SAN DIEGO, July 14, 2012 – After the surprising and controversial loss by split decision of super lightweight Amir Khan of Great Britain to hometown favorite Lamont Peterson in Washington D.C. last December, fans were eagerly looking forward to a rematch on May 9.
Read the results: Danny Garcia rocks boxing with with stunning TKO win over Amir Khan
Anticipation turned to disappointment for Khan and the fans when Peterson tested positive for testosterone, and the fight was cancelled. Golden Boy Promotions scrambled to find another competitor to face Khan, and came up with Danny Garcia of Philadelphia. The pair will square off in a title unification fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” at 11 p.m. Eastern.
Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs) holds the WBC belt; Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) has been reinstated as WBA titleholder after Peterson’s positive test. Garcia won his belt in his last bout against a declining 35-year-old Erik Morales in March. So both belts are on the line.
Khan had originally planned to go up one weight class from 140-pounds to 147-pounds, but stayed at 140 to fight Peterson again. With the bout off, he stayed at super lightweight to fight Garcia and he can add a belt to the one just reinstated to him. Both fighters made weight at Friday’s weigh-in, each hitting the scale at 139 pounds.
With Khan’s motivation for revenge against Peterson gone, he needs to find new motivation tonight against Garcia. He’s got it in Garcia’s trash talking camp, specifically his father and trainer Angel. At their June news conference, Angel Garcia said he has never seen a Pakistani who can fight, and that Garcia would send Khan back to England on a “flying genie carpet.” The 25-year-old Khan is British from a Pakistani family. There’s your motivation, Amir.
“Yeah, it’s motivating,” Khan said. “It makes you train harder. It makes you want to knock Danny Garcia out. And his dad, shut that (expletive) up also.
“I cannot wait until after the fight when we stand here and I have knocked your son out,” Khan said at Thursday’s pre-fight news conference. “He is going to see what a Pakistani British fighter can do.”
Garcia defended his father and made his own predictions. “My dad talked (shizz) 23 times, and I backed it up 23 times,” he said. “I am 23-0. Come Saturday, he will have talked (shizz) 24 times and I am going to back it up for the 24th time.” This is a family-friendly website. Feel free to substitute the original word for “shizz” as you read.
Garcia feels ultra-confident after his knockout of Morales. Although a great boxing champion, Morales’ best days were long behind him when he fought Garcia. He was out of shape and couldn’t make weight. Garcia will have to work a lot harder against Khan’s speed.
“Yeah, it’s a different fight,” said Garcia. “I’m fighting a young guy like me with speed and power. Any time you put two young guys in, they’re going to give the fans a great fight.” Garcia is 24, Khan is 25.
Khan has more to lose in this fight than Garcia, despite Garcia having an undefeated record. Khan needs a win after December’s defeat against Peterson. Even though it was a close fight and many didn’t think Khan lost, he didn’t look good and this is where the greater damage was done. Khan needs to move freely and unleash his speed, put on a good show and beat Garcia.
Garcia needs to take a page from Peterson’s book and try to cut off the ring, fight Khan close and to the body, slow him down and wear him out.
Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach had timed training for the May fight; with a sudden delay of three months, he sent Khan home to England from Los Angeles for a break of several weeks to avoid burning him out. Khan had a 15-week training camp and Roach says Khan is in superb condition. Khan says he knows Garcia didn’t train as hard as he did.
Khan said his fans have come to Las Vegas from around the world to cheer him on. Hispanic fighters always get excellent support from fans in Las Vegas. It should be an enjoyable fight on a hot summer night.
Of the undercard fights, there is one worth noting: lightweight Abner Cotto will put a 13-0 undefeated record against Jose Montiel of Mexico (5-5-3). The answer to your question is yes: Miguel Cotto is 24-year-old Abner’s second cousin. Cotto won a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and is rising in the ranks. Assuming he wins tonight, he may show up as an undercard to the Canelo Alvarez main event on September 15.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Copyright © 2011 by Falcon Valley Group
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