This week is the middle week of 3 consecutive weeks of boxing on HBO, as last week Kelly Pavlik and Nonito Donaire both won their fights, and next week we get to see the electric Adrien Broner, but this week we get an extra treat. Danny “Swift” Garcia will be challenged by Amir “King” Khan for Garcia’s WBC Junior Welterweight belt, as well as the vacant WBA Junior Welterweight belt in Las Vegas.
The 25 year old Amir Khan (26-2 with 18 KOs) wants to be an A-List star and in his mind, he already is. The Englishman has quick hands and has dominated most of his opponents. Over the last 2 years he has taken out some good competitors in the 140 lb division, like Paul Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Paul McCloskey, and Zab Judah. However, the fight that most of his detractors will point to is his last fight against Lamont Peterson. Khan was deducted a point in round seven and another in round twelve for pushing, something that never seems to be penalized.
Even after the point deductions, some still thought he won the fight, so did he. However, Lamont Peterson got the decision. If the fight ended that way, most would still probably side with Khan. But for the last 7 months since that fight, Khan has complained, whined, and bitched about how he was screwed. He disrespected the DC crowd and area, the referee, and pretty much made himself look like a baby. Even with all of that, Khan is a good fighter and a win here would push him toward some of the bigger fights at 147.
The undefeated Danny Garcia (23-0 with 14 KOs) is a young, up and coming, 24 year old fighter from Philadelphia. He has not shown as much power as Khan, but he does have pop and as much as he is walking into this fight as the underdog, he is the champion. His best fights was a split decision victory vs. Kendall Holt and defeating 35 year old Erik Morales less than 4 months ago in what was a swan song fight for Morales. This will be his best competition by far in the ring and he will walk in as a big underdog. However, all you have to do is look a few weeks back to realize that huge underdogs are a couple hard punches away from knocking off clear favorites.
Garcia’s father probably has not helped his case when he mocked Khan’s ethnicity and religion, which does hype up the fight, but it’s his son that has to back up his statements. I like Garcia as a fighter, the question is, will his inexperience hold him back from pulling this off?
Both of these fighters have bright futures ahead of them, but Khan’s future is now and a win here will open more opportunities for him in the immediate future. A win by Garcia gives him 2 belts in the division and he could choose to dominate that division or he could also test the waters at 147.
A win by Khan would almost ensure a move up to 147. He can test the waters there against the likes of Victor Ortiz. He could make the biggest domestic battle in the U.K. if he would take on Kell Brook. He could even meet his 140 lb rival who “beat” Manny Pacquiao at 147 in Tim Bradley. But let’s be frank here, Khan would love a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. I think Khan realizes the opportunity in front of him and will take advantage of the experience he has over Garcia.
Prediction: Khan TKO7 Over Garcia
Sidenote: David Haye (25-2 with 23 KOs) vs. Dereck Chisora (15-3 with 9 KOs) over in the UK is the other huge fight on Saturday. There is a lot of drama and controversy around this fight, but you can see that stuff in any article. The reason I want to bring this fight up is because Haye is a pretty solid favorite in this and I’m going against him. The reasoning for my pick is purely based off of both of their last fights against the Klitschko brothers.
Haye talked a lot and then fought very scared against Wladimir, while Chisora acted like an idiot in the post fight but he showed a lot more heart against Vitali, the better brother. So because of that I’m going with Chisora by majority decision in a close fight. Hopefully fight fans will get to see both of these fights and have another non controversial weekend like last week, enjoy the fights.