Several junior welter world titles are on the line tonight as WBC champ Danny Garcia meets WBA king Amir Khan at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
This fight is a result of Lamont Peterson reportedly failing a medical test prior to the rematch from his clash with Amir Khan in December of last year. In that bout, Khan was pushed very hard by a relentless Peterson who looked like he could walk through Khan’s shots.
Khan lost on points in a close fight.
Without commenting on the failed medical, it is hard to sum up the first fight. was Peterson stronger because he was on something? Or did he realise in the middle rounds that he had taken Khan’s best shots and was still standing? In my eyes, on the night, you couldn’t have argued with it going either way, it was that close, and not forgetting an entertaining fight.
Regardless, the WBA have reinstated Khan as the champion following the failed medical test so Khan goes in as a champion as well as Garcia Saturday Night.
The Ring Junior Welterweight title is on the line as well, so, all in all, three championship belts are up for grabs.
Garcia’s record stands at 23-0-0 with 14 KO’s. He is a fundamentally sound boxer/puncher who has looked good in his climb through the rankings. He has beaten the likes of Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt and Erik Morales; the Morales win earning him the WBC belt.
If you look deeper at those wins, one may argue that these fighters are shadows of their former selves. But Campbell can still be a tricky operator; as can Holt and Morales…well it's Erik Morales, who proved he had something left in the tank when he fought Marcos Rene Maidana, although Garcia may have drained away whatever was remaining.
Khan, 26-2-0 with 18 KO’s, will be looking to come back and perform well as he feels he was not only robbed but cheated out of the win against Peterson.
Khan also has big, albeit aging, names on his scalp list, Zab Judah and Marco Antonio Barrera, but also some fresh fighters like Maidana, Paul McCloskey, Paulie Malignaggi and Peterson, which, even from the loss, Khan can take twelve hard rounds experience.
Garcia is a Philadelphia fighter through and through; he’s tough and does like operating at close range but can be a bit of a slow starter. His camp have mentioned his speed as an attribute as his nickname would suggest “Swift” but Garcia’s speed is not Khan’s speed. Khan is lightning fast when he needs to be and catches seasoned professionals off guard.
Khan is not a concussive puncher, nor is Garcia. They get the knockout with accumulated punches. Nor will Khan stand toe to toe with Garcia and slug it out, as much as Garcia will try to make him do so.
The blueprint to trouble Khan is to play the pressure fighter, ala Maidana or Peterson, but Khan still works well off the back foot, he didn’t make it easy for either of them and again they had more experience than Garcia.
Garcia is an exciting fighter and a good one at that but what does he bring to the table that Khan hasn’t seen or dealt with before? Whereas Garcia has not dealt with anyone of Khans calibre.
It should be another great fight, Garcia will pressure Khan and it’s not impossible that the American will get the win but it is improbable.
Khan has been operating at a higher level for longer.