"I'm a killer. I will fight anyone, anywhere at anytime." – Danny Garcia 7.14.12
The familiar setting of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay played back-drop to one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) shocked the world as he dropped 7-1 favorite Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) three times until a late fourth round stoppage. Garcia unified two of the 140 pound belts with the win, but more importantly he secured the vacant Ring title. Here's how it all played out.
The opening bell sounded and Khan quickly landed a 1-2 combination that wooed the mostly pro-Khan crowd. Khan aggressively stalked the visibly slower Garcia in the first two rounds, landing flashy combinations while blocking most of his opponent's attack. Khan was clearly in control and even bloodied the flat footed Garcia in the second round.
However all of that would change in round three in what was the most dramatic scene of the night. Both men furiously exchanged with thirty seconds remaining in the round as Garcia sat down on a left hook that blasted Khan and sent him crashing to the canvas. Truly shocking; Khan looked badly hurt as he got back to his feet. Garcia was almost foaming at the mouth, waiting for the ref to signal for action to resume. He rushed Khan but to no avail as the bell sounded.
Khan was dropped once again as soon as the fourth round started. Garcia chased him down a la George Foreman/Joe Frazier and landed a short stinging right hand behind Khan's ear. Khan's heart was on display as he got up, proceeded to stand and trade until he couldn't hold off the onslaught any longer. Garcia dropped him with a vicious combination and the ref waved off the fight. A valiant loss for Amir Khan. A life altering victory for Danny Garcia.
As the fallout from this fight begins, there are many questions to be asked after a massive upset like this occurs. Did Khan take Garcia lightly? Did Garcia's father/trainer get into Khan's head with all of the pre fight banter he unleashed in Khan's direction?
"It wasn't my night." said an honest Khan after the fight. "I've just watched the replay and I was coming in with my hands down and Danny took advantage." He continued with "He was countering very well against me. I got a little complacent and he took advantage and caught me."
The truth is Khan did get caught. After watching many of his fights I noticed Khan did something differently in this fight. He planted his feet. The normally fast footed Khan decided to sit down on his punches to knock Garcia out.
Instead,it was Khan who ended up being stopped.
Photo Credit: AP