Danny Garcia 'a warrior' in holding off Zab Judah

Danny Garcia, bleeding from a head butt, rocked Zab Judah during their light-welterweight title bout in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Danny Garcia, bleeding from a head butt, rocked Zab Judah during their light-welterweight title bout in Brooklyn on Saturday. (ELSA / Getty Images)
Posted: April 29, 2013

NEW YORK - His legs were fine, Danny Garcia said, but his arms were tight. The unified light-welterweight world champion was burned out in the later rounds of his bout Saturday night.

But he had to go on. And he did.

The 25-year-old from Juniata Park turned in an inspiring performance en route to a unanimous 12-round decision over Zab Judah at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

Garcia (26-0, 16 knockouts) scored a crucial eighth-round knockdown and held on as the 35-year-old Judah desperately sought a knockout. The champion's face took the brunt of Judah's offense, with his forehead and right eye appearing swollen after the fight.

"I had to show the fans that I'm a warrior," Garcia said. "I wanted to show heart."

Judah slipped to 42-8 with 29 KO's.

After the fight, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said Garcia could meet the winner of the May 18 bout between Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson. A fall rematch with Amir Khan remains a possibility after Khan won by decision on Saturday. Garcia said that his job is to fight and that he will fight anyone.

"Danny's going to fight the very best no matter what," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said. "You throw King Kong in there, he'll fight King Kong. That's who Danny is."

Even though his eighth-round knockdown secured a decision, Garcia continued to move forward and create action. That is who he is, Bernard Hopkins said.

Hopkins glanced over at Garcia, who was readying to go back to his dressing room, and said that he had the face of someone who had gotten into a fight.

"Danny Garcia tonight graduated from boxing college," Hopkins said. "Yes, he got good grades in high school. But tonight he graduated from college."

Garcia's diploma came with a vertical strip of black stitches down the center of his forehead. Luckily for Garcia, the accidental head butt came in the final round and did not factor into the match.

"I don't even want to look at it," Garcia said.

When Garcia does look, he will see maybe a half-dozen stitches holding together his forehead. But he also will see a champion. And for Garcia, that is all that matters.

Judges' Scoring

The judges scored it 116-111, 115-112, and 114-112 in favor of Danny Garcia on Saturday night. All three gave Zab Judah the last three rounds.

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

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