From a war of words, to personal animosity throughout all of their press conferences which kept kept them separated at all public appearances including their final weigh-in, Zab “Super” Judah, 42-8, 29 knockouts and 4-times 2 division world champ, finally met his rival, Danny “Swift” Garcia, 25-0, 16 k.o.’s, W.B.A., W.B.C. & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday, April 27.
The “meeting” was so torrid in the ring after the first round bell that it actually qualified for a candidacy for fight of the year honors. Danny Garcia dominated perhaps the first 8 rounds in an offensive and defensive strategy staggering Judah who valiantly fought back. He even suffered an 8th round knockdown and a cut left eye much to the disappointment of his many fans in attendance.
The knockdown and also the cut on his eye seemed to spur Judah on to try to salvage this fight which many felt might be his last attempt at winning another world title. Surprisingly from the 9th on, Judah, veteran of many ring wars for 17 years, with a renewed ounce of energy desperately fought back hurting Garcia several times, cutting his mouth, his scalp, and also giving him a bloodied nose.
The crowd mainly Judah’s screaming fans rooting for the underdog, began to sense that he was one left-handed punch away in the later rounds, from pulling victory from the hands of defeat.
But that was not to be because Swift Garcia although hurt especially in the 10th round, bravely fought back even though he suffered a severe cut on his forehead from an accidental head butt. The 11th and the 12th rounds were really the “championship rounds”, as these 2 warriors battled back and forth hurting each other and both bleeding profusely, until the final 12th round bell.
Despite the bad feelings, Danny and Zab stared at each other, then smiled, and much to the delight of the loudly screaming and appreciative crowd of 14,000, they hugged one another in true sportsman like fashion and congratulated each other, which perhaps indicated that their dislike for each other was really their competitive nature.The judges in attendance scored the fight 116-111, 115-112, and 114-112, respectively, while I scored the fight 115-113. It really was that close although Garcia had control of the fight most of the time.
At the post fight interview Judah praised Garcia, and said: “I am not going anywhere and retire, I will try again for another world title.”
Garcia also praised Judah, and said: “Wow, this was the toughest fight of my career fighting a veteran like Zab and I am glad that I had a tough training camp that helped me bring my A-Game and beat him.”
The field is open for Garcia. It’s rumored that the next mandatory challenger is the winner of the Junior Welterweight Championship fight between Champion Lamont Peterson and challenger, hard-punching Argentine, Lucas Mathysess. Whoever is Garcia’s opponent it will be a very tough fight for him.
Garcia although a world champ, undefeated, and a hard puncher, has many flaws in his offense and defense that could very well be exploited by either Peterson or Mathysess.
More than a trainer he needs a boxing teacher to correct those flaws. He telegraphs many punches especially his right hand, he gets hit too much; doesn’t throw a straight right hand.
Since he is undefeated many do not see those dangerous mistakes and go by “if it ain’t broke no one is going to bother to fix it.” This is much to the advantage of Peterson, and, especially, Mathysess, or any other opponent.