Friday, 27 September 2013

A look into the future: Garcia-Khan 2

Jack Price (@PriceyJ97) takes a look into the future and predicts what will take place if Amir Khan and Danny Garcia meet again.

Its December 2013, just two months after the proposed welterweight world title between British star Amir Khan and IBF champ Devon Alexander fell apart due to money problems in the negotiations, and Khan is now busy promoting his next fight with former unified light-welterweight champion and now 147lb contender Danny 'Swift' Garcia.

The fighters take their seats at the press conference to officially announce their February 2014 fight, and of course, Angel Garcia is the first to speak up. The controversial father shouts out to the media: "Welterweight fighters watch out! Danny's coming and this guy Khan is first!" Khan, obviously prepared for these type of antics this time, just rolls his eyes and shakes his head. Richard Schaefer goes through his usual introductions and now it's Khan's turn to talk.

"I'm looking forward to getting back on track and settling a score," says Khan either with confidence or delusion, whatever you want to call it. "Danny Garcia landed a lucky punch last time and I still feel I could have continued." A few laughs come from the Garcia team and the media as he says this. Khan, still keeping calm, says "I know none of you guys believe in me, but my family and my team do and we'll prove people wrong on Februrary 15th."

The weeks pass and the tension rises between the two fighters and their teams until its almost ready to explode on fight week. "Danny's gunna shut this guy up," shouts an aggressive Angel Garcia. This livens up the crowd who are predominantly there to support the American. Both men make weight and look big and strong for two men fighting at 147 for the first time in their careers. Khan weighs 145.6, whilst Garcia tips the scales at exactly 147. The final face-off is intense. Garcia, with his dad by his side, just smiles smugly as Khan utters the words "not this time."

Its now fight night at the Barclays Center and this highly-anticiapated rematch has really caught the imagination of the fans. Packed out with Americans, Brits and Latinos, it is the perfect atmosphere for such a bitter rivalry that has grown between these two fighters over the past year or so.

The fight begins and both men come out fast to take the center of the ring. Garcia loads up with two big right hands and both come very close to connecting. Khan reacts well by throwing a fast combination, but then instead of moving off, he stays inside and chooses to trade with Garcia. Has the game-plan gone out the window already? The answer, unfortunately for Khan, looks like YES. It looks as though he's let the rivalry and event get to him again. After a fast-paced first round in which both fighters land big shots, Khan makes his way back to the corner led by a nervous wreck in Virgil Hunter. "What are you doing?" asks Hunter, hiding his nerves very well. "I hurt him," replies Khan.
"Yeah, but he had you hurt plenty of times too! Stay f*cking smart!" shouts Hunter.

In the Garcia corner: "That's it Danny man. Keep doing what you're doing. Let loose with that right hand. We've got this" boasts Angel. Danny, always calm and composed in the ring, nods in agreement.

Round 2 begins and Khan looks to have listened to his corner. Jabbing and moving well, and then catching Garcia repeatedly when he lets loose with his speedy combinations. But once again the success doesn't last. At the end of the round Khan lunges in again and gets shaken up by a big left-hook. The Brit's legs turn to jelly and his game-plan goes out the window again. Luckily for the 27-year old, the bell rings just in time to save him. But how much time does he have left?

Khan comes out for round 3 but he's still clearly shaken up. Garcia gets straight on the front foot and takes the fight to Khan. Garcia, clearly showing the improvements he's made over the years, doesn't look wild at all. His shots are accurate and they're troubling Khan, who is desperately trying to defend. And its actually a body shot that sends the Brit to the canvas. Khan, down from this type of shot for the first time in his career, gasps for wind and just makes it to his feet. The referee lets him continue but the punishment also continues. Garcia piles on the pressure again, and the referee is forced to step in and save the helpless Brit. Khan tries to complain but it looks like now even he knows that it could all finally be over.

Garcia and his team celebrate in their usual excitable Philadelphia-style way. But the young star does make a point of going over and shaking Khan's hand. It's a sad sight to see the Brit demolished once again in what could be his final fight on the big stage.

After the fight Khan speaks to Showtime's Jim Gray. He just manages to string the words together, "he caught me good." Welling up, Khan finishes off by saying "I need to take some time out. I'll be back, but its gonna be tough." The crowd give him a round of applause before giving an even bigger one to the winner, Mr. Danny 'Swift' Garcia. "So you've done it again," says Jim Gray. "You look just as strong up at this new weight. What's next for you at 147? Who's your target?"

"I'll fight whoever," responds Garcia loudly and quickly. "I proved that by taking this fight. I struggled to get motivated for this one so I'm gonna need a bigger name next. I want to step up again. I want to fight the pound-for-pound best, and that's Floyd Mayweather."

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