NEW YORK (AP) — Danny Garcia unanimously outpointed Brooklyn’s Zab Judah on Saturday night at Barclays Center to retain the WBA and WBC junior welterweight titles.
Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) dominated the 35-year-old former champion, although Judah came back in the 10th and 11th rounds to land some hard shots and shake the champion from Philadelphia.
The judges scored the fight 116-111, 115-112 and 114-112, with all three giving Judah the last three rounds when Garcia seemed to tire.
“I love the atmosphere. I love the fans. In order to take over someone’s territory, you’ve got to beat the guy from there,” Garcia said in the post-fight news conference.
The 25-year-old Garcia was at the receiving end of a hard left-handed shot from Judah in the eighth round. He countered with a left that missed, but immediately connected a right hand that sent Judah to the canvas
Judah (42-8, 29 KOs), who since 2008 has lost to Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan, came in looking for a win and trying to revive his career after those losses, but looked overmatched against Garcia.
“Actually I was really surprised because I was putting pressure on him with strong, sharp punches,” Garcia said. “He came back strong in the late rounds. He came prepared. He’s been in big fights before.”
A portion of the announced crowd of 13,048 tried to inspire the Brooklyn native with “Ju-dah! Judah!” and a familiar “Brook-lyn! Brook-lyn!” chant that has become synonymous with Nets games in the arena’s first months.
But it wasn’t enough for Judah, whose 140-pound fight was supposed to take place back Feb. 9, but was postponed after Garcia sustained a rib injury. Judah claimed Garcia had faked the injury and had instead been out partying and not training. There was even a standoff between the veteran and Garcia’s father, Angel, who also serves as his trainer.
“It was a helluva fight. I had to beat the Brooklyn guy in his hometown,” Garcia said. “I knew he had a lot of pride behind him. He was never going to give up.”
Coming into the fight, Judah saw Garcia as slow starter.
“He started fast in this fight. I wanted to be cautious. I didn’t want to go in there and be throwing wild punches. I wanted to be a scientist in there,” Judah said. “I thought I did a good job.”
Garcia stepped up his attack in the third round and, then in the fourth, landed a flurry of shots, but Judah somehow managed to survive the round.
It was Garcia’s second fight at the Barclays Center after christening the Brooklyn arena Oct. 20 with a victory over Erik Morales.