team Garcia – mostly from father/trainer Angel Garcia – Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia pulled off a sizeable upset by taking out Amir Khan in their anticipated showdown inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center. However, it wasn’t a swift walk in the park for Garcia; he had to earn his triumphant victory the hard way.
Garcia was getting peppered for almost three full rounds and was clearly a step behind his British adversary. Khan was electrifying the crowd and hitting Garcia almost at will by utilizing deft footwork and blistering handspeed and Garcia couldn’t keep up.
Khan did what he wanted and stuck his foe with beautiful counter left hooks and sneaky straight rights. Kahn, in essence, was executing his gameplan flawlessly and it seemed like Garcia was headed for a very long and painful night. The Puerto Rican-American was frustrated, warned twice for low blows, and was bleeding from a gash above his right eye. In short, everything was going awry for “Swift” Garcia and those pre-fight promises of victory look like a pipe dream.
Khan wasn’t really hurting his opponent, but he was racking up the points. For every one punch Garcia threw, it seemed as if Khan had already landed three. He dug to the body, ripped to the head and made the sluggish-looking Garcia miss the vast majority of his punches. Three rounds had almost completed and Garcia was becoming more and more agitated with every punch that he ate.
That was until Garcia detonated a perfect counter left hook that forever changed the fight.
The blast shook Khan to his foundation and he collapsed like a tar paper shack after a missile hit it. He was knocked into next week but moving and he barely made it back to his feet before referee Kenny Bayless nearly counted him out. Khan had no clue as to where he was and somehow convinced Bayless to allow him to continue. Garcia swarmed him immediately and let his hands go, gunning for the spectacular knockout. “King” Khan stumbled all over the ring in an attempt to escape and was knocked down along the ropes, but it came after the bell sounded to end the third.
Khan only had a minute to recover and he needed some sort of minor miracle to be able to fight clearly in the fourth. When the frame did begin, Garcia wasted no time in pouncing all over his still-woozy nemesis and felled him with a loopy right hand. Khan again battled back to his feet and was allowed to continue, but it looked grim for the Pakistani Brit.
Garcia was all over him and bombed away, but somehow Khan took the shots well. In fact, Khan increasingly regained his bearings and began taunting Garcia by tapping his chin, daring him to hit him. Khan suddenly started firing back and backed Garcia away with short left hooks and quick uppercuts. Garcia started winging – and missing – his monstrous punches and it seemed as though Garcia was running out of gas. Khan was miraculously back in the fight and winning the toe-to-toe exchanges. It looked as though it was Garcia was on his way out and Khan was in control of the action.
That is, until another left hook from Garcia materialized.
The punch dropped Khan to his knees and when he got back up, he was once again out on his feet. Bayless asked him a few questions and closely checked to see if he was okay. Bayless actually gave him a bit more time than usual, but when Khan was unresponsive, the veteran third man intelligently waived off the action. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:28 of the fourth round, allowing Garcia to stand unbeaten near the very top of the talent-rich junior welterweight division.
It was clearly the greatest single achievement of Garcia’s young career and it’s a win that will catapult him into much bigger fights. Garcia had proclaimed that he’ll be 24-0 come Saturday night and his foresight was accurate. He took a lot of punishment and was looking out-classed, but his magnificent counter left hook changed the fight permanently. He backed up every bit of trash talk with a sensational knockout victory over one of boxing’s biggest stars.
Garcia, now 24-0 with 15KOs, has plenty of options going forward. With so many stars around the junior/welterweight divisions, there’s no telling where he’ll go from here. As for Khan this knockout loss could cripple his immediate future. Now 26-3 with 18KOs, a mega fight with the likes of Floyd Mayweather has surely been thrown out the window.