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KhanGarcia Hogan9Moment-by-moment thoughts on Khan-Garcia in real-time:

Pre-Fight Prediction: Khan TKO 5. Here’s what I saw/though when watching:

• Round 1 Bell rings and Khan is firing big shots. He lands a few hard right hands in the early moments and already has Jim Lampley gushing. Khan has lots of fans that gush about his natural boxing skills. Count me in after round 1. He threw BIG punches, was exciting, and he’s got the kind of mouth-watering offensive skills that remind me of a young Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Really. Too far? Probably.

• Not many guys out there are both top-tier fighters and always fun to watch. Perhaps Miguel Cotto rising through the ranks from 2005-2009 is the most recent fighter like that? Maybe it was Cotto’s similar blend of offensive firepower and vulnerability to that of Khan. Victor Ortiz could have been that guy (is it too early to speak in past tense about his career as a top fighter?).

• Round 2: Khan winning the round just like he won round 1 by landing 2 shots to every 1 of Garcia’s, but Khan is taking some very clean shots. Garcia just barely misses a few more big punches, and Khan’s certainly leaving some openings.

• Garcia being very patient, but perhaps to a fault. He’s comfortable in these exchanges even he’s losing them.

• Khan just doesn’t have the defense to match his elite offensive skills. He can take a shot, but takes too many.

• Khan has been firing inconsistent left hooks. Some are short and very effective. Others are looping, missing, and leaving him vulnerable to right hands. It’s not been and issue yet as these different types/angles have kept Garcia from timing his own right hands as of yet.

• Round 3: Khan back to work to start the round as he now leads two rounds to none on my scorecard. Despite continuing to set the pace and determine when the exchanges occur, Khan is still taking big punches from Garcia. To this point, his chin holds up.

• Max Kellerman just casually dropped the word capitulation, in regard to Garcia, in round 3. He is also correct in saying that Amir Khan, the longer fighter in this matchup, is being very aggressive and encouraging exchanges (not necessary, really, but goes back to him being a consistently exciting fighter).

• Danny Garcia has a really solid chin. He definitely felt several Khan power punches and was never badly hurt. We’ll see if he can hold up, but he seems to be expending less energy than Khan, so the later this goes could be beneficial for Garcia.

• Khan, a good body puncher, hasn’t thrown many to this point, and Garcia has landed a few nice hooks to the ribcage.

• Thinking about the fact that Khan has not really flinched at some of Garcia’s cleanly-landed power punches… only Maidana and Prescott have badly hurt him, and they’re both serious power punchers (albeit limited ones). Maybe Khan’s chin isn’t all that suspect…and then BOOM. Khan is badly hurt by a Garcia left hook, and he’s stumbling and looking lost once returning to his feet. Saved by the bell has just been epitomized.

• I absolutely cannot believe that the referee let him keep fighting.

• Amir Khan immediately got right back into an exchange. The guy simply can’t tie up when he’s hurt, and he’s a fighter, alright.

• It was unfortunate that it looked like Freddie Roach didn’t help him in between rounds. Wouldn’t say it’s shocking at this point, but Khan needed some help to regroup and re-strategize. I am all for his safety, and Roach was probably just assessing his guy’s ability to continue, but he needs to help this kid stay away/hold for 1 round.

• Watched the replay of the knockdown… was that a kneck KO? Khan got hit right in the side of the neck, so I guess it’s not his chin in question.

• Round 4: Khan has so much heart to be on his feet right now! Garcia just landed the first 5 punches he threw, and they were all straight, clean power shots. Khan’s glove touches the canvas, knockdown #2. This one could be over as Khan’s on some rubber legs. Khan gets up and pushes on.

• Garcia is landing EVERYTHING in Round 4! He is still rationing his shots, kind of sniping/picking his spots rather than punching himself out. Could pay off, and he’s definitely close to finishing.

• And out of nowhere, Khan is throwing haymakers in return! Two huge hooks by Garcia and a massive uppercut by Khan.

• Khan looks to be out on his feet even though he’s punching back with some authority. He hasn’t blocked anything and he’s absorbing punishing right hands. There’s STILL A MINUTE LEFT in a round that feels like it’s already been the longest one I’ve ever seen.

• Down goes Khan again, and this one looks like the end. Oddly enough, Khan withstood several big bunches, and what seemed like a glancing blow was the final knockdown. Ref Bayless waives it off signaling a TKO for Danny Garcia.

• My initial reaction was that Bayless should have given Khan the chance to make it through the round just because he continued to fight back while upright, but you can’t really have a problem with the stoppage. Khan could’ve been badly hurt, and I’m all for fighter safety.

• Post-Fight thoughts:

• Garcia’s dad is the worst.

• I still think Amir Khan-Floyd Mayweather would be (or would have been) competitive and an awesome fight to watch. Conversely, I think Garcia likely gets shutout by Floyd in a fight that’s probably not that exciting to watch.

• Max Kellerman is not only phenomenal at his job (I’ve already written about how amazing Jim Lampley is with such astute observations in real-time), but he’s still such a fan! Kellerman’s genuine enthusiasm consistently stands out and he’s really been a great asset (see: replacement for Larry Merchant) for HBO.

• During the post-fight interview with Max, Oscar De La Hoya literally showed up seconds after Danny Garcia says, “Maybe I’m a pretty boy”. Kinda funny.

• What’s the deal with Al Haymon? What are his interests? Personal wealth? There’s nothing wrong with that, but does he just want his guys to make the most possible? Is he functioning as an agent? I do not like the guy, but maybe he can help bridge the gap between Golden Boy and Top Rank fighters if he can get enough fighters under his advising umbrella… maybe I’m dreaming.

• Boxing has a chance to get a real boost from Twitter. If you’re interested in the sport, it’s an awesome way to talk boxing with large groups of people you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. My timeline is very active, entertaining, and diverse on fight nights. Celebs, professional writers, fans, and fighters all can connect in the same place to talk boxing. If HBO or Showtime can leverage/harness twitter’s effectiveness, it could make for some very cool, interactive fight night experiences. Simple #KhanGarcia hashtags ain’t it.

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