Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Can Judah be 'super' against 'swift' Garcia?
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Zab Judah will attempt to restore his "Super" nickname against RING champion Danny Garcia, a fighter who is 10 years younger. Seventeen boxing insiders give their picks on Saturday's Showtime-televised junior welterweight championship.
By the time Zab "Super" Judah enters the ring against RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny "Swift" Garcia on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Judah's native Brooklyn, N.Y., the 35-year-old former 140-pound titleholder and welterweight champ will have will have been out of the ring for more than a year since scoring a ninth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Vernon Paris last March.
During that time, the 25-year-old Garcia (25-0, 16 knockouts) is 3-0, with two straight stoppage wins, comprised of a unanimous decision over four-division titlewinner Erik Morales that was executed on the same night Judah faced Paris, and consecutive fourth-round knockouts of Amir Khan and Morales in July and October, respectively.
"No one is giving Zab Judah much of a shot on Saturday," said Mike Coppinger, of RingTV.com and USA Today. "But I think Judah has the skills and savvy to spring the upset."
But for Garcia, Judah will represent the sixth consecutive fight against a current or former titleholder during a run that includes decisions over ex-beltholders Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt from April and October of 2011, respectively.
"At 25, Danny Garcia is a dangerous young champion on the climb and in his prime," said Jeffrey Freeman, of KO Digest.TV. "At 35, Zab Judah is a volatile former champion well past his best."
Still, Garcia's resume pales in comparison to that of Judah, whose past losses include those against Joshua Clottey, Kostya Tszyu, Miguel Cotto, Carlos Baldomir, Cory Spinks and Floyd Mayweather Jr., with all but the ones against Khan and Tszyu taking place in the welterweight division.
"Zab Judah could be dangerous," said Norm Frauenheim, www.15rounds.com. "Simply because he's at home in a bout that looks like the last stand for a fighter who squandered so much of his talent."
While a welterweight, Judah split victories with Spinks, falling by unanimous decision in April of 2004, but winning the rematch -- and the IBF, WBA and WBC 147-pound belts -- by ninth-round knockout in February of 2005.
As an unbeaten 22-year-old, Judah earned the vacant IBF junior welterweight title -- his first -- with a fourth-round stoppage of Jan Bergman in February of 2000. Judah defended that belt five times, with four knockouts, before being dethroned following a second-round stoppage against Tszyu in November of 2001.
Judah won the WBO's 140-pound belt from DeMarcus Corley in July of 2003. In recent years, Judah rose from a 10th-round knockdown for a disputed split-decision over Lucass Matthysse in November of 2010.
Judah won the IBF's vacant junior welterweight belt by seventh-round stoppage of Kaizer Mabuza in March of 2011 before relinquishing that to Khan via fifth-round knockout in July of 2011.
"For years I've been picking Zab Judah in his big fights, and with the exception of the Cory Spinks fight, I've been wrong. However, why stop now?" said Rich Marotta of KFI Radio, Los Angeles.
See what Freeman, Frauenheim, Marotta and the rest of the 17 boxing insiders believe will transpire in Garcia-Judah, below.
Zab Judah UD 12 Danny Garcia: No one is giving Zab Judah much of a shot on Saturday, but I think Judah has the skills and savvy to spring the upset. Judah will have massive advantages in speed, quickness, experience and footwork. It will show in the fight.
Record: 4-4 [Last week's pick: Trout SD 12 Alvarez]
Danny Garcia by mid-to-late TKO Zab Judah: Zab Judah is usually sharper and tougher when he fights in the New York City/Brooklyn area, so I expect him to have success early in the bout.
Record: 4-4 [Last week: Alvarez UD 12 Trout]
Danny Garcia TKO 6 Zab Judah: Zab Judah could be dangerous, simply because he's at home in a bout that looks like the last stand for a fighter who squandered so much of his talent.
Record: 5-3 [Last week: Alvarez TKO 9 Trout]
Danny Garcia KO 8 Zab Judah: At 25, Danny Garcia is a dangerous young champion on the climb and in his prime. At 35, Zab Judah is a volatile former champion well past his best. It's a temperamental matchup involving highly combustible characters inside and outside the ring.
Record: 3-5 [Alvarez SD 12 Trout]
Danny Garcia TKO 10 Zab Judah: Zab Judah showed against Kaizer Mabuza and Vernon Paris that he can still shine against B-level competition, but when he steps up against the likes of Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse he struggles.
Record: 4-4 [Last week: Alvarez W 12 Trout]
Danny Garcia by late-round TKO over Zab Judah: Danny Garcia's defensive deficiencies, combined with Zab Judah's power, could lead to an upset.
Record: 1-2 [Last week: Alvarez SD 12 Trout]