Angel Garcia, the 49-year-old father and trainer of Danny Garcia, has no doubt that his son will defend his WBC junior welterweight belt opposite former IBF and WBA beltholder Amir Khan at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday night on HBO.
Angel Garcia dismisses the notion that his son is not ready for the more experienced Khan, and claims that his own coaching skills rival that of Khan’s five-time Trainer of the Year, Freddie Roach.
Angel Garcia is eager to match his son against Khan, whom he calls “over-rated,” and his wits against Roach, who also works with former WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao and WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez.
In a clash that is being promoted by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and President Oscar De La Hoya, the pairing of Danny Garcia (23-0, 14 knockouts) and Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) was made after Khan’s intended opponent, Lamont Peterson, tested positive for a banned substance.
Peterson dethroned Khan as IBF and WBA beltholder via split-decision in December, but his positive test forced the cancelation of their rematch that was slated for May 19.
On Wednesday, the WBA declared that it has reinstated Khan, 25, as its titleholder against Garcia, who is 24. That WBA ruling comes a month after the organization had stripped Peterson of of the 140-pound title.
In his last fight in March, Danny Garcia dropped four-division titlewinner Erik Morales in the 11th round on the way to taking his belt by unanimous decision.
It was the third straight triumph over a current or former world titleholder for Garcia following consecutive decisions over ex-beltholders Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt in April and October, respectively.
Khan, meanwhile, will be without Roach’s longtime former assistant, strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza, who is no longer with his team. Khan said Ruben Tabares has replaced Ariza, who had been with Khan for eight of his past nine fights.
During that time, Khan earned two belts, knocked out New Yorkers Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi, beat former beltholders Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana and Andreas Kotelnik and, most recently, lost to Peterson.
As to what all of this means heading into Khan-Garcia, RingTV.com ran that notion by 21 boxing insiders for their opinions concerning what will transpire on Saturday night.
Amir Khan MD 12 Danny Garcia: This should be a very competitive fight between two young champions. I give a very slight lean to Amir Khan despite the stop-and-start training.
Therre was also the distraction from the Lamont Peterson drug test incident. But I think Khan wins enough close rounds and takes a majority decision over Danny Garcia.
Amir Khan UD 12 Danny Garcia: I think Amir Khan will beat Danny Garcia soundly. Garcia simply doesn’t move his head and isn’t technically sound. He loops his punches and is flat-footed.
An over-the-hill Erik Morales landed at will on Garcia and even mocked the Philly native. Khan is the superior athlete and is a solid combination puncher who will give Garcia fits and cruise to a wide points victory.
Amir Khan KO 10 Danny Garcia: The danger for Amir Khan and his camp is underestimating Danny Garcia, the unbeaten 23-year old.
Khan has all the tools at his advantage: speed, movement, and indeed more experience. Garcia, nonetheless, likes a tear-up and Khan has shown that he can be drawn in.
After being drawn toe-to-toe last time out by Lamont Peterson, Khan is talking of painting the canvas this time. Seeing him in the Wild Card Gym on July 4, ten days before the bout, he has never looked better physically.
This is a great opportunity to showcase his skills and speed but also a chance to show he can think his way through the fight, and pick his punches astutely.
Carrying the WBA belt in will make a difference to him mentally. If he fights from the outside, he’ll pick Garcia off. That’s the plan. Khan by late stoppage around 10, or by wide points decision.
Amir Khan UD 12 Danny Garcia: Amir Khan can exorcise frustration that has been building like steam in a pressure cooker after a controversial loss to Lamont Peterson and the subsequent cancellation of the rematch because of Peterson’s positive test for a performance enhancer.
Danny Garcia will test him with pressure and power, but his relative inexperience figures to take a toll in the later rounds. Khan’s footwork will allow him to rely on an effective jab and solid straight right from the outside in what promises to be a testing ground for a move up from junior welterweight to welter.
Amir Khan W 12 Danny Garcia: Amir Khan’s height, hand speed and superior experience at higher levels of the sport will carry him through here. All credit to Garcia and his team for rolling the dice and taking this difficult assignment.
Who knows; the fight is taking place in one of the world’s gambling capitals and Garcia may cash in. But I don’t see it.
Amir Khan SD 12 Danny Garcia: Styles make fights and I’m leaning toward Amir Khan because he’ll be running all night.
If Danny Garcia can touch Khans chin then it could be short night for him because we all know Amir doesn’t have the best chin. Khan runs to a split decision victory.
Amir Khan UD 12 Danny Garcia: Danny Garcia has shown a reliable chin against Erik Morales and Kendall Holt, but the unbeaten champion doesn’t have the hand and foot speed or the skill set to out-box Amir Khan.
Garcia isn’t a huge puncher, either, but if he does connect with something big Khan proved against Marcos Maidana that he has learned how to survive a rough round.