Garcia beats Judah by decision

Posted: April 29, 2013

NEW YORK –A dejected Zab Judah rose from the canvas in the eighth round on Saturday night. He had just been knocked down in his hometown by the Philadelphia fighter with whom he had verbally sparred throughout the week.

And his left eye was bloodied. Juniata Park's Danny Garcia had his target.

Garcia used his strong right hand to further the damage and even absorbed a cut of his own. The 25-year-old scored a unanimous decision to retain his unified light welterweight titles at the Barclays Center.

Garcia sent Judah spiraling to the mat in the eighth round with a right-hand counter punch. The knockdown secured Garcia’s win on the scorecards, but the champion continued to press forward. He weathered Judah's attack in the 10th, absorbing two lefthand combinations that staggered the champion.

Garcia's right hand found a ducking Judah in the 11th before the two exchanged rights in the middle of the ring. An accidental head butt in the 12 th left both fighters dazed and a vertical cut opened up on Garcia’s forehead.

“A win is a win,” said Garcia. “I hurt him. There was blood, there were cuts and the fans in Brooklyn loved it. That’s all that matters.”

After a slow first three rounds, Garcia came out firing in the fourth. He chased Judah around the ring with his right hand and cut off the ring to force Judah into the corner. With Judah under his watch, Garcia connected on three strong right hands in the final minute to easily take the round.

He dazed Judah in the fifth as he continued to target him with his right hand. Garcia said Judah was crafty and was able to limit Garcia’s left jab, which caused him to rely on the right for more than just his signature hook.

Garcia wobbled Judah in the final minute of the fifth round by connecting with a right hook flesh on Judah’s jaw. He chased Judah from corner to corner, battering him with the strong right hand. In the sixth, Garcia kept it going as he staggered Judah repeatedly.

“I can fight even when I’m hurt,” said Garcia. “I’m a true champion. I bit down and got the job done.”

As Judah continued to stagger, it became clear that both champion and crowd sensed a knockout was near. It never came on Saturday night. And for Garcia, that is fine.

“I’m still learning on the job,” Garcia said. “I’m learning every day. I’m getting smarter. Every time I step in the ring, I have to keep learning and get better.”


Contact Matt Breen at mbreen@phillynews.com and @matt_breen on Twitter.

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