Zab Judah loses unanimously to Danny Garcia
Danny Garcia unanimously outpointed Brooklyn’s Zab Judah on Saturday night at Barclays Center to retain the WBA and WBC junior welterweight titles.
Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) dominated the 35-year-old former champion, although Judah came back in the 10th and 11th rounds to land some hard shots and shake the champion from Philadelphia.
The judges scored the fight 116-111, 115-112 and 114-112, with all three giving Judah the last three rounds when Garcia seemed to tire.
“I love the atmosphere. I love the fans. In order to take over someone’s territory, you’ve got to beat the guy from there,” Garcia said in the post-fight news conference.
The 25-year-old Garcia was at the receiving end of a hard left-handed shot from Judah in the eighth round. He countered with a left that missed, but immediately connected a right hand that sent Judah to the canvas
Judah (42-8, 29 KOs), who since 2008 has lost to Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan, came in looking for a win and trying to revive his career after those losses, but looked overmatched against Garcia.
“Actually I was really surprised because I was putting pressure on him with strong, sharp punches,” Garcia said. “He came back strong in the late rounds. He came prepared. He’s been in big fights before.”
A portion of the announced crowd of 13,048 tried to inspire the Brooklyn native with “Ju-dah! Judah!” and a familiar “Brook-lyn! Brook-lyn!” chant that has become synonymous with Nets games in the arena’s first months.
But it wasn’t enough for Judah, whose 140-pound fight was supposed to take place back Feb. 9, but was postponed after Garcia sustained a rib injury. Judah claimed Garcia had faked the injury and had instead been out partying and not training. There was even a standoff between the veteran and Garcia’s father, Angel, who also serves as his trainer.
“It was a helluva fight. I had to beat the Brooklyn guy in his hometown,” Garcia said. “I knew he had a lot of pride behind him. He was never going to give up.”
Coming into the fight, Judah saw Garcia as slow starter.
“He started fast in this fight. I wanted to be cautious. I didn’t want to go in there and be throwing wild punches. I wanted to be a scientist in there,” Judah said. “I thought I did a good job.”
Garcia stepped up his attack in the third round and, then in the fourth, landed a flurry of shots, but Judah somehow managed to survive the round.
It was Garcia’s second fight at the Barclays Center after christening the Brooklyn arena Oct. 20 with a victory over Erik Morales.
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