Golden Boy Promotions has bounced back from the loss of Khan-Peterson II with a confirmed July 14 card featuring Amir Khan challenging newly crowned WBC junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia, and undefeated heavyweight Seth Mitchell facing Jonathon Banks.
Although the fight announcements are not even 24 hours old, fight fans are already weighing in with predictions and opinions. Here is no different, as we go right to who should be the early favorites and what can be expected on July 14.
KHAN VS. GARCIA
It’s a welcome surprise to see Danny Garcia stepping up to face an elite opponent on short notice. As Teddy Atlas would say, Garcia is “behaving like a fighter.” Even more so, he’s behaving like a fighter who holds a championship belt.
Losing the Khan-Peterson rematch hurts, but Khan has a more than a suitable replacement. While Garcia isn’t as experienced as Peterson, he’s young, undefeated, punches hard and is coming off the biggest name win of his career, a tough decision victory over Erik Morales. And if the IBF and WBA do what’s right and return Khan’s belts, the July 14 bout would be a three-belt unification battle.
With that said, Amir Khan should be the heavy favorite to win. While not the counter-puncher Morales is, Khan is going to befuddle Garcia with his explosive hand speed and movement. Garcia’s has good power and he’ll stun Khan when he does land, but it’s doubtful he land the big shots consistently. Garcia is somewhat plodding in his footwork and prone to leaving his head stationary, which will give Khan many opportunities to land first.
Garcia has a puncher’s chance, especially if he gets that left hook going, but expect Khan to notch an impressive stoppage by the seventh round.
MITCHELL VS. BANKS
After a brief scare in the opening minutes of his 3rd round TKO over Chazz Witherspoon in April, Seth Mitchell is doing two smart things with his career: staying active and gradually upping his competition. Jonathon Banks is no world-beater, but he’s a step-up from Witherspoon. The 29-year-old veteran currently holds the fringe NABF title that he won back in 2009 over Travis Walker. Although a former cruiserweight, the 6’3 Banks has been competing at heavyweight for three years and filled out to a 220-225 pound frame. And for the still developing Mitchell, this bout gets him back in the ring and on TV less than three months after an exciting victory.
While Mitchell should win, if he comes out making the same mistakes as he did early against Witherspoon, there’s a good chance Banks puts him on the canvas. He’s much more disciplined than Witherspoon, a better counter-puncher and a better inside fighter. Mitchell’s bad habits of lowering his left when throwing his right and leaving out his left jab can be exploited by a fighter of Banks’ caliber.
If Mitchell’s corrects those mistakes and utilizes those powerful hooks to the body that hurt Witherspoon, he should notch another knockout victory. I see Mitchell jumping on Banks early and wearing him out inside with his 20-plus pound weight advantage in route to a TKO stoppage by the fifth round.
Writer’s Note: At press time, the card is expected to take place at either the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas or the Honda Center in Anaheim.