After a week of pre-fight drama which had both camps at each other’s throats, WBA, WBC, and Ring Junior Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia and former five time world champion Zab Judah finally got a chance to settle their differences, where they should be settled, in the ring.
Garcia made his second consecutive appearance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in what is starting to be considered his home away from home. Even though Judah was born and raised in Brooklyn, the crowd seemed to be divided 50/50 down the middle in support of both fighters.
Judah started the fight pumping his jab while moving to his left. It seemed as though Judah was cautious of Garcia’s big left hook, but Garcia wisely picked up on it and started throwing looping right hands that scored well to Judah’s body and head. Garcia controlled the early rounds with lead right hands that prevented Judah from getting off. Judah was content on throwing primarily jabs, seemingly wary of Garcia’s counter right hands.
Toward the middle of the fight Judah started to let his left hand go and managed to catch Garcia with it a few times here and there, but Garcia’s right hand and punishing body attack seemed to overshadow Judah’s occasional spurts.
In rounds three through seven it was all Garcia, as he started to walk Judah down with continued success with the lead right hand and left hooks to the body. Judah was staggered in rounds five and six with big right hands from Garcia.
Judah seemed to be doing well in round eight, showing some success with the left hand, but out of nowhere Garcia caught him with a perfect one two combination that sent him to the canvass near the end of the round. Judah suffered a bad gash under his left eye as a result of the big right hand landed by Garcia. In round nine Garcia picked up where he left off in the eighth, as he tried to get Judah out of there, but the challenger managed to hang on.
Judah came on strong in the last three rounds and hurt Garcia with a left hand in the tenth. In the eleventh, following a break to retie Judah’s shoe, the two men traded power punches, highlighted by a right hook from Judah that stunned Garcia. A clash of heads in the final seconds opened a small cut on Garcia’s hairline. A second clash occurred in round twelve that opened up another cut above Judah’s left eye and also a cut in the center of Garcia’s forehead that bled profusely down his face.
Despite Judah’s late rally, Garcia just had too many early rounds in the bank. Although Judah’s effort was very courageous and valiant, it wasn’t enough to get him the upset victory.
Garcia earned a twelve round unanimous decision by the scores of 116-111, 114-112, and 115-112, in a tougher fight than most people expected. This victory now paves the way for Garcia to face the winner of the Lucas Matthysse-Lamont Peterson fight being held on May 18.
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