An action-packed April rolls on this weekend with Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO) taking on Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KO) in the Light Welterweight clash that was originally scheduled for February 9th but delayed due to an injury to Garcia. The fight, which has The Ring’s Junior Welterweight, WBA’s Super Lightweight and WBC’s Light Welterweight titles all on the line goes down Saturday night on Showtime from Judah’s native area of Brooklyn in the Barclays Center.
Fight fans will be hoping the bout will answer questions many have concerning Judah and if he’s really “back” as he’s consistently claimed during the press tour or if Garcia will simply be the latest fighter to give the Zab train a detour. It’s not too often a fighter’s career can be considered both exciting and as disappointing but Judah’s career fits the bill. The 35-year-old southpaw comes in as a greater then 4-1 underdog according to bookmakers even though he looked impressive in his last fight 13 months ago with a TKO over previously unbeaten Vernon Paris. Such as been the tale for Zab; looking great and so skillful one night, looking frustrated and beaten the next. One thing Judah does seem to have is an innate ability to land big fights and that Paris victory was enough to get a shot at “Swift” Garcia. A pattern Judah and his team have seemingly been able to master over the years.
It’s easy to forget Zab Judah’s already been in the ring with some of the more prominent names in the sport today; names like Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan. Aside from a SD victory over Matthysse, Zab Judah fans know the results vs the welterweight big guns were ones they’d like to forget. There was the unification bout with Kosta Tszyu that saw Judah, the big favorite, get stopped for his first loss and then needing to be restrained from going at the referee which ultimately lead to him being suspended six months by the NVAC. A loss to Spinks didn’t prove to be too costly, as he would go on to avenge that loss and take hold of the WBC, WBA, IBF and The Ring Welterweight titles in the rematch. But Zab’s undisputed reign at welterweight would be short lived as he lost those belts, along with some pride, when he went down as a 10 to 1 favorite to Carlos Baldomir. The power that is Don King was still able to get Judah vs Floyd, but that proved to be a one sided affair, as did eventual losses to Cotto and Khan. So what has Zab ready to challenge at the top of the division now?
For all of the criticism and frustration Judah’s boxing career has gone through over the span of three different decades, Zab still has the rare opportunity of having the pinnacle of boxing within his sights. A victory over Garcia on Saturday night would open up a plethora of options and give Zab every bit of opportunity to show the boxing world if his best really is yet to come as he keeps chirping. Saturday night will go a long way in deciding if Zab’s undeniable skill and ability can match what fight fans once dreamt it could be. Judah could be headlining many more cards to come…or he could fade away again without as much of a whimper after another loss on a big stage.
After everything unfolds late Saturday night and the lights go dim at Barclays Center, the world of boxing will be able to agree one thing: Zab Judah is “back”…one way or the other.