Khan v Garcia confirmed for July 14th

23 May

A few weeks ago, former light welterweight titlist Amir Khan was making his last preparations for his contest with Lamont Peterson, the man who only five months prior tore away his IBF and WBA titles in a dramatic, but controversial showdown in the US capital of Washington D.C. After losing his titles Khan was shellshocked, he was throwing every excuse as to the reason why he lost the contest, now infamous excuses. Who involved in boxing doesn’t know the “man in the hat” story. Khan wanted a rematch with his conquerer and eventually he got it, the date was set for May 19th at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. However, last week Khan got the horrible call that his bout with Peterson was in jeopardy, because Peterson had failed a drugs test. Once again Khan had come up short.

So now after all the fallout of the Peterson problems, Khan has had his wind-down time and can once again start to prepare for a world title contest. Today it has been announced that Amir will challenge unbeaten American Danny Garcia for the WBC light welterweight title. The fight will take place once again in Las Vegas and at the Mandalay Bay resort on July 14th and will be Garcia’s first defence of the title he won in defeating Mexican legend Erik Morales back in March with a convincing twelve round unanimous decision. Should Khan win it will see the Englishmen become a two time world champion and could be his last at the weight before moving up to welterweight.

Despite being unbeaten and the belt holder, in facing Khan, Garcia will be making a big step up in class. Other than defeating a fading Morales, Garcia’s hit list isn’t very impressive. Wins over light welterweight stepping stone Kendall Holt and ageing former champion Nate Campbell do deserve recognition, as well as the split decision victory against former British title holder Ashley Theophane. But one does wonder how he will deal with level of competition. He has never fought someone as fast or as powerful as Khan, but he does have skills of his own. Garcia is a technically very good boxer and throw punches from a variety of positions, at times getting through with power and precision. But like I say he has never faced someone of Khan’s ability.

I can only see this one going one way. Khan will start quick work behind a crisp jab and outbox Garcia on his way to a points victory. Those who have troubled Khan in the past, such as Peterson, have broken Khan down with pressuring offence. Unfortunately I can’t see Garcia doing this. With the help of Freddie Roach, the former champion is learning from his mistakes and developing his style which should make him a far better fighter than he ever would’ve been should he have held on to his title back in December. The one thing which will work in Garcia’s favour is a possibility of ring rust. By the time the two make their way to the ring in July, it would’ve been seven months since Khan’s last competitive twelve rounds, whereas only four for the undefeated American.

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