Garcia stuns Khan to claim WBA title

Published Jul 15, 2012 04:39am

Danny Garcia (R) lands a right hand to the head of Amir Khan of Great Britain during their WBC/ WBA Super Lightweight and vacant Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 14, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Danny Garcia (R) lands a right hand to the head of Amir Khan of Great Britain during their WBC/ WBA Super Lightweight and vacant Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 14, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AFP

LAS VEGAS: WBC champ Danny Garcia added the WBA light welterweight belt to his collection with a stunning fourth-round upset of Britain's Amir Khan in a unification title fight here on Saturday.

American Garcia scored three knockdowns with the end coming with 32 seconds left in the fourth round when referee Kenny Bayless stopped the bout.

“I have always been overlooked, maybe it is the green eyes and the light skin,” said Garcia. “I look like a pretty boy. But I am a chiller baby and I will fight anybody, anywhere, anyplace.”

Garcia, who already had the WBC title, now has 24 wins and no losses.

Garcia, of Philadelphia, kept his perfect record intact by surviving the first two rounds before using a devastating left hook late in the third round that caught Khan flush on the right ear.

Garcia said he even surprised himself a little bit with the shot that changed the fight but it was one he worked on with his sparring partners during training camp.

“I knew he was coming in so I slipped down and set up my left hook and just fired it,” Garcia said.

“That is the same hook I hit (Erik) Morales with. We practised that in camp.

“I feel great. I always knew I had it in me. I just needed the right fighter in front of me. I feel like the great fighters bring the best out of me and Amir Khan is a great fighter.”

Garcia, 24, was coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over Morales four months ago.

Khan, of Great Britain, suffered just the third loss of his career.

He managed to get up from the third-round knockdown and barely finished the round but he never fully recovered from that devastating left hook to the side of the head.

“He caught me with a shot,” Khan said. “It was more of a blind shot, but I have always said 'one punch can change a fight.'”

Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) got knocked down twice more in the fourth round which had turned into a slugfest with both fighters trading heavy shots in the center of the ring.

The second knockdown came when Garcia's punch glanced off the top of Khan's head, leading to an eight count.

Khan said he lost his focus and it cost him the fight.

“It just wasn't my night. I made a few mistakes in there,” said Khan, who was in his eighth title fight. “I got caught with the left hook.

“I watched the replay and I must have gone in there with my hands low a little bit and I paid my price.”

Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) got the better of the exchanges in the fourth, hitting Khan consistently with left hooks and counter shots, then finishing him off with a straight right hand that sent Khan stumbling across the ring.

When Bayless stepped in to stop the fight, the 25-year-old Khan protested and tried to duck under the referee's arm.

“I got complacent and I paid for it,” said Khan, who earlier this month was reinstated as the WBA light welterweight champ.

Khan had lost the WBA and International Boxing Federation titles last December in a controversial split decision to Lamont Peterson.

The decision to return the title to Khan came after Peterson failed a drug test.

Garcia said his game plan Saturday worked perfectly.

“We knew he would come out fast and try to jump on me early because (Khan's trainer) Freddie Roach thinks I am a slow starter,” Garcia said. “So I was going to slip shots and feel his speed and feel his power and after the third round I was going to step it up.”

Khan is now the biggest trophy on Garcia's unblemished record and this win could signal a jump for the American into the welterweight division where such stars as unbeaten Floyd Mayweather and Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao await him.

“I want to fight the best. Whoever is out there,” Garcia said.

 


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Comments (18) (Closed)


maestro96
Jul 15, 2012 03:09pm
He is a British Pakistani. Stop posting silly comments.
imran bhat
Jul 15, 2012 09:31pm
Only if Amir had big punch like his big mouth.
@omermallhi
Jul 15, 2012 08:06pm
well done garcia...he deserves that....and we still love you Amir .....you are a star for Pakistan and UK
ibrahim nadir
Jul 15, 2012 09:30am
now is the time you know he is a real champion or not. If he gets up and comes back he is, Otherwise he is unlike Roger federer.
Syed
Jul 16, 2012 09:44am
I think you have never heard DHONI when loosing to a superior team. U should watch out for his interviews...however he wasn't at his best and I saw it live!
Nadeem Mirza
Jul 15, 2012 11:53pm
laal topee: this report is from AFP. not from any pakistani newspaper. Please pay attention before jumping the gun.
Nadeem Mirza
Jul 15, 2012 11:54pm
So what is the point?
Syed
Jul 16, 2012 09:43am
Sure! Now produce a Boxer of Amir Khan's quality and lets then discuss on other gold medalists. And by the way he born Pakistani and his blood cannot change. It's pretty much like many other NRI's!
Sammy
Jul 15, 2012 06:19pm
Why is always like that?
iftikhar
Jul 15, 2012 01:27pm
No probs. He is a hero. win or loss he fights couragously. We love you Amir Khan
Jabberwacky
Jul 16, 2012 02:30pm
My comment was a response to janin.. If u say that india has not produced a boxer then first of all it is wrong perception. Gold medals in commonwealth games and asian games in which pakistan also was a part is a example of that.. And secondly have u produced world champions like Anand in chess or sushil kumar in wrestling?
janin
Jul 16, 2012 05:00am
Red Toppe..... India has not produced a single boxer in 200 years.
Laal topee
Jul 15, 2012 07:53am
"Khan, of Great Britain, suffered just the third loss of his career."
laal topee
Jul 15, 2012 07:54am
"Khan, of Great Britain, suffered just the third loss of his career." ha ha.. when he wins he is a pakistani, but when he loses he is a british :D
AHMughal
Jul 15, 2012 05:40pm
Its interesting to note that Khan doesn't appreciate his opponent's skills, Rather blames his lack of concentration as the chief cause of his loss. We should have expected a better response from him.
noornooraala
Jul 15, 2012 02:23pm
After all he is a human-being. He will come back on his feet.
khan
Jul 16, 2012 05:11am
that's Pakistani right there for you always unpredictable ,,,,,it aint end of the world ,,The boy got up and he stood up for himself ,i think that's a miracle after getting hit that hard and keep going,wooooww i mean you really have to have the courage to get up and keep on fighting ,Inshallah he will be back and he will surprise all of us Amir khan needs to work on his chin seriously ,,,As every one knows he got a great potential even now.
Jabberwacky
Jul 16, 2012 08:38am
India has world class commonwealth gold medalists.. Asian games gold medalists boxers in all the categories of weights and in the sport that actually matters i.e. Amateur boxing which is in olympics. Moreover Amir khan is first british.. Then anything else