For months leading up to the Jr. welterweight unification bout between Amir “King” Khan and Danny “Swift” Garcia, Team Garcia called Khan “Overrated”, they said he had a “Glass Jaw” and were predicting a “Knock out”. They were big words that the Philly fighter backed up with a single left hook.
For three straight rounds, Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) was quicker and was beating Garcia to the punch. The fight seemed to be reflecting the 6-1 odds and was going the way many had thought. The undefeated Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) was able to find his target with the right hand on occasion but couldn’t match Khan’s output.
After two rounds, trainer/father Angel Garcia begged his son to let his hands go and with 30 seconds left in the third round, Garcia unleashed a huge left hook that changed everything. The debilitating shot landed just below the ear as Khan threw a right uppercut, sending Khan crashing to the canvas. Khan would make it to his feet and was allowed to continue with just ten seconds left in the round.
“I knew he was coming in so I slipped down, sat on my left hook and just fired it. It’s the same left hook I hit Erik Morales with” said Garcia “We knew he was going to come out fast. I said he’s going to jump on me because Freddy Roach thinks I’m a slow starter. I said you know what, I’m going to slip shots, feel his speed, feel his power and after the third round were going to step it up and I landed a good shot that changed the momentum of the fight.”
Garcia came out in the fourth with guns blazing, landing two big right hands as Khan ran for cover. Garcia was awarded a second knockdown when a stumbling Khan touched his gloves to the canvas in order to keep himself standing. Khan showed tremendous heart as he fought back but It was clear that his legs were no longer there. A left hook on top of the head followed by a right hand as Khan was falling to the canvas would signal the end. Khan, making it to his feet, staggered to the neutral corner as referee Kenny Bayless reached the count of eight. Are you OK Amir? asked Bayless. Yea, I’m OK answered Khan with just 35 seconds left in the round. Unfortunately for him, Bayless had seen enough and the fight was waved of a second later.
“I feel great, I always knew I had it in me, I just needed a great fighter in front of me” said Garcia “I feel like great fighters bring the best out of me. Amir Khan is a great fighter and I knew if I fought him, It would bring the best out of me. I’ve always been overlooked but I’m a killer. I’ll fight anybody anywhere”
“It just wasn’t my night. I made a few mistakes in there and I got caught with the left hook” said Khan “I went in with my hands too low and I paid the price. He caught me and this is boxing, one shot can change the fight. The way he came back was brilliant”