BROOKLYN — RING, WBA and WBC junior middleweight champion Danny Garcia and challenger Zab Judah weighed 139.8 and 140, respectively, for Saturday night’s Showtime-televised clash at Barclays Center, site of Friday’s weigh-in.
As a result of ongoing acrimony stemming from December’s press conference at New York’s Gallagher’s Steak House, as well as at a promotional event at a Modell’s sports outlet in downtown Brooklyn, Garcia (25-0, 16 knockouts) and Judah (42-7, 29 KOs) weighed in separately, with no traditional face-to-face, post-weigh-in staredown.
“All of that matters now. Now, it’s time to take those punches,” said Garcia, 25, of Philadelphia, who weighed in first and will be after his third straight knockout victory. “No more time for talking. It’s just me and him in the ring, that’s it. Philly is in the building, baby. It’s the takeover.”
The concern was so great among the organizers of Garcia-Judah, that separate final press conferences were held on Thursday at Barclays Center, with Garcia being first following the undercard fighters, and Judah second, according to Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya.
“I don’t have no bad blood with nobody. I don’t dislike or have a grudge with anybody. Tomorrow night, it’s time to box and to fight. I’m coming in and I’m going to do what I have to do. I’m going to do what I’m known to do, and that’s it. I’m a fighter, and I’ve been doing the traditional way of weigh-ins and press conferences for 17 years,” said Judah, adding “that wasn’t my choice” to have separate weigh-ins.
“This is the first time that I’ve ever been in this position. It’s because of my challenger not wanting to be up here on this stage with me. It wasn’t me. I would prefer to be face-to-face with him. He didn’t want to be up here with Team Judah, you know what I mean? So let everybody know that. It wasn’t us, ya’ll. It was them. They didn’t want to be up here face-to-face with us. Always remember: A monkey can never look a lion in the face.”
WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who attended the weigh-in, wasn’t a fan of the format.
“They f–kin’ up boxing. They’re messing up boxing,” said Broner, who will face WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi on June 22 on Showtime. “This is boxing, man. Let them beef it out. Face off. All of that. I need to see it.”
IS THIS JUDAH’S LAST SHOT?
By the time Judah enters the ring against Garcia, 25, the 35-year-old former 140- and 147-pound titleholder will have will have been out of the ring for more than a year since last March, when he scored a ninth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Vernon Paris.
The win over Paris helped Judah to rebound from a fifth-round knockout loss in July of 2011 to Amir Khan, who was stopped in the fourth round by Garcia in July of 2012.
Judah’s past also includes setbacks 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.
As a 147-pounder, Judah split bouts with Spinks, falling by unanimous decision in April of 2004, but winning the rematch — and the IBF, WBA and WBC welterweight 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 by 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 Lucas 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 it to Khan via fifth-round knockout in July of 2011.
Asked by Showtime’s Steve Farhood if Garcia represented his final shot at glory, Judah predicted, “success,” adding, “After tomorrow night, I’ll be champion of the world. So with my first defense, I’ll think about my future.”
STEVE SMOGER GETS GARCIA-JUDAH
Referee Steve Smoger will work the Garcia-Judah main event, with the judges being Anek Hongtongkam, of Thailand, Tom Schreck, of New York, and Adalaide Byrd, of Nevada.
Smoger’s track record is one of allowing bouts to be contested to their violent conclusion, meaning that the fighters’ fists or their corners usually stop bouts that do not last through to the decision.
“My proclivity is to allow the fight to go to its natural conclusion, and to let them solve it and to let them resolve it,” said Smoger, during a recent interview with RingTV.com. “Sometimes, there comes a time when I have to make the call. But if I can prolong it and give them every opportunity, so be it.”
PETER QUILLIN, FERNANDO GUERRERO STRUGGLE TO MAKE 160
Guerrero initially came in at 160.4, and returned five minutes prior to the designated deadline. Quillin, initially at 161.5, came back on weight two minutes beyond the given time limit.
“We just went to a sauna and shadowboxed down the street at a health club,” said Quillin’s trainer, Eric Brown. “It was just water weight, that’s all.”
Quillin offered more detail.
“I went to the toilet and tried to use the bathroom and that didn’t work. So I did a little jumping jacks, some shadow boxing, and, most importantly, let me tell you something, I work out every day. It’s a mental sport. Seven days a week. On a Sunday, I’m still working out. I’m thinking about boxing all the time. So it’s not like I’m out of shape. I work out every day. I run every day, six days a week. We just have a lot of muscle density, and that’s what it’s all about. I went from eating two times a day to four times a day,” said Quillin.
“I’m still figuring it out. I was 164 this morning. I knew and had a feeling that I might have some problems. I had to do the fighter meetings. Out of my 28 fights, I’ve worked out every day right up to the weigh-in to make sure that the weight was always good. We’re going to get past this fight and see what the future holds. I prayed to God, and if it was meant for me to make the weight, then it was meant to be, and look what happened. I kept the faith. We made the weight, so tune in on Saturday and you’ll see what we do.”
Quillin is coming off October’s unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Hassan N’Dam, whom he dropped six times. Guerrero will be after his fifth straight victory since falling by fourth-round knockout to 40-year-old journeyman Grady Brewer in June of 2011.
DANNY JACOBS WEIGHS IN FOR CANCER IN ADVANCE OF KEENAN COLLINS FIGHT
Jacobs, 26, returned to boxing after overcoming paralysis caused by a large, malignant tumor on his spine, the result of being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Nicknamed “The Golden Child” and “Miracle Man,” Jacobs survived a nine-hour surgery to remove the tumor wrapped around his spine, chemotherapy and painful physical therapy.
On April 11, Jacobs was the recepient of the Bill Crawford Award for Courage Overcoming Adversity at the Boxing Writers Association of America dinner in New York.
On Friday, near the entrance to the Barclays Center weigh-in, Jacobs’ philanthropic foundation called, “Get In The Ring,” ran set up a lemonade stand in honor of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. ALSF emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who lived from 1996 through 2004.
In 2000, a 4-year-old Scott announced that she wanted to set up a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex set up that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.
To date, ALSF has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 275 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
On Saturday, Jacobs’ 4-year-old son, Nathaniel, and two of Garcia’s sisters ran the stand, whose first donation, of $100, came from Broner.
THE REST OF THE UNDERCARD
Ex-beltholder Luis Collazo (32-5, 16 KOs) and Miguel Callist (27-8-1, 18 KOs), of Brooklyn, were 146.4, and, 147.4, respectively, for their welterweight bout, and, hard-hitting Eddie Gomez (13-0, 9 KOs), of the Bronx, and Luis Hernandez (21-4, 14 KOs), of Ibarra, Ecuador, were 151 and 148.6 for their clash of junior middleweights.
Junior middleweights Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson (9-1-1, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, and Edgar Perez (5-3, 2 KOs), of Chicago, were 160.6 and 161.4, while 2012 U.S. Olympic team member Marcus Browne (3-0, 3 KOs), of Staten Island, and Philadelphia’s Taneal Goyco (4-5-1, 2 KOs) were 175 and 173.8.
For other bouts, junior welterweight Zachary Ochoa (3-0, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, Calvin Smith (2-2), of Prichard, Ala., weighed 140 and 135, Philadelphia’s Miguel Cartegna (5-0, 3 KOs) and Chicago’s Angel Carvajal (2-0) were at 114.8 and 117 for their bantamweight fight, and super middleweights D’Mitrius Ballard (1-0, 1 KO), of Temple Hills, Md., and Marcus Clay (2-5), of Baton Rouge, La., weighed 166.6 and 167.4.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Casino
Photo by Julie Goldsticker
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org