When Amir Khan steps into the ring to face Danny Garcia in Las Vegas it will be a massive moment in the Bolton fighter's career.
It is a huge fight and will have big implications for his future ambitions and, quite simply, he can't afford another loss. He wants to dominate the 10-stone division and then move up to welterweight where all the super fights are against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley and Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
He needs a terrific performance, a victory and then I would expect him to move up to welterweight and look for the bigger fights.
I can't think of any more fights at 140 pounds. We were really buzzed up for the return fight with Lamont Peterson because he won the first fight, but apart from Peterson, who is now off the radar, I can't think of another huge fight for him at level.
Sometimes a little bit of a macho thinking comes over Khan and he drops his hands.
Quotes of the week
Danny Garcia v Amir Khan
WBC Light-Welterweight Title
2am, Sat (Sun), Sky Sports 1 HD
His future lies in the welterweight division - that is THE division at the moment - but what is the point of stepping up on a loss?
Khan's style is pretty much set and I don't think he will do anything other than he normally does. He throws bursts of punches with plenty of movement and that is what he has to do.
He is good at taking the initiative in fights and getting punches off first, so expect him to impose himself against Garcia
Sometimes, though, a little bit of a macho thinking comes over Khan and he drops his hands. After years of being criticised for not being able to take a punch, he wants to prove to everyone that he can take a punch. And he does things he shouldn't do, giving his opponents a chance to nail him with punches.
But Garcia will have to take the fight to Khan. When I watched Garcia against Erik Morales he seemed to like to counter punch and box at a nice steady pace.
He didn't set a hot pace against Morales. Khan, though, boxes at a terrific speed and throws lots of punches, so if Garcia tries to counter punch against Khan he will come second.
Don't get me wrong, I have quite a high opinion of Garcia and right from his early career he looked like he was heading for stardom. He has done what is expected of him to get to the title with a couple of decent names on his ticket. But I just wonder if this fight has come a little bit too quick for him.
He took the title from an aging super star in Erik Morales but he has not fought at the level or put in the performances that Khan has. Although he is defending champion, I think this is a step up for him.
It is not a fight that has been forced on him, it is not mandatory, so his camp are showing an awful lot of confidence in the kid and I am just wondering whether he can handle it.
I don't see Garcia as being exceptional in any one department. He is not the biggest puncher and he has been taken close a couple of times by decent fighters. But he doesn't have any major weaknesses either, apart from perhaps experience at the top level.
He is a good all-round fighter. He can box at long range, he can box up close and he seems to have a good chin. He has an attractive style and is good to watch.
I expect a big performance from Khan. He has had a long time out of the ring but I don't expect him to have any ring rust because I think Freddie Roach will have him in great condition. The fight could go all the way but I don't think Garcia has enough to beat Khan in a 12-rounder.
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Stuart Paton says...
I think Khan will be too fast for Garcia , i watched his fight against Morales and cant say i was too impressed , for me Khan to win by KO middle rounds , Good Luck Amir :)
Posted 02:25 13th July 2012
Danny Davis says...
Soem good points as always Jim, but I don't agree with your comparison of the calibre of opponents that the two have faced!! Has Amir Khan really fought an array of superstars?? He fought Peterson last time out, and although that result has effectively been 'overturned' he lost, all be it contentious but for me he did not do enough in a fight that he was expected to walk through (on paper anyway). Other than that he won on a technical decision against Marco Antonio Barrera, who lets be honest was way past his best, but he was picked to be a name on Khans CV. He beat the feather fisted Malinaggi, Dimitri Salita (who????), a young inexperienced Irish lad and Paul Mcloskey. Other than that there has been getting blown away by Prescott, and more recently Zab Judah and Maidana, who lets be honest really had Khan troubled. I wouldn't say this is by any means impressive, but Khans career has been very carefully selected to make him look good, but the problem for him is that he often doens't. He makes too many mistakes, exposes his chin and gets troubled a lot. He also overlooks opponents as he seems to be doing again with Garcia, and I can see it ending terribly for Khan!!
Posted 16:39 12th July 2012
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