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Khan-Garcia: Tempers flare

By Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos: Mary Ann Owen

If a ring had been set up yesterday in the media room, Amir Khan (26-2) and Danny Garcia (23-0) may not have waited until tomorrow night. The two champions would’ve likely fought during the final press conference promoting the bout. Tempers flared on all sides and the comments were always heated and occasionally comical.

Oscar De La Hoya highlighted the significance of Saturday’s bout taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, openly praising both fighters for being willing to fight the best at any time. “This matchup [between Amir Khan and Danny Garcia] is a matchup that we don’t see every day. We have two young champions who are at their peak. When you have two young fighters who are willing to fight anybody, when you are willing to fight the best, which is what boxing is all about.”

After those pleasantries, it was downhill from there.

Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel took to the stage next, blasting Khan over everything from his Olympic silver medal to his work ethic.

“Khan is a superstar, but that’s all he has. If he were American, nobody would care,” Garcia adds, alluding to the fact that American fans seem to care about nothing other than gold medals for its athletes.

“Khan has never faced a Latino like Danny,” he continued. “This is Latino blood. A nation. We are going to show the world who is the boss.”

Even Freddy Roach, who typically takes the high road in press conferences, threw a jab in the Garcia camp’s direction.

“We have had a great training camp,” Roach said. “We are ready for this fight. We had to switch gears in opponents a little bit, but there were no major setbacks. Amir is in the best shape of his life.

“Danny, I wish you luck, but I am not so sure about your dad!” he concluded to laugher from members of the press.

While not as fiery as his father, the undefeated Danny Garcia promised to make good on his father’s brash talk come fight night.

“My dad talked sh*t 23 times, and I backed it up 23 times,” Garcia said. “I am 23 and 0. Come Saturday, he will have talked sh*t 24 times and I am going to back it up for the twenty-fourth time.”

After having his accomplishments and fighting spirit questioned and insulted, Khan clearly had heard enough. The Pakistani fighter praised his training camp and the United States Olympic boxing team before tearing into Garcia with a bold promise for how the fight concludes.

“I will knock Danny Garcia out,” Khan declared. “I will take the world titles home. I know Danny didn’t train as hard as me. I promise I will knock him out. That is the only way.” Khan then directed his ire towards the elder Garcia.

“I cannot wait until after the fight when we stand here and I have knocked your son out. He is going to see what a Pakistani British fighter can do. He’s going to see a Pakistani fight and knock his son out. 23-1 isn’t a bad record. I’m sure Danny Garcia can come back from the defeat he’s going to get.”

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