An upset in the light welter division took place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday night as WBC champ Danny Garcia belted out WBA king Amir Khan over the course of an action packed four rounds.
After a long and volatile pre-fight build up, Khan was in no mood to box and the Englishman went right after Garcia, zipping in left jabs to set up punishing right hands that caught Garcia repeatedly.
The pattern continued in the second and while Garcia showed a good chin to take the fire from Khan, it was very clear that there was no way the American could hope to win a boxing match with the WBA champion.
Perhaps concerned that his best punches weren't hurting Garcia, Khan made a crucial error in the third as he tried to better his work. The Bolton man continued to strafe Garcia with both hands but started to remain standing in front of the less experienced boxer from Philadelphia, trying to force a KO.
This resulted in Khan being there to hit when Garcia started swinging wild haymakers, one of which, a counter left, caught Khan heavily on the jaw.
Khan never saw the punch coming and went down hard on the floor. He beat the count and survived the final seconds of the round but Khan was barely in control of his legs as he teetered around the ring.
Instead of looking to buy time in order to clear his head, Khan went right back to fighting Garcia in the fourth. Even hurt, Khan could still hit Garcia with almost everything he threw but the WBA supremo forgot all about defense and was lashed with the roundhouses coming from the Philadelphian.
A right hand put Khan down once again and while the Bolton flash managed to beat the count, it was just a matter of time unless he changed tactics.
That did not occur and with Garcia blindly swinging with both hands, he soon hit the jackpot with a left hand bomb, dropping Khan once again. A very shaky looking Amir got up once again but could not convince referee Kenny Bayless and the bout was waved off at 2:28 of the fourth.
Garcia adds the WBA belt to his collection, improving to 24-0 (15), while Khan now stands at 26-3 (18), having lost two bounts on the bounce.
Had Khan used his advantages to box Garcia rather than get in the trenches, he'd likely have both the WBC and WBA titles and be in a position for a much-talked about clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Instead, Khan must go back to the drawing board and rethink his career but if he is to have any hope of continuing as a world level operator, he must return to the ring as an emotionally mature boxer.
If Garcia is to hold onto his titles, he'll have to make big improvements in his defense and develop an effective offense.