By John J. Raspanti - Danny Garcia’s studier chin proved to be the difference as he stopped Amir Khan in the fourth round at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. With the victory, unbeaten Garcia defended his WBC title and also took Khan’s WBA title and the vacant Ring Magazine belt.
The win catapulted Garcia (24-0,
15 KOs) to the top of the super lightweight division while sending the
heavily favored Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) into career crisis.
Khan came out aggressively in the first round. He bounced a few jabs off
Garcia’s face. His first right hand connected, sending Garcia back a
step. Khan kept up the pressure. He lanced Garcia with two more hard
right hands. Garcia landed a right of his own at the end of a very
entertaining first round.
In round two, Khan continued his onslaught. Two more right hands
connected. A solid left hook sliced open a cut over Garcia’s right eye.
Garcia, blinking away the blood, landed a right. Khan fired another hard
combination at the bell as the crowd roared.
The hard hitting action continued in round three. Khan was hitting
Garcia with ease, but the iron chinned WBC champion refused to wilt.
Khan connected with another combo, but Garcia countered with two rights
of his own. Garcia bullied Khan into the ropes and worked the body. Khan
maneuvered the action back to the center of the ring, but soon
regretted it. Garcia’s counter left hook crashed off the the neck
area of Khan, sending the 6-1 favorite collapsing to the canvas. Khan
beat the count, but staggered his brain woozy and scrambled. He needed
to survive for ten seconds and did, just barely.
At the bell for round four, Garcia jumped on the backpedaling Khan. A
right glanced of Khan‘s head, causing his left glove to touch the
canvas. Khan’s head was clearing but not enough to buy him more time. He
stood toe to toe with Garcia. He even landed a hard right hand, but the
punch had no effect on his tough as nails foe. A Garcia left bounced
off Khan’s head sending the former champion down for the third time. He
got up and nodded that he was ok, but referee Kenny Bayless disagreed,
stopping the contest.
The time was 2:59 of round four.
“I feel great. I always knew I had it in me.” said the thrilled Garcia
in the ring. “I knew Amir Khan would bring out the best in me. I knew he
would come out fast”
“It just wasn’t my night,” said the dejected Khan. “I made some mistakes in there.”
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