Amir Khan Happy With Ariza-To-Tabares Switch, Will Go to 147, Soon
Danny Garcia's dad Angel talked trash and got Amir Khan and son Danny riled up at this June 4 press conference. The fighters were gentlemen on a Monday conference call. (Hogan)
Amir Khan will be fighting possibly his last fight at 140 pounds on July 14 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, against Danny Garcia, who is subbing in for Lamont Peterson. Peterson tested positive for testosterone for the May 19 rematch, just ten days before Khan would try to show the world that the Peterson decision victory was an aberration, and so Garcia was picked to step in. The two men talked on a Monday conference call to hype the scrap, and Khan talked about drug testing, his plans after this bout, and how he feels after dumping strength and conditioning coach, Alez Ariza, while Garcia got points for repeatedly stating that he wants to fight the best, and that he eagerly accepted this
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya talked about the main event, Khan-Garcia. He said HBO will show the scrap, kicking off at 11 PM ET, and Sky Sports will run it in the UK. Of Garcia (23-0 with 14 KOs) , the WBC super lightweight champ, Oscar said he is considered one of boxing's brightest young stars. The 24 year old, he said, prefers that the judges stay home. Garcia got on the line. He said his nine week camp has been solid. He wants to give the fans a "great fight."
He then introed Khan, the 25 year old who won silver at the 2004 Olympics, who has a 26-2 record. He said his camp has been good, but long, because this bout was a reset because Lamont Peterson was pulled from a Peterson-Khan rematch, in May, because he tested positive for a PED.
Garcia was asked what his reaction was when offered this Khan fight. Did this come quicker than he expected? He said he knew his division is tough and he was immediately excited to accept. You have to fight the best to be the best, he said. Is Khan much different than, say, an Erik Morales, who beat via UD12 in March? Putting two younger fighters in against each other, he said, insures a great fight.
Khan said he considers this fight a challenge, and he jumped to the offer when Golden Boy offered it. Khan said he wants to have some downtime, and enjoy Ramadan. He called Garcia a "good fighter," and figured one day, down the line a bit, the Garcia name might come up. Khan said Garcia has some similarities to Peterson, in his strength, speed and right-handed style.
Khan said yes, he did fixate a bit on the Peterson situation and wanted to settle the grudge, show the world the first fight, in December 2011, was an aberration. He said a win here will lead to some super fights, so he is not looking past Garcia.
Khan said he did want to get "his" title back, from Peterson, and improve on things he did the first fight, but swears he put that scuttled rematch behind him.
A win, Garcia said, would put him in a "new category." He said his hard work, he is "pretty sure," will result in a win. Hearing people say this fight is "too soon" just makes him train harder. To his credit, he shot down this mindset, that a champion should step up in increments, and not fight the very best right away. He said he learns every fight, gets smarter, more confident. Garcia said he showed a lot of heart against Morales, especially when cut in round eleven. Fans want to see "blood, sweat and tears," from a Mexican-type warrior, and he said he showed his immense heart in that scrap.
Khan said he will jump on any Garcia mistake, that this is a different level than the kid has faced. Does Garcia have anything he hasn't seen? He will be ready for it all, he said. Garcia said he will do what he has been doing, just smarter and harder.
Khan said he isn't put off by trash talk by Garcia and his trainer-father. He prefers to stay classy, he said. Trash talk makes him train harder, he said. He said he will think of Pakistan when he wins.
If he beats Garcia, would he move to 147, and fight a Mayweather, and a Tim Bradley? He isn't looking too far past this one, but Khan does want to fight the best.
Khan was asked about the recent PED explosion. He said he's happy that a cleanup is occurring. He said Peterson might've been aided in the first fight to the extent that it helped him stay on his feet. Khan said USADA will do the testing for him and Garcia, and that he leaves it up to Golden Boy to choose whether USADA or VADA do the testing.
Khan said he won't get heated when he sees Garcia's father, who ranted at a June 4 press conference that Khan hasn't faced a Puerto Rican boxer, and is merely a Euro product.
Khan said the July 14 night is a good one for Brit boxing fans, with David Haye meeting Dereck Chisora the same night. Khan also said he will attend the Olympics in London, and go to the opening and closing ceremonies.
Garcia spoke about the Morales fight. He said 2/3 of the way through he knew he won, and that it was a "great experience" managing to fight through the cut and being forced to trade.
If the Khan fight didn't happen, Garcia said he didn't have a plan. He just wanted to fight the best out there.
He said in the first Peterson fight, he did things in camp he should not have done. He said a switch away from Alex Ariza as strength and conditioning coach, to Ruben Tabares, has helped him. "It was the change I needed," he said. "It was a big wakeup call me the Peterson fight...he's making me work hard and challenging me..That's what a young fighter needs, to do new things."
Readers, how do you assess this fight, technically? What are Khan's edges in this bout? is this "too much, too soon" for the Philly kid? Weigh in!