By Jack Price @PriceyJ97.
This Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Booklyn, Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia defends his WBA & WBC light-welterweight titles against ‘Super’ Zab Judah. This fight was originally scheduled to take place on February 9th but was postponed after Garcia withdrew with a rib injury. There has been some real bad blood between these two men and their teams and they will finally be able to do their talking in the ring on Saturday night after months of near-brawls and trash-talking.
Garcia (25-0, 16 KO’s) had a fantastic 2012 becoming unified world champion at 140lb and scoring three impressive victories. In March of last year he picked up the WBC belt with a unanimous decision victory over ring legend Erik Morales. At this point he became a contender to look out for, but he didn’t really become a mainstream superstar until he took on then-WBA champ Amir Khan on July 14th. The 25-year old scored one of the most devastating KO victories of the year, blasting out Khan in just 4 rounds and proving that he belongs at the very highest level. The Philadelphian then finished off the year with a rematch against Morales, winning via KO in the 4th round this time around.
‘Swift’ has some very big fights lined up for him in the near future at light-welter and welterweight but first he must come through Zab Judah who, on his best day, can be a really tough test for almost any fighter.
Judah (42-7, 29 KO’s) is now 35-years old and considered to be a little past his prime. He has been relatively inactive over the past couple of years, fighting just oncein 2012, and many people are questioning whether he actually deserves this fight. But this does mean that we should see a motivated Zab Judah turn up on April 27th as he will be looking to prove his doubters wrong. The fact that he has had major beef with Garcia’s father Angel should also be another key motivating factor for him.
The Brooklyn-native will be fighting in front of his home crowd at the Barclays Center but he will be no stranger to the magnitude of the event. He has shared the ring with the very best out there in ‘mega-fights’ all over America; Kostya Tszyu, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan - He did lose to all 4 of those fighters, but it still shows us that he has fought at an extremely high level. The question is: Can he get a win at the elite level? Garcia may not be considered as elite yet, but he is well on his way. Judah has fallen at the high level every time he has stepped up and that could likely be the case again here.
Garcia is a very powerful puncher and will be looking to do damage to Judah as early as possible. The outcome at this point depends on what Zab Judah turns up. It’s unlikely, but we could see him come out all-guns-blazing because he feels he has something to prove. Despite being a pretty hard-hitter himself, Judah will come out worse off if he does go toe-to-toe with Garcia. He needs to be confident, but smart as well. We saw that Garcia isn’t too hard to hit and struggles with a fast moving opponent in the first 2 rounds against Amir Khan. If Judah throws a lot of shots but gets in and out before Garcia can time with his counter left-hook then he could have a really successful night here. However, the Judah I and a lot of other fans expect to turn up is a reluctant and maybe scared one. He knows that Garcia is a banger and may not want to take too many risks, but he has to if he wants to win this fight.
I expect the fight to start off at a relatively slow pace with Judah just looking to work off the jab and not to commit with any of his punches. This will also make Garcia inactive for the first few rounds as he will not be able to get close and will have nothing to counter. Eventually Judah will tire from running and Garcia will catch him. At this point Garcia who will have tons of energy left will unleash with his big bombing left-hooks and overhand rights until a few of them do get through and hurt Zab. I think Judah will crumble under the pressure and the referee will step in and stop the fight in the later rounds. It may not be another devastating knockout victory for Danny Garcia but he will get the stoppage win. Garcia TKO 8.