Amir Khan official statement on Roach split:

September 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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After nearly four years together, in which we enjoyed some great success, I part ways with my trainer Freddie Roach. I would like to thank him for all his hardwork and help during this period and express my gratitude to him for the progress he helped bring about whilst I was under him.

I would also like to thank his team. I loved every minute training in LA at the Wildcard Gym, learning and sparring alongside some truly great fighters and meeting some fantastic people.

I feel now, however, is the right time in my career to make a fresh change and bring in a new trainer. I’m looking forward, and am excited, about the prospect of working alongside someone new. I will make an announcement in due course of who this will be.

There are some specific aspects of my game I’m looking to work on and hopefully improve. My next training camp begins in early October and I will have everything in place by then.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan fight intrigues Ashley Theophane

September 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Ashley Theophane is targeting a showdown with Amir Khan. Both Brits were relieved of their titles in recent months, so Theophane feels a meeting would make perfect sense.

The Londoner is currently in his second week of sparring with WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns and he believes the experience has put him in good stead for a tussle with the Bolton man.

“There’s only two fights against other British boxers which interest me and one of them is Amir Khan,” Theophane said.

“I’ve been British champion but that’s not a level I’m looking at again because I feel I can get on the world stage.

“The British title will always be there and that’s something I can come back to later if I want. Right now I’m looking at the big fights and I’m confident that Hatton Promotions can deliver those for me.”

If common opponents are anything to go by, Theophane has a valid case for being confident of beating Amir Khan.

Theophane took current light-welterweight number one Danny Garcia to a close split decision in early 2010, while Khan was stopped by the Philadelphian inside four rounds this summer.

He said: “I’m at my best when I fight the best and I pushed Danny Garcia all the way, Khan couldn’t do that.

“Everyone in the division wants to fight Amir Khan because they know his chin isn’t great and you can beat him with just one punch.”

Theophane added that he’d also be interested in a rematch with Lenny Daws, providing the Morden man wins his proposed vacant EU title meeting with Finland’s Ville Piispanen.

Video: Danny Garcia

July 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Prescott: I Need a New Claim to Fame!

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Miami (via Colombia) power puncher Breidis Prescott (25-4, 18 KOs) says he has mixed emotions about no longer being the only fighter to ever put Amir Khan to sleep.

While Prescott did it to Khan in 2008 in less than one round, Danny Garcia was able to join the exclusive club last Saturday when he laid out the now-former champion in four rounds.

Prescott is currently in hard training for his upcoming junior-welterweight battle against Francisco “Gato” Figueroa (20-4-1, 13 KOs) of Bronx, New York in the main event of Warriors Boxing’s “Miami Warfare II” event at the MACC at the Doubletree Hotel in Miami, Florida, on Saturday, August 18.

“In a way, I enjoyed the notoriety of being the only fighter to ever knock him out,” explained Prescott, “but it was also pretty clear he was never going to face me again. I chased him for years offering him the chance to redeem himself and he was always too frightened to take it. Now that there’s a new guy at the top of the division, maybe he’ll have a little more courage to take the tough fights against guys like me.”

Before actively pursuing a match between the two “Khanquerors”, himself and Garcia, Prescott must first get by a very talented Figueroa in a fight that is not a mere tune-up.

“He’s a good fighter,” said Prescott of Figueroa, “but he can’t take my power. No one can when I’m feeling as good as I am now.”

Prescott says seeing Khan again get stretched in a fight has given him new motivation: “I need a new claim to fame! I’m going to have to knock out somebody else at the top of the division. I like being the first to knock someone out. I’m the power punching pioneer!”

###

In the eight-round super featherweight co-main event that night will be Miami (via Cuba) power puncher Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (16-0, 11 KOs) facing Mexico’s Alejandro Rodriguez (14-6, 7 KOs).

Also scheduled for action will be a host of local and international prospects and contenders including super middleweight Roberto J. Acevedo 5-0 (4 KOs) of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, who will fight a four-rounder vs. TBA; Zenica, Bosnia’s light heavyweight up-and-comer Radivoje Kalajdzic (6-0, 4 KOs), who will fight a six-rounder vs. TBA; light heavyweight bomber Vilier Quinonez 3-0 (2 KOs) of Cienfuegos, Cuba, who will fight a six-rounder vs. TBA; undefeated light heavyweight Yunieski Gonzalez (8-0, 5 KOs) of Havana, Cuba, who will fight a six-rounder vs. TBA; and middleweight Leosvy Mayedo (2-0, 2 KOs) of Miami, who will fight a four-rounder vs. TBA.

TICKETS:

Tickets are priced at $75 ringside/$30 general admission. A limited number of VIP tables are also available. Please call (954) 985-1155 to purchase tickets.

On fight night, doors open 7:30 and the action starts 8:00. The MACC at the Doubletree Hotel is located at 711 NW 72nd Avenue in Miami.

Reasons on a scorecard that a fallen Khan can come back

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Amir Khan, who wears lightning bolts on his dark trunks, is a lightning rod for controversy, especially in the week after Danny Garcia stopped him in the fourth round of an upset that few foresaw.

The attention on Khan is unfair to Garcia, but that’s built into a modern star system created and sustained by social media. Khan, a designated star since the 2004 Olympics, knows how to use it. Garcia, a relative newcomer with an annoying trash-talker for a dad, does not.

Stardom looms for the unbeaten Garcia.

It’s not quite so clear for Khan.

But here is a scorecard, a guide of sorts, on what Khan should do and not do:

Retire: Ridiculous. Fellow Brit Carl Froch said he was misquoted by the BBC. Whatever Froch said or didn’t say, it’s safe to assume Froch would have a more damning comment if the 25-year-old Khan did in fact retire. There’s another way to describe a young fighter who retires a few years from his prime. He’s called a quitter. Khan is not. He proved that by fighting back after the third-round knockdown and getting up from a knockdown early in the fourth.

The chin: Golden Boy promoters insist that Khan proved he could withstand power in 2010 when he survived Marcos Maidana’s crushing blows in the 10th round. But the Maidana fight created a dangerous illusion that Khan could take a big punch. Khan believed it. That’s why he decided to brawl in the fourth against Garcia, who dropped him twice in the round. Remember, Maidana’s punches landed late. Garcia’s biggest punch landed early – in the third. If it hadn’t ended in the fourth, it would have in the fifth or sixth or seventh. Khan fought as if he thought Maidana had inoculated him from having a weak chin. No, he just needs to know he must use superior skills to protect it with his reach, jab and feet. A fragile chin, which Khan leaves high and exposed, is not a career-ender. From Floyd Patterson to Lennox Lewis, history is full of fighters who have learned to fight despite it and perhaps succeed because of it.

Freddie Roach: Don’t fire him. UK media are full of stories about Khan hiring a new trainer who can teach defense. Roach is known for emphasizing offense. Hard to blame him. A little more offense from Manny Pacquiao might have resulted in a stoppage that would have averted the flap over his split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley. It’s an insult to say Roach can’t teach defense. Boxing isn’t football. Offense and defense aren’t played by different squads and coached by different coordinators. They are inseparable. Khan just has to suspend a confidence bordering on arrogance and remember to execute a Roach plan with tactics defending the chin while augmenting the offense.

Time: There is still plenty of it left. It’s too easy of think of Khan as much older, perhaps because he’s been a star since the Athens Olympics when he was a 17-year silver medalist. He is still maturing. In a couple of years, Pacquiao will probably be a full-time Filipino politician. A couple of more fights are left in Pacquiao’s career. Pacquiao’s retirement would mean more time for, say, a rematch with Garcia.

Quotes, Anecdotes
· A sign of Khan’s over-confidence can be found in what was missing in his contract with Garcia. It didn’t include a rematch clause. A loss to Garcia never seemed to be even a remote possibility to Khan, who in pre-fight interviews often talked about fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December.

· Several possibilities have been mentioned for Garcia’s next bout, including Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi. A rematch with Khan was eliminated by Garcia’s dad, Angel, who in pre-fight exchanges insulted Khan’s Pakistani roots. “Why should we give him a rematch when he didn’t give us any respect?’’ Angel said.

AZ Notes
Phoenix super-bantamweight Alexis Santiago (11-2-1, 5 KOs), nicknamed Beaver, is scheduled Friday night for an 8-rounder in Santa Ynez, Calif., against Roman Morales (10-0, 6 KOs) of San Ardo, Calif., on a ShoBox-televised card featuring former World Boxing Association lightweight champ Miguel Acosta (29-5-2, 23 KOs) of Argentina against Armenian Art Hovhannisyan (14-0-2, 8 KOs).

Amir Khan Statement (16 July 2012)

July 16, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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I would like to thank all my fans and well wishers for the amazing support I’ve had from you since my defeat on Saturday night. Obviously the fight never went as planned but credit has to go to Danny Garcia who caught me with a good shot in the third round that I couldn’t fully recover from.

I guess that’s boxing, where one punch can change everything, it’s the reason so many fans love the sport. Many fighters down the years have bounced back from defeat to prove their greatness and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

I’ve never shirked any challenge or refused to fight anyone in my division even though it would have been easy for me to do so. Some may say that attitude is the wrong one to have but I’ve always wanted to please the fans and be involved in exciting fights because many of you pay good money to come and watch me, and it’s only right that you get to see the best fighting the best, especially in an age when so many top fighters hand-pick opponents.

I’m going to spend the next few weeks relaxing during Ramadan and recharging my batteries after what was a 16 week training camp for me. I’ll then sit down with my team to assess the options in front of me.

Well done to Danny Garcia on his performance, but I promise that I’ll bounce back stronger than ever as I look to regain my spot at the top of the 140lb division.

Danny Garcia ruins the Khan game

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Bart Barry

Philadelphia junior welterweight Danny Garcia was gradually fading against Erik Morales in March. The old Mexican master was coming forward in Houston’s Reliant Arena, and having taken away one of Garcia’s best punches, winning rounds and remembering his legacy. Then Morales began a right uppercut, moving forward and from distance – two mortal sins in one punch – and Garcia put his life behind a left-hook counter, and Morales crumbled.

In the final minute of the third round of his fight with Amir Khan Saturday in Mandalay Bay, Garcia was gradually missing Khan by wider and wider margins. Then Khan, catalyzed by the prospect of not being hit, began a right uppercut, moving forward and from distance, and Garcia put his life behind a left-hook counter, and Khan crumbled. The rest were details that ended with this line: Garcia TKO-4 Khan.

Danny Garcia used proper footwork to stand his ground from the opening bell, Saturday, choosing to be a fighter – not merely an athlete. The slower-reflexed man, Garcia took Khan’s first shot over and again and threw a dozen counter left hooks and overhand rights, which landed or barely missed, before he got the definitive punch of his career to come home. It struck Khan on the neck, arriving from an overshot place behind the ear, and rattled Khan’s stem enough to shake his brain, claim his equilibrium, and give him a storefront on Queer Street memorable as where Zab Judah set up shop against Kostya Tszyu in 2001. Khan’s footwork was worse with communication severed from his central nervous system to his lower body, yes, but only marginally so.

It’s not that Khan is a victim of brave choices – a man like that, after all, would have re-fought Marcos Maidana a couple Aprils ago instead of cherrypicking Paul McCloskey – rather it’s that Khan has enormous technical flaws boxing’s star system continues to overlook because it does not fit the narrative of a handsome, multicultural “warrior” with “fast hands” and “so much heart”

That is the confection boxing’s star system tried, and tried again, and will try at least one more time, to make of Khan. But boxing, bless its dark and easily corruptible heart, always finds the truth in its ring eventually, and the truth is this: Amir Khan, while a very decent and telegenic young athlete, is not a championship caliber fighter. He never has been because he is missing something, and it is not the obvious thing.

What Khan is missing is a certain willingness to be hit, and that is a flaw that unless one is a defensive specialist, professionals like Garcia and Maidana and Lamont Peterson will discover with an almost audible “Eureka!” and exploit. Even Garcia, a light hitter requiring an opponent’s wrong-leaning momentum to score a knockdown, threw haymakers, both counters and leads, from the fight’s opening minute. Why? Because he realized that, unlike Morales before him, Khan is not wired to step inside a wild punch and abuse its mania. Khan is hardwired to show athleticism – to leap backwards and demonstrate for euphoric onlookers how quick he is of hand and foot from the (way) outside. So long as Garcia threw threatening punches, then, he could trust Khan’s counters would be late-arriving and halfhearted when they got there.

Give Khan a chance to step forward, front-run and lead, and he’ll make a heavybag of you. But hurl crazy punches his way, and Khan’s first instinct, one trainer Freddie Roach has been unable to overcome, much to his reputation’s chagrin, is to flee momentarily and return once the craziness abates. It takes an opponent of incredibly little power across from him, a Paulie Malignaggi, say, for Khan to commit to a proper counter.

Khan’s handlers and their enablers thought they had that guy, again, with Garcia, a man who’d needed the full 36-minute distance to beat a fat and semiretired Erik Morales, and had only stopped 14 of his first 23 opponents. They were wrong, but do not expect them to admit it. Danny Garcia is not the guy they want. He’s prickly in his garish tiger stripes. He’s more Philadelphian than Puerto Rican but just Puerto Rican enough to not invoke images of Joe Frazier or Bernard Hopkins. “I want to thank God, I want to thank Al Haymon,” Garcia said immediately after stopping Khan, “he changed my life!”

And Garcia’s dad is a racist and a bigot, too. Goodness gracious, but when did boxing become about nonviolent expressions of offense? Yet, as part of Saturday’s HBO event, viewers were treated to broadcaster-cum-advocate Jim Lampley laying into Garcia’s dad like it was a cable talkshow. It was a better time when networks’ prefight meetings were candid affairs, and someday their programmers will rue broadcasting such footage.

It was a better time to be an aficionado, too, when broadcasters were not advocates, when they simply called both fighters’ punches and did not try to sell an audience the narrative most favorable to their last, or next, side project. But bad as Lampley was Saturday, that’s how good Max Kellerman was. He was the one member of HBO’s team who saw Garcia land several significant punches before the one that dropped Khan in a heap and made it a technical impossibility to celebrate Amir any further.

Saturday Garcia unified three titles in the junior welterweight division, though the path to that “unification” – as outlined by David Greisman on Twitter – does brings a chuckle. This Garcia knockout win, then, was not what was planned or promised, but aficionados are nimble enough to pivot like the Philadelphian, celebrate a great performance by an underestimated talent, and enjoy whatever comes next. We’ll see if the star system’s footwork is good as Khan’s.

Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com

Garcia stops Khan in stunner

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Norm Frauenheim (Ringside)


LAS VEGAS – Danny Garcia calls himself Swift. Now we know why. He was swift to emerge from anonymity. He was swift to impose himself on the junior-welterweight ranks. And he was so swift to dispose of heavily-favored Amir Khan Saturday night that it might take Khan awhile to understand what happened.

Garcia appeared to be outclassed for three rounds by the speed in Khan’s hands and feet when suddenly Khan was down and looking as if he had been trampled. One looping left from Garcia seemed to catch Khan between his jaw and neck dropped him as if he were a pedestrian hit by a speeding truck.

Khan got up, but his eyes looked as hollow as his future.

The inevitable end was there, in those eyes and like that nickname on Garcia’s trunks and robe. It was swift. In the fourth, it was over. Khan was finished, a TKO loser at 2:28 of the round at Mandalay Bay. A wobbling Khan ran into straight a right that put him back on to the canvas early in the fourth. Late in the round, two Garcia rights, a double shot, proved to Khan’s last call. Again, Khan managed to get up. But referee Kenny Bayless looked at him once, looked at him again, asked him a question and said no more.

“Maybe, they made the right decision,’’ Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) said.

No maybes about it.

Khan said his mind was clear and that he was ready to fight on as he had against Marcos Maidana in the in the 2010 Fight of the Year. But his advantage was gone. Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs), bloodied over his right eye in the second round, had proven what Breidis Prescott exposed in a first-round KO of Khan in 2008. It’s called a suspect chin. It’s not suspect anymore. It’s forever stamped as fragile.

“I always knew I was going to win this,’’ said Garcia, who was about a 4-to-1 underdog and an 8-to-1 shot to win by knockout. “I needed a great fighter in front of me to show how great a fighter I was.’’

There were doubts about Garcia’s credentials, which now includes the World Boxing Association’s version of the 140-pound title to go along with the World Boxing Council’s belt. He beat a fading Erick Morales. But the wear-and-tear on the aging Morales left questions about that victory.

“I hit him with the same shot that I hit Morales with,’’ said Gracia, who collected $540,000, $410,000 less than Khan’s $950,000. “That shows how good a fighter Morales still is.’’

And, maybe, how great a fighter Garcia is about to be.

On The Undercard
The Best: Puerto Rican lightweight Abner Cotto (14-0, 6 KOs), Miguel Cotto’s nephew, showed he understands the family business with an eighth-round stoppage of Mexican Juan Manuel Montiel (7-6-3, 2 KOs).

Cotto rocked Montiel with a blinding succession of punches along the ropes. Dazed and already flat-footed, Montiel looked as if were ready to surrender. Referee Jay Nady didn’t give him the chance. Nady ended it 1:03 of the eighth.

The rest: Super-middleweight Fernando Guerrero (24-1, 18 KOs) scored a knockdown in the second round and points through the next eight for a unanimous decision over Jose Medina (17-11-1, 7 KOs) of Tifton, NH; Toronto junior-middleweight Phil Lo Greco (24-0, 13 KOs) needed more time to walk to the ring than he needed to stop Brandon Hoskins (16-2-1, 8 KOs), a Missouri fighter who was knocked down twice and beaten by TKO 86 seconds after the opening bell; super-middleweight J. Leon Love (12-0, 7 KOs) of Dearborn Heights, Mich., scored two knockdowns in the first round and then relied on an accurate jab for a unanimous decision over Joseph De Los Santos (10-1-3, 4 KOs) of Puerto Rico; Orlando junior-middleweight Daquan Arnett (5-0, 3 KOs) had a short night, scoring a second-round KO of Eddie Cordova (3-3-1, 1 KO) of Clearfield, Utah; Jamie Kavanaugh (11-0-1, 5 K0s), an Irish lightweight training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif., scored a unanimous decision over Paul Velarde of Orange, Calif.

Khan, Garcia are light on the scale in a weigh-in light on the buzz

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Norm Frauenheim


LAS VEGAS – Amir Khan and Danny Garcia were light on the scale Friday at a weigh-in that included all of the usual poses and promises, yet little of the buzz that puts some drama into the pre-fight ritual.

A crowd of a few hundred watched Khan and Garcia weigh in at 139 pounds, one under the limit for their junior-welterweight bout Saturday at Mandalay Bay. From Garcia’s potential emergence to Khan’s bid to re-assert his claim on stardom after a controversial loss, the ingredients for an interesting fight are there. But there are questions about whether many paying customers will be.

Ticket sales have been slow, according to sources at the box office. Barring a good walk-up during the hours before opening bell, a small crowd would raise familiar questions about Khan’s marketability in the United States. He’s a British fighter of Pakistani descent. Some of his fans were there Friday, dressed in T-shirts that said Khan’s Army. But it was a small army.

In part, there’s been a dilution of interest in his bout with Garcia in the UK because of the heavyweight brawl Saturday between Dereck Chisora and David Haye in London. Much of the UK media stayed home for Chisora-Haye instead of traveling to Las Vegas for Khan’s first fight since his controversial loss to Lamont Peterson in Washington D.C.

Then, there’s Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs), a Philadelphia fighter who is still relatively unknown, even in his own country. His dad and trainer, Angel, has been trash-talking non-stop in an evident attempt to gain some notoriety for his 24-year-old son. But if early ticket sales are an indication, the public hasn’t been paying attention. What’s more, the bookies aren’t impressed with Angel Garcia’s braggadocio. Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) was about a 5-to-1 favorite on Friday. That means he is expected to win the HBO-televised bout easily.

“I will knock Danny Garcia out,’’ Khan said. “ 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 said it with the conviction of fighter who knows he must be sensational in his bid to eliminate questions that have lingered since his mixed performance against Peterson, who was forced out of rematch by a positive test for a synthetic testosterone.

Khan also had a message for Garcia’s dad, who has said he has never seen a good fighter of Pakistani descent.

“I cannot wait until after the fight when we stand here and I have knocked your son out,’’ Khan said. “He is going to see what a Pakistani-British fighter can do. I cannot wait to get in there.’’

Angel Garcia couldn’t wait to deliver a rhetorical counter.

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

Well, a fraction of the world anyway.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S AMIR KHAN VS. DANNY GARCIA FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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AMIR KHAN, WBA Super Lightweight Super World Champion

“Training camp has been brilliant. It was a long camp, but we paced it well. We were very professional and smart with the way we did things. It was a 15-week camp and I enjoyed every second of it.

“I did make a lot of mistakes in my last fight [against Lamont Peterson], but it was a wakeup call. I learned a lot from that fight.

“We will win the title. We will take the WBC belt home to the U.K. It is a title I have always wanted.

“I have fans all over who have traveled to Las Vegas for this fight. A lot of them came over for my fight against Peterson too and it means a lot to me. The U.K. press shows me so much support as well and I am grateful.

“I will knock Danny Garcia out. 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.

“[To Angel 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. I cannot wait to get in there.”

DANNY GARCIA, WBC Super Lightweight World Champion

“We had a great camp and great sparring partners. I am just ready to showcase my skills on July 14.

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

“It means the most when your team always supports you.”

FREDDIE ROACH, Khan’s Trainer

“We have had a great training camp. 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.

“[To Garcia] Danny, I wish you luck, but I am not so sure about your dad!”

ASIF VALI, Khan Promotions

“Amir has worked hard, the team has been fantastic. He is ready to go. I have never ever seen Amir in this kind of shape.

“Whatever happened with Peterson is behind us. Now we have an opportunity to unify those belts.

“Amir Khan won a medal in the 2004 Olympics and in order to do something like that you have to go out and earn it. You have to make sacrifices, which is what Amir has done his whole career.

“We are very proud to say that the U.S.A. Boxing Team will be training in our gym in Bolton. As soon as Amir gets back from this fight he will be hosting them. Boxing in the Olympics is a big thing.

“It’s going to be a fantastic fight. Tune in and watch because we are going to have the belts on the line and Amir is going to win.

“We wish the very best to team Garcia.”

ANGEL GARCIA, Danny Garcia’s Father/ Trainer

“This fight right here is going to be a spiritual fight. Spiritually, mentally and physically; it is going to come down to who is a greater spirit.

“Danny is on weight right now without struggling.

“Everybody on this team has been here from the beginning. We don’t have changes. There’s no place like home. When you move to another state you are doing yourself a disservice. If you are disciplined and you give your soul to this sport anything is possible.

“Khan is a superstar, but that’s all he has. If he were American, nobody would care.

“This fight is going to show the world who is the boss. Danny is the boss.

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

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions

“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. This is what really drives me, 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.

“The fact that this is a unification is great, but these two fighters that we have here are fighting because they want to be great. They want to leave a legacy.

“Personally I am very proud and thrilled that Amir Khan is willing and able to go up against Danny and that Danny Garcia is willing and able to go up against Amir Khan. It has been a while since we have seen two young, strong fighters [fight each other] at their peak and I want to say thank you to them.

“I believe this fight is going to bring out the very best of Danny Garcia and the same goes for Amir Khan.”

RICHARD STURM, President of Entertainment, MGM Resorts

“Mandalay Bay would like to welcome our partners at Golden Boy Promotions, HBO and the media and of course the fighters.

“Khan, who’s known for his exceptional speed and skills showcased that talent perhaps his most accomplished victory – a knockout over Zab Judah nearly one year ago to date here at Mandalay Bay.

“Danny Garcia returns to Mandalay Bay for the first time in almost three years. With a win over Khan, he will extend his undefeated record to 24-0 in what will be an exciting bout Saturday night.”

AMIR KHAN vs. DANNY GARCIA UNDERCARD FIGHTERS

FERNANDO GUERRERO, Rising Super Middleweight Star

“I think boxing is one of the hardest sports. Before we even get in the ring, I want to say to Amir, Danny and everyone else, good luck because I know how hard it is.

“It has been a long journey for me and I am loving it. I used to just work hard, but now I am learning how to work hard and love life.

“I want to prove to the world that there is no difference between me and the other talent on HBO and I am going to show it. I want everyone to be there to witness an electrifying card because I know it is going to be an electrifying show.”

PHIL LO GRECO, Undefeated Welterweight Contender

“It is an honor and a thrill for me to be here.

“I am an Italian guy from Canada. Ever since I was a kid, it was my dream to fight in Las Vegas. It’s a big responsibility to fight in Las Vegas.

“I fight for the Italian people, the Canadian people and now I am fighting for all of the hard core American boxing fans. I want to give them a good show and prove myself Saturday night.”

J LEON LOVE, Undefeated Middleweight Prospect

“It is a pleasure to be on this card. We worked hard and this is going to be a great night of boxing.”

JAMIE KAVANAUGH, Undefeated Lightweight Prospect

“This Saturday is going to be a great night of boxing.

“I have been sparring with Amir Khan and training with Freddie. I can’t wait for Saturday night.”

ABNER COTTO, Undefeated Lightweight Prospect

“I want you to know that I am a strong prospect. It is a pleasure to be on this card and pretty soon Puerto Rico will have another world champion.”

# # #

Khan vs. Garcia, a 12-round unification fight for Khan’s WBA Super Lightweight Super World Championship, Garcia’s WBC Super Lightweight World Championship and the vacant Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. Doors open on fight night at 3:00 p.m. PT and the first bell rings at 3:30 p.m. Khan vs. Garcia will be televised 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 2:00 a.m. BST Sunday, July 15.

Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges, are now on sale 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.

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