By Emilio Camacho, Esq. Most experts picked Amir Khan to defeat Danny Garcia. Few gave Danny a real shot. Yet, I saw this coming. This is because Khan has a serious flaw seldom addressed even though it’s quite simple. If addressed, I believe Amir could climb up back to the top and, even though he is not likely to beat Maywheather or Pacquiao, he could handle anyone else for a while.
The issue is straightforward: someone has to tell Kahn that he is not Manny Pacquiao. Moreover, someone has to tell him that he will never be Manny Pacquiao. But let me elaborate on that.
For a while, I have seen Kahn trying to duplicate what Pacquiao does so effectively with everyone (except for Marquez and to a less extent in his last two fights). Pacquiao gets on his toes, jumps around an opponent, confusing him by coming from different angles and throwing multiple punches from these angles. Manny also jumps forward in a strange way to follow up punches in a manner that cannot be taught in the gym. In some instances, Manny also trades punches off the ropes and can turn around an opponent to mount an offense.
But the key to Manny’s success is that he is willing to exchange because his punching power backs him up all the way. Once Pacquiao hits you, the world changes. We saw it with De La Hoya, Hatton,
Mosley, Clottey, Margarito, Bradley, etc. In fact, the first two fights with Marquez, it was Manny’s punching power and ability to score knockdowns against Marquez that sealed the draw and the
decision. Take away the knockdowns, and Manny loses. The point is that Manny will always push for exchanges because his punching power is usually unmatched and the odds that he will knock you out before you do are big. He also has a reliable chin.
Let us now talk about Khan. In my view, ever since Khan started training alongside Pacquiao, he has tried to emulate Manny, even when it’s in his best interest. He got faster, started to get on his toes a lot more during fights, and, especially during his fight with Garcia, started jumping forward and following up with punches the way Manny does. This would have worked for Manny because Khan hit Danny very effectively for the first three rounds. However, if those had been Manny punches landing on Garcia, we would have witnessed another version of the Hatton knockout if Garcia kept coming. Although Garcia was able to take Kahn’s punches, he could not have survived the Filipino assault.
This gets to the main point of this article: how to fix Khan. Well, Khan needs to be told that he should stop trying to fight like Manny because he is not Manny. First, Khan does better when he remains flat-footed as opposed to getting on his toes like Manny. The reason is because Kahn lacks the effective balance required when he does it, while Manny can keep his balance most of the time, punch effectively, and still avoid a vicious counter, unlike Khan. Second, instead of trading needless punches, Khan must use his speed advantage to select effective shots, similarly to the way Maywheather does it. This is because Manny can afford to be hit two times to give one back because his power will prevail and his chin is solid. Kahn, on the other hand, does not have Manny’s power or chin. In short, Khan needs to find his won style. Perhaps this involves fighting more like Maywheather and less than Manny. The point is that if Kahn can acquire a better
stance, use his speed, pick his punches more effectively, and work on protecting his chin by avoiding needless exchanges, he could rule at 140 or 147 after Manny and Maywhether retire or get old. If not, many more knockouts will come and he will be subject to them.