UPDATE: Showtime has announced that the Danny Garcia-Zab Judah fight has been rescheduled for April 27 at Barclays Center.
RING junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia and his team are expected to announce on Monday that his Feb. 9 title defense against Zab Judah at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be postponed, according Judah and sources close to the Garcia camp.
Garcia (25-0, 16 knockouts) bruised his ribs during sparring last week and will need some time to heal and be at 100 percent. Judah (42-7, 29 KOs), meanwhile, will have to wait for his shot.
Garcia was looking good in training camp. “If I was going to put down a bet, I’d put some serious money on Danny knocking out Zab within the first six rounds,” said one of Garcia’s sparring partners two weeks ago.
“It has nothing to do with Danny being scared of Zab, no way,” said one Garcia team member. “It’s one of those boxing things that happens, and Danny isn’t about to go into the ring against Zab without being 100-percent. There’s no way Angel [Garcia, Danny’s father and trainer] would allow that to happen.”
How long it will take Garcia to heal up is anyone’s guess. But for the moment, with the fight two weeks away, Team Garcia doesn’t want to risk it.
“There’s no way Garcia would back out of this fight with Zab Judah,” said another Garcia team member. “Think about it, why would Danny back out of a fight with Zab Judah, when he’s stepped into the ring against Amir Khan, who we think is much tougher than Zab and who destroyed Zab when they fought.”
Garcia had been on schedule to meet Judah. As of two weeks ago, his training and weight were perfect for the fight. Working out at the Harrowgate Gym in North Philadelphia, Garcia told RingTV.com that he feels “fantastic, really strong and in the best shape of my life. Zab is going to have problems.”
Garcia, who won the WBC belt with a decision over Mexican legend Erik Morales last Marcy, added THE RING and WBA titles to his collection with a fourth-round TKO of Khan last July and then finished his banner year with a KO-of-the-Year candidate stoppage of Morales in the first main event at Barclays Center last October.
Judah, a 35-year-old veteran who has held numerous titles at 140 and 147 pounds, is coming off of a ninth-round TKO over previously undefeated Vernon Paris last March. It was Judah’s comeback fight after losing to Khan by fifth-round TKO in July of 2011.
“No one has said anything to me, but I heard Garcia hurt his ribs in sparring. But I know he’s hurt and the fight with Garcia is off, but there might a replacement opponent. I worked hard for this and I don’t understand how you’re a champion and two weeks before a fight you say you’re hurt,” Judah said.
“I don’t know if he’s faking it or not, but they told me the fight is off and I know he’s not ready. He might want to wait to April to fight—but that’s not going to be it. I want to fight him now. We’re hoping and looking for a replacement. I did everything I have to do to fight this guy.”
A near-brawl occurred when Garcia-Judah was first announced in New York during a December press conference.
Click here for a video of the press conference melee