They wondered if the head would be there with the talent, if Brooklyn-born Zab Judah would be in the right frame of mind to take the junior welter titles from Danny Garcia in Brooklyn at Barclays Center on Saturday night. The skills, no one assumed those had left the building, but the psyche, that was up for debate.
At the end of twelve rounds, we knew the head was on straight and the heart was present, big time, but still, it was Danny Garcia who had his hand raised in Brooklyn. Judah won something of a moral victory, making it interesting late, with a superb tenth, but Garcia, too strong, got the nod. The scores were 115-112, 114-112, 116-111, for the Philly fighter.
Garcia, to Jim Gray, said after Judah was the craftiest he's ever faced. He said Zab took away the jab, to his credit. He said that the bad blood present in the lead-up evaporated. He's fine with fighting the Matthysse-Peterson winner, and he thinks Peterson will win it.
The 35-year-old Judah, ex junior welter and welter champ, entered with a 42-7-2 NCs mark, while Garcia was 25-0 entering.
In the first, Garcia’s right hands won him the round. Zab was cautious and defensive.
In the second, Judah landed a couple sharp lefts that got the crowd going. He ended the round on an up note.
In the third, it looked like they were on even terms. Garcia looked to land the right, and wanted Zab to drop his guard. Zab was pretty sparse with his volume and the crowd wanted him to be busier.
In the fourth, Garcia was the busier man. His right to the body came again and again and Zab moved a lot to avoid conflict.
In the fifth, a counter right clipped and hurt Zab, who had to weather the bad buzz. Garcia hurt him twice in the sixth, and made Zab do a dance off a right hand. In the seventh, Zab righted himself. He kept away from the right though he didn’t have much luck landing his long left. Garcia defends better than many give him credit for.
In the eighth, Zab went down, off a right hand, on his bum, at 1:16. His left eye was now bloody. He stayed on his feet and the ninth was more even. Zab had good luck in the tenth, off a left counter and later a lead left. Danny was backing up and holding. The crowd was delirious. Garcia was backing up some in the 11th, but Zab was a bit spent. Both men showed fatigue in the 12th, though Garcia’s power rights took the round. We went to the cards.
PHOTOS BY:TOM CASINO/SHOWTIME