FORMER two-time light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan believes Paul Malignaggi could pull off an upset when he fights Danny Garcia this weekend.
Malignaggi, a former two-weight world champion, fights Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in what will be Danny’s first fight at welterweight.
Khan, who has fought both men, beating Malignaggi in 2010 and losing to Garcia two years later, feels the 34-year-old has the skills to hand Garcia his first professional loss despite having not fought since April 2014.
“It’s been a while since Paulie last fought so there may be some ring rust but I believe he has a good chance of winning the fight over the 12 round distance,” he told Boxing News.
“Purely as a boxer I think Malignaggi is better but there are other factors and things Garcia has that can counter Paulie’s boxing skills, such as his high pressure and power.
“However, I think many are counting Paulie out of this fight but with the fact he has been at 147lbs a while and is a very talented boxer with good movement he has the tools to beat Garcia’s style.
“Paulie is a better boxer than both Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera – two guys who Garcia struggled with, but beat, so if he sticks to boxing him he has a really good chance of winning the fight. It’s a really intriguing matchup.”
Khan also believes Garcia’s move to 147lbs, a jump he recently made himself, will benefit the 27-year-old American.
“I think it’s a natural progression for him,” he stated.
“His last few fights have been tough and I think making light-welterweight has taken its toll.
“He’s naturally going to grow and find it harder to keep making 140lbs so I think the move will definitely be advantageous.
“He’s going to have more power and feel stronger but at the same time he’s going in with bigger fighters himself which will be a test.
“The welterweight division is the best around at the moment and he’s another very good addition to it.”