By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir “King” Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) of Bolton, England and WBC Super Lightweight World Champion, Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs) were on hand at the ESPN Zone at LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles Monday morning to kick off the press conference for their July 14 fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Welcoming the media and getting it started was the Golden Boy Oscar De la Hoya as he talked about the summer matchup.
“I take my hat off, they didn’t have to take this challenge. Danny Garcia could have taken the easy road. Amir Khan didn’t have to take a tough challenge in Danny Garcia,” De la Hoya told media. “This goes to show you the character and confidence both fighters have. This should be an exciting matchup.”
Garcia accompanied by his father and trainer were first to talk.
“First of all we are having a good camp. Khan is an overrated fighter,” Garcia’s outspoken trainer and father Angel Garcia said at Monday’s press conference.
“When Danny starts hitting you what are you going to do 1-2 and roll out all night? Come on man you’re overrated, July 14 and still undefeated super lightweight champion of the world Danny Garcia,” Angel Garcia said.
The champion would follow as he thanked his team.
“July 14 it’s going to be a great night, Khan is a great fighter. You haven’t seen the best of me, I want to defend my title and July 14 I am still going to be champion,” Garcia told the media.
Khan’s team was disappointed with the remarks made by Mr. Garcia as Khan Promotions Asif Vali made it clear. “We will not disrespect our opponents, we are very disappointed Mr. Garcia.”
Amir Khan followed as he spoke at Monday’s press conference. “I promise you this will be a good fight,” Khan said at the press conference.
“When I beat your son, will I still be overrated?” Khan told Angel Garcia.
While Khan was talking, Angel Garcia interrupted Khan as members of team Khan shouted “Let him talk!” Garcia would make magic carpet ride remarks to Khan which nonetheless heated the situation. Things began to get a little heated between both sides as the press conference was coming to a conclusion but both would pose for cameras as they stood face to face exchanging words.
“I don’t like him he is very disrespectful,” Khan told Fightnews.
Khan is coming off a disputed split decision loss to Lamont Peterson in Washington D.C, Peterson’s hometown, last December. In the final round of that fight Amir Khan would had a point deducted by the ref, and it proved to be costly as Peterson went on to win a close decision. The rematch was set for May 19 as Khan was getting the opportunity to avenge his controversial loss when Peterson tested positive in the VADA’s drug test weeks before the fight as that fight would be called off and that left team Khan and Golden to make other plans.
“It was a competitive fight and things happen for a reason. In this case he was cheating and I had to move on,” Khan said.
“I have seen him fight, he has a dangerous style. Don’t get me wrong, he is tough [but] he has never faced anyone like me. I am the best guy he is facing,” Khan said about Garcia to Fighnews.com.
For the 24 year old Garcia, he comes in as Amir Khan’s new opponent after Khan’s May 19 bout with Lamont Peterson was cancelled when Peterson tested positive for a banned substance which opened the door for Garcia. Both fighters have also agreed to be tested by USADA leading to the fight.
“I am clean, its part of the sport. I did it when I was an amateur,” Garcia told Fightnews.com.
“It’s a big fight. I feel that every fight is a big fight fighting Khan. I feel like it’s another name,” Garcia told Fightnews.com on fighting Khan.
The Philadelphia fighter is coming off a unanimous decision win over Mexican legend Erik “Terrible” Morales last March in Houston.
“It was a good fight for me and a great experience that fight taught me a lot,” Swift said on his last fight told Fightnews.com.
Garcia also has wins over former world champions Kendall Holt last October and a decision win over Nate Campbell.
Khan vs. Garcia will continue the summer with another great showdown as the two best Jr. Lightweights will square off July 14 on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“It’s a shame that his father will not be taking the punches that his son is going to suffer for. You can expect an explosive a fight I will go in and win, I will be on my A game I will go in and knock Garcia out,” Khan told Fightnews.com.
“I usually don’t make predictions but I will stop him in the ninth,” Garcia told Fightnews.
“Khan vs. Garcia,” a 12-round super lightweight bout, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The bout will be telecast live on HBO World Championship Boxing at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT in the United States and live on Sky Sports 1HD in the United Kingdom at 1:00 a.m. GMT on July 15. Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges, are on sale now and available for purchase at the Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase atwww.mandaylaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for fans traveling from the United Kingdom are available for purchase online at www.sportscorporation.com or by calling +44 (0)845 163 0845.