SAN DIEGO, July 14, 2012 – In one of the most exciting fights this year in boxing, a star emerged as American Danny Garcia delivered a crushing, multiple knockdown beating to British boxer Amir Khan, taking a second super lightweight belt and remaining undefeated at 24-0.
Fans watchng in the UK just after four in the morning must have thought it all part of a bad dream.
Referee Kenny Bayliss, one of the best in the sport, finally stopped the fight at 2:38 of Round 4. Khan had already been knocked down twice, first with a vicious countering left hand blow by Garcia out of nowhere to the right side of Khan’s head below the ear with 30 seconds left in Round 3. Khan was dropped in his tracks in front of a shocked crowd in Las Vegas, and to the shock of boxing fans watching around the world.
Although Khan got back on his feet fairly quickly considering how hard he fell, it seemed Bayliss would stop the fight then and there, repeatedly asking Khan “Are you all right? Are you all right?” But he allowed the fight to continue. It didn’t seem Khan would last on his wobbling legs through the last 30 seconds while under assault by Garcia, but by sheer will he did.
Trainer Freddie Roach didn’t have much to say to Khan in the corner. He saw the evening coming to a surprisingly early end, and soon.
Round 4 was nothing short of all-out combat between the two fighters. Khan stood in, doing his best to summon his skills through sheer will. Khan suffered his second knockdown 15 seconds into the round from a blow similar to the first, with Garcia hitting him hard to the right side of the head. Khan got up and insisted to referee Bayliss he could continue. Bayliss let the fight continue.
The crowd was on its feet at the Mandalay Bay watching the action. Khan showed tremendous courage and heart as he continued to press forward against Garcia, trying valiantly to throw one blow that could take Garcia out and save the fight for him. The pair traded shots. Some of Khan’s shots were surprisingly sharp and met their mark, but Khan was increasingly unable to stabilize his legs, wobbling all over the ring. He simply couldn’t throw hard enough to stop Garcia at this point.
Not since Arturo Gatti stood in against Micky Ward ten years ago has a boxer shown so much warrior determination despite taking the kind of beating Khan took from Garcia. It was a “Round of the Year” candidate that will be hard to beat.
Khan went down for the third time, and though he got to his feet Bayliss finally stopped the fight with 32 second left.
Garcia’s camp erupted with job, elated with the upset. In the post fight interview, Garcia thanked everyone in his family and his camp, “the whole of Philadelphia and all Latinos around the world. I did it for you baby!’
Garcia told HBO’s Max Kellerman “I always knew I had it in me. I just needed a great fighter in front of me. I knew if I fought him (Khan) he would bring the best out of me… Amir Khan is a world champion and one of the best fighters in the world. I knew if he hurt me, I would fight to the death, just like he fought.”
Garcia said he has always been overlooked. “Maybe it’s the green eyes, the white skin, I’m not a pretty boy, I’m a killer.”
Garcia said he knew Khan was coming in at him, so he waited to time his left hook, “and fired it… that’s my big shot right there.”
Khan, now 26-3, 18 KOs, said it just wasn’t his night. “I made a few mistakes tonight. I went in there with my hands low a little bit and I paid the price. We had a gameplan and we stuck to that. But we did get complacent, and that’s when we paid. He caught me with a shot, more of a blind shot, but he caught me. The way he came back was brilliant.”
Khan insisted he was all right after the second knockdown. “I took some deep breaths. I was fine, my mind was clear. My legs were fine; I got up off the floor. I respect the referee. Maybe he made the right choice.”
Khan was taken after the fight to a Las Vegas hospital for a precautionary MRI. It’s Khan’s boxing career that is now in need of emergency treatment. This wasn’t a close loss like his fight against Lamont Peterson. This was a thrashing. It’s hard to know exactly what Khan should do now, assuming he is not seriously injured. Perhaps retreat to Europe for a while.
Garcia proved tonight despite his father’s trash talking (which Danny needs to get under control), he is the real deal. A new star was born in boxing just when the sport could really use one.
So who’s next for Garcia? It’s the question everyone will be asking in the days to come. Garcia said, “I want to fight the best. Whoever’s out there, I want to fight the best.”
In the division, the 25-year-old Garcia is now in command. The next fight for Garcia will be much anticipated. There is big money for him to move up in weight class with the names that await like Timothy Bradley or Floyd Mayweather. But Garcia shouldn’t get too carried away despite the excitement generated by tonight’s bout.
Erik Morales immediately called upon Golden Boy for a rematch via Twitter (“Ojala golden boy me respete la revancha que me debe Danny Garcia”). This seems doubtful. Garcia would certainly have his first choice of whoever Manny Pacquiao decides not to fight next, perhaps if it’s Juan Manuel Marquez.
Brandon Rios and Yuriorkis Gamboa are possibilities. I’d like to see Garcia fight Gamboa. Gamboa was going to come up in weight to fight Rios, so why not do it for Garcia? The Cuba versus Puerto Rico aspect adds extra appeal. How about staging the fight in New York at Madison Square Garden? Now we’re talking!
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. Gayle can be reached via Google +
Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
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