Boxing is the one sports that will allow bad blood or a contentious relationship to be settled in the squared circle. So many times is what can be deem irony, the two men with the contention end up respecting and admiring each other more after they’ve done battle for 12 rounds.
Last night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia and Brooklyn native Zab Judah brought bad blood and heated words to the ring and turned their fight into an instant classic. Judah in his usual fashion started off fast and displayed the quickness and athleticism that he’s famous for to keep Garcia off-balance during the first few rounds.
Garcia started to come on during the fourth round, and in round five hit Judah with some serious shots that hurt Zab and swayed the fight in his direction. Garcia was able to accrue a lead at that point, and in round eight, finally dropped Judah with counter over hand right. Judah though displayed heart that he hasn’t shown in sometime and pressured the champion during the later rounds. The final round was all heart by both fighters and ended an epic matchup.
Garcia who seemed motivated by the chance to beat Judah in his hometown, showed the challenger a ton of respect after the fight.
“It was a helluva fight,” Garcia said. “I had to beat the Brooklyn guy in his hometown. I knew he had a lot of pride behind him and he was never going to give up. He’s a crafty veteran with a lot of power and the strongest guy I fought.”
The judges had it 116-111, 115-112 and 114-112 for Garcia, who was making his third title defense.
The fight was scheduled to take place on Feb. 9 and their had been several near brawls between both camps. Judah on more than one occasion almost came to blows with Angel Garcia over different statements made by the champions father.
That contentious relationship I mentioned earlier caused Golden Boy Promotions to prevent both sides from appearing in the same room together at times, and the final weight-in on Friday was done separately. The two men though handled the situation like men in the ring, and that led to both having the ultimate respect for each other in the end.
It’s gone. It’s a respect,” Garcia said. “As you can see, it’s a lot of bad blood. I’ve got cuts, he has cuts. We came here and gave the people of Brooklyn a nice show.”
“I knew he had a lot of power with the left, but I was able to stand my ground and counter it.
“My game plan was to try to use the jab, but he was stepping around. He was crafty and he took my jab away, so I had to do what I had to do.”
Said Judah: “It’s boxing, things happen. You win some, you lose some. Danny is a young, tough fighter. I was on my A-game tonight. I worked hard. I had a great training camp and we gave it our best shot.”
The question now is where do both fighters go from here. I would love to see a rematch, but it probably won’t happen. Garcia would like to meet the winner of the May 18 non-title bout between titleholder Lamont Peterson and interim titlist Lucas Matthysse.
“Yeah, I’d like the winner of that fight,” Garcia said. “All I do is train and get ready for the fight, and whoever they tell me to fight, I fight.”
Regardless of who both fighters take on next, it’s good to know that the squared circle will allow them to settle all beefs and disagreements.