By Keith Idec
For Danny Garcia to remain a potential opponent for Terence Crawford, the former WBC welterweight champion needs Crawford to beat Amir Khan on Saturday night.
Unlike most, Garcia isn’t convinced that’s what will happen Saturday night when Khan challenges Crawford at Madison Square Garden in New York. Garcia is concentrating on his own fight against Adrian Granados on Saturday night, but the Philadelphia native gave his assessment of Crawford-Khan on a conference call Tuesday.
“I honestly believe it’s a 50-50 fight,” Garcia said. “I think Terence Crawford has more momentum going into the fight than Khan, but I honestly believe it’s a 50-50 fight.”
Garcia stopped Khan in the fourth round to win their 140-pound title unification fight in July 2012. Khan’s hand speed and movement made matters difficult initially for Garcia, who lost two of the first three rounds on all three scorecards (28-28, 28-28, 28-28).
Garcia knocked down Khan once in the third round and twice during the fourth round before their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. If Crawford is to join Garcia, Canelo Alvarez and Breidis Prescott as opponents who’ve knocked out Khan, Garcia anticipates that it’ll happen later than his TKO of Khan occurred.
“I think it’s a great matchup because Khan is not an easy style to prepare for,” Garcia said. “You know, he has fast hands, he has quick feet. So, it’s definitely gonna be an entertaining fight. Terence Crawford’s not really a pressure fighter, to try to knock you out with one punch. He’ll try to break you down and take you out of there late. So, I think that it’s definitely an interesting matchup.”
The 12-round, 147-pound title bout between Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, and Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), of Bolton, England, will headline an ESPN Pay-Per-View show Saturday night (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $69.95 in HD). Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) and Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC), of Cicero, Illinois, will square off in a 12-round main event FOX will air from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
If Garcia and Crawford win, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., the company that promotes Crawford, is expected to again attempt to entice Garcia to challenge Crawford later this year. A Top Rank employee made a $4 million offer to Angel Garcia, Danny’s father and trainer, late last year for Garcia to face Crawford.
Angel Garcia never responded to Top Rank’s offer. Later, Arum agreed to pay Khan a $5 million guarantee to face Crawford.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.