Zab Judah didn't defeat Danny Garcia on Saturday night, but he did prove many of his critics wrong. The fight seemed to be headed down an all too familiar path for Judah during the middle rounds.
He was rocked badly on two occasions and dropped in the eighth round. Instead of folding, as he has in the past, Judah persevered and had some good moments late.
He won the last three rounds, and he rocked Garcia in the 10th. A rematch would be interesting, but Garcia already has a fight set up to face the winner of Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse.
As for Judah, he definitely showed enough in this performance to warrant another major fight. Perhaps he could face the loser of the Peterson-Matthysse clash to possibly setup a rematch with Garcia.
No immediate plans were discussed, but Judah definitively said he would continue to fight.
For a 35-year-old fighter, losses almost always bring the question of whether the latest defeat should be the swan song.
This shouldn't be the end for Zab. I've seen him win spectacularly, but, in many ways, I've never seen him look better than he did on Saturday night.
Garcia deserved the decision, as his best moments outweighed Judah's. But Judah exorcised some demons with this performance. When the going got tough, Judah didn't quit.
He's been called a four-round fighter. No one could call him that on Saturday. Instead of shining early, which has been the case in his career, Judah did his best work in the championship rounds.
The Brooklyn native has always had the goods physically. Though he isn't quite as gifted as he once was, he's still quick and powerful enough to do damage.
Physical talent was never the issue with Zab, though. It has always been about his mentality. He has seemingly gone through a transformation, even though he seemed to revert at times during the pre-fight hype.
On Saturday night, Judah proved he had matured during and after the fight. The buildup for this fight had been filled with bad blood and confrontations. But once it was all over, there was nothing but respect.
After this performance, that's exactly what Judah deserves.
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