Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Won a Dollar on Danny Garcia Beating Amir Khan

Last night, Danny “Swift” Garcia shocked Amir Khan and his more than 1 million Twitter fans with a KO Victory.

Alright, it wasn’t big money but I was one of only six percent of boxing fans who bet Danny “Swift” Garcia would knock out Amir Khan in last night’s fight at the Mandalay Bay Casino. 

I won a dollar from fellow fight fan David L. at whose home I watched the match. 

The risk was greater to my reputation than to my wallet.  One reason for that was that I’d never seen Khan fight live and had only seen YouTube snippets of the Pakistani boxer.

But I’d seen Danny Garcia.  I met him when he was a scrawny kid boxing in the Pennsylvania amateurs.  He was “nice,” as they say, but not in the way a parent applies the word to a son’s new girlfriend.   

Danny was “nice,” as in tough, convincing fighter, the type you often find in streets of Philadelphia.  He wasn’t the best boxer in the world, and Khan boxed better, but Danny was the kind of stick-around kid that would overcome your fancy footwork, long reach and straight power punches, and then he’d roll right over you.

Danny wasn’t even looking when he launched a swooping left banger that floored Khan for the first of three times before ref Kenny Bayliss stopped it.

The reason Danny wasn’t looking was because he was eating a Khan right hand that pushed he head down and blew out his cheeks. 

But that’s why I bet a dollar on Danny.  I knew he would be there, outclassed but not outfought.  If you landed an effective three-punch combination, you could count on it that something would be coming back at you.

It was coming.  You might slip it, you might let it slide off, but it was coming.  Danny would take two or three to give one but it was coming.

For Khan, it came in fits and starts until it came with concentrated power in the third round, which left Khan rattled and reeling into his corner between rounds.

When guys like Danny Garcia get you going, they don’t stop.  The killer instinct comes natural to Philly fighter’s going back to B-hop, to Hank Lundy, to  Joe Frasier, Witherspoon and a host of others. 

If you’re reeling you’re going to go, and Danny Garcia went at Khan with singular purpose and the memory chips of victory stamped into his fists, brain, and body. 

I have a great affinity for Philly fighters, if you don’t know, and I thank Danny Garcia and his dad and crew for bringing it home.  At the end, he thanked the people who believed in him, and knew what it was that drove him.

As for Khan, I didn’t like him much at first, but he was gracious in losing and had great athletic style.  I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m one of his million ardent admirers but I have new respect for him.

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