Amir Khan has tipped Danny Garcia to overcome Keith Thurman in their thrilling showdown to set up a riveting rematch between the pair later this year.
WBC champion Garcia and WBA champion Thurman meet in what is one of this year’s biggest and most exciting fights, exclusively live on BoxNation this Saturday night.
30-year-old Khan is the mandatory challenger for the WBC welterweight title and believes that Philadelphia fighter and two-weight world champion Garcia will see off knockout king Thurman.
“Danny is a very tough and underrated fighter even today, despite winning world titles. I think that his experience and boxing brain will see him beat Thurman. It’s a good matchup and it is a close one to call on paper,” Khan told BoxNation.
“Garcia does go into fights as the underdog and finds a way to win. I think he’s fought the better names, whereas Thurman hasn’t really been in with many top fighters. If he stops Garcia I will hold my hands up and say well done because that would be very impressive.
“It will be a close fight on the cards but I believe Danny will edge it on points. He’s grown into the welterweight division and is a better boxer than he gets credit for,” he said.
Bolton’s Khan waits in the wings for the winner and will be ringside at the Barclays Center in New York.
He suffered a fourth-round stoppage loss to Garcia in 2012, a swiftly arranged matchup following the collapse of his rematch with Lamont Peterson after the American had failed a drugs test.
28-year-old Garcia was a relative unknown at the time and Khan admits he took the fight lightly but is in no doubt that they will eventually meet again.
“I believe that me and Danny will cross paths again,” said Khan. “When we fought the first time I underestimated him and took him lightly. I had never seen him fight before. My rematch with Lamont Peterson had just been called off and I overlooked him.
“I had been in camp for so long training for Peterson and it was frustrating having to start a whole new camp again so soon after. I wanted a fight right away and he was one of the names that came up so I took it without even giving it much thought.
“But full credit to him, he has gone on to have a great career and prove that he is among the very best out there. I think eventually we will meet in the ring again.
“One fight I always get asked about by fans is the rematch with Danny and I’m sure it’s in our destiny – but this time with a different outcome,” Khan said.
The former unified light-welterweight world champion is determined to grab another title and the winner of the Garcia-Thurman fight is one route he is eyeing up.
“I’m mandatory by the WBC to face the winner of this fight so whoever it is I will be willing to take them on. It will probably be nearer the end of the year but I’ll be ready to face either guy,” said Khan.
“I want to become a world champion again and that is what drives me. If people have written me off that doesn’t faze me, it only fuels me. I have no doubt that I will get my hands on another world title. 2017 is going to be a big year for me,” he said.