Danny Garcia won a thrilling unanimous decision over Zab Judah at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night. The official judges scored the fight 115-112, 114-112 and 116-111, per BoxRec.com, to retain the WBA and WBC junior welterweight titles.
Garcia dominated the middle rounds, continuing to show why he deserves more credit than he receives as one of the sport's best.
The champion dazed Judah on two occasions and floored him in the eighth. But this was a case of two different fights in one, to a degree.
Judah seemed to hurt Garcia in the Rounds 10 and 11 and controlled the late action. The result suggests a rematch may be in order. The bad blood sold the first fight, but the action would sell the rematch.
Throughout the pre-fight hype, Judah and the Garcia camp engaged in a war or words and even nearly came to blows on a few occasions (links contain explicit language). Thankfully, all the fighting took place in the ring on Saturday night.
The two camps were civil and respectful after the fight. Even Judah and Garcia's controversial father, Angel Garcia, spoke once the action was done.
Garcia's game plan of varying his attack early befuddled Judah, but ultimately the 35-year-old veteran made some adjustments. Judah's speed and guile began to turn the tables a bit. Garcia's chin, another one of his underrated qualities, was apparent late.
Judah landed some hard shots that would have dropped lesser men. He was really coming on in the championship rounds, but he simply ran out of time. Had this been an old-school 15-round fight, perhaps the story may have been a little different.
Though Judah didn't officially get the victory in this fight, he did dispel a few of the knocks on him during his career.
Many have called Judah a four-round fighter. Critics have said he quits in the ring. None of those deficiencies were apparent in the title fight Saturday night. He could have easily folded in the middle rounds, but he didn't.
Garcia was pounding him with hard shots. Judah stumbled around the ring almost like he did when he was stopped by Kostya Tszyu in 2001. But he showed resolve that deserves recognition.
Garcia is now set to face the winner of the Lamont Peterson vs. Lucas Matthysse bout on May 18. When asked during the Showtime telecast who he thought would win that bout, Garcia said Peterson.
Perhaps the bulletin-board material has already begun for that one. That would indeed be a great fight, but I'm not sure it would be more entertaining than seeing these two clash again.
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