The Barclays Center crowd in Brooklyn was electric. Though Garcia retained his WBA and WBC light welterweight titles, both fighters had their moments.
At the end of the night, Judah and Garcia looked like they had been in an epic tussle. Thankfully, each man was respectful towards one another, and the extra security in the building was not needed.
It didn't look like it would be much of a fight midway through, but Judah's heart, resolve and the energy he drew from the Brooklyn faithful made it a fight.
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Awesome PIC of #GarciaJudah! @DannySwift & @SUPERJUDAH laid it on the line last night. @GoldenBoyBoxing http://t.co/qmis3XZYyU2013-4-28 18:55:17
When looking at the other major bouts that have taken place this year, Judah-Garcia fits in with the best of them. Through four months of fights, we have seen three other fights that should be considered good-to-great fights.
The Lamont Peterson-Kendall Holt clash on Feb. 22 was the first to take place. Peterson stopped the talented, but less-than-durable Holt in the eighth round.
That fight featured tons of action, as is usually the case with Peterson and Holt fights. In the end, Peterson was too tough for Holt, though.
Coincidentally, Garcia is now set to take on the winner of the Peterson-Lucas Matthysse bout scheduled for May 18. No matter who wins that fight, if the two winners meet in 2013, we may have another fight to add to this list.
The second great fight of the year took place on March 16. WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov had a knockdown drag-out war at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Bradley won the unanimous decision, but it didn't come without some very tense moments. Provodnikov rocked Bradley on more than one occasion, and he dropped the champion in the 12th round.
Bradley out-boxed the challenger and deserved the decision, but this was a classic example of how a boxer and puncher can come together to make a special fight.
The last great fight of the year thus far took place just two weeks after Bradley-Provodnikov.
Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado had their much-anticipated rematch on March 30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Their first fight was the runner-up for Ring Magazine Fight of the Year in 2012. The rematch was nearly as good.
Both men rocked each other throughout. Ultimately, Alvarado's adjustments on offense and defense led to a unanimous decision victory.
You can bet on seeing at least a trilogy between these two. I'm not sure if it'll happen in 2013, but a third fight seems destined to become another instant classic.
Where exactly does Judah-Garcia rank with these fights? I'd say third, just ahead of Peterson-Holt, but behind Alvarado-Rios and Bradley-Provodnikov.
The latter would be my pick as best fight of the year so far. But that takes nothing away from the other bouts. Boxing fans have been treated to very good fights through a third of the year.
Here's to hoping the remaining eight months continues this trend.
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