The Boxing Tribune’s UK correspondent Geoff Poundes and Philadelphia fight writer Gary Purfield square off to set the stage for the WBC and WBA title bout this Saturday between England’s Amir Khan and Philly’s Danny Garcia.
Why Danny Garcia will Stop Amir Khan
By Gary Purfield
Danny Garcia will have the biggest win of his young career Saturday night over Amir Khan to retain his WBC 140lb title while grabbing the Khan’s newly reinstated WBA belt as well. The beginning may seem as though I favor Khan but this will lead to a clear point as to why Garcia will handle business Saturday night.
Khan comes into this bout as the faster and more agile fighter. For at least the first four rounds he will puzzle Garcia and get the better of the action with his rapid-fire combinations and smooth movement in and out. The problem for Khan is that while he is fast it is clear he no longer punches with much power. To avoid being tagged on his suspect chin he no longer really sits down on his punches with authority, preferring to punch quickly while simultaneously getting away from his opponent. This style is great for not getting hit but, it causes a fighter to lose real power when they don’t truly sit down on their shots and follow through.
So while Khan will win the early rounds on the cards he will do little damage to the Philly native who will remain patient searching for his opportunity. That opportunity will come when Garcia is able to take advantage of the fact that he does sit down and follow through on his punches and can deliver with real knockout power. Garcia’s left hook has floored fighters with far better chins than Khan. Garcia won’t be able to follow Peterson’s game plan of fighting on the inside as that is not his style. He is a long range boxer similar to Khan. Garcia does not do the long range boxing as well as Khan but he does it with far more power and a better chin to protect him in a fight.
It is simply a matter of when, not if, that Garcia lands a crushing left hook that wobbles Khan and has him ready to be taken out. Khan is good defensively but not that good. He can be hit and cannot take a big punch. If Breidis Prescott had the power to put him out then Garcia certainly has the mustard to do it. If Marcos Maidana, who has far less skill and speed than Garcia can catch up to Khan and land then Danny will also find the mark, probably far earlier than Maidana did. Finally, Garcia has the skill to put together punches and not let an opponent off the hook as Maidana did against Khan.
Simply put, this will be case of one fighter looking good early but, by no later than the middle rounds a clear turn of the tide will happen as Khan slows and Garcia begins to land. Then by the tenth Garcia will have landed the big left hook that drives Khan into his drunken bar dance. The dance will only last for as long as it takes for Garcia to chase him down, land a few more, and end the night by knockout victory.
| Why Amir Khan Can’t Lose to Danny Garcia
By Geoff Poundes
Let it first be said that I’m no great fan of Khan’s. I’ve long thought of him as a manufactured fighter who’s been matched carefully throughout his career – and on the couple of occasions when his promoter took risks he either came completely unstuck (Prescott) or very nearly came unstuck (Maidana), with the Bolton boy displaying a less than granite chin. Take those two fights out of the equation and Khan’s resume is littered with feathery punchers and on-the-slide old timers. Last time out he was exposed somewhat by Lamont Peterson (juiced or not), who nullified Khan’s much-vaunted speed by simply standing on his toes and muscling him on the inside. Khan’s skills up close were woefully short.
Having said all that, there’s no doubt that Khan has improved ten-fold as a fighter under the tutelage of Freddie Roach. Freddie has acknowledged Khan’s dodgy whiskers by turning him into a high-guard speed-king, with the fastest hands in the business, so that when he faces limited opposition he merely overwhelms them with blistering combinations.
Danny Garcia styles himself “Swift”, but he’ll see a whole new level of speed Saturday night. His best win thus far was the decision he took from Kendall Holt last October, and he’s flattered by his title winning performance over an end-of-the-line Erik Morales. There was nothing about Garcia’s handling of Holt or Morales to suggest he has what it takes to put paid to Amir Khan. Over here in the UK we have another frame of reference, when Garcia took a close-fought decision from our own Ashley Theophane a couple of years ago and looked pretty terrible in the process.
There’s nothing to suggest that Garcia has Peterson-like skills to force Amir to fight on the inside – and it’s probable that the wily Roach will have put in place a game plan that involves Khan out-swifting the swift. I see Garcia becoming marked-up from the get-go from Khan’s rapier-like combinations, and by the middle rounds the Philadelphian will have slowed to a standstill, so that Khan stops him around round eight.