Danny Garcia edges out Zab Judah to retain WBC and WBA belts
Danny Garcia maintained his unbeaten record and with a battling points victory over Zab Judah in New York.
Last Updated: 28/04/13 4:19pm
Garcia knocked Judah down in the eighth but had to settle for a unanimous decision to take his 26th career victory, handing Judah an eighth defeat and denying him the chance to regain a world title.
The champion started strongly, controlling the fight and stifling the veteran southpaw, who struggled to make much of an impact and was rocked by a right to the jaw in the fifth.
Judah battled back somewhat in the middle rounds, frustrating Garcia, but just after landing his best punch of the fight in the eighth, he was sent to the canvas by a straight right that landed right on the button.
Judah had to get the all-clear from the ringside doctor to continue, having been left with a gash under his left eye, but he belied his troubles to finish the fight strongly in front of a crowd backing their local Brooklyn hero.
The pair went toe-to-toe until the final bell, when some of the ill-will that marked the run-up to the bout was forgotten with a brief exchange of smiles and an embrace.
But it was Garcia who took the victory - the scores coming in at 114-112, 115-112 and 116-111 - and he credited Judah with giving him one of the toughest fights of a career that also includes wins over Amir Khan and Erik Morales.
Garcia said: "Whoo - it was a hell of a fight. I came to Brooklyn, and I had to beat the Brooklyn guy in his hometown. I knew he was never going to give up.
"He's a crafty veteran with power, we knew that. But I am a true champion. I've got to fight through the storm in order to be a champion and I proved that tonight.
"Actually I was really surprised because I was putting pressure on him with strong, sharp punches. He came back strong in the late rounds. He came prepared. He's been in big fights before."
With Amir Khan victorious against Julio Diaz in Sheffield earlier on Saturday night, Garcia's victory opens up the possibility of a rematch after his next fight, which will most likely come against the winner of Lamont Peterson's clash with Lucas Matthysse next month.
On the co-feature, Peter Quillin successfully defended his WBO middleweight title with a seventh round stoppage of Fernando Guerrero.