By Keith Idec
Zab Judah answered as diplomatically as he could, but he still didn’t sound quite convinced Danny Garcia suffered a legitimate rib injury while training for their postponed Feb. 9 fight at Barclays Center.
“I don’t really know, but Danny has got one story,” Judah said on a conference call to promote their April 27 fight in Judah’s native Brooklyn. “We got another story. But Danny is a fighter, so Danny … who am I to say what really happened to him? I can’t judge that man. I mean, April 27 we’re going to find out everything.”
Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) officially pulled out of the Feb. 9 fight Jan. 27, a day after rumors began swirling regarding his potential withdrawal during another Showtime-televised event in Las Vegas.
Judah (42-7, 29 KOs, 2 NC) and others questioned the legitimacy of Garcia’s injury because supposed witnesses claimed on social media websites that they saw Garcia partying in his native Philadelphia during training camp for the Judah fight. Former junior welterweight champion DeMarcus Corley compounded matters by publicly stating Garcia suffered a thumb injury, not a rib injury, while they were sparring.
Garcia said during the conference call that he can’t worry whether the public believes his story.
“Any time something happens, there’s always going to be a controversy,” Garcia said. “But I can’t do nothing else to prove it, but get ready for April 27 and fight. That’s behind me. I’m looking at the future and now that’s the past. The future is April 27. Everything is going great. No injuries, no nothing and it’s going to be a great night.”
Earlier on the call, the 25-year-old Garcia gave a detailed explanation of how he was injured.
“It was three weeks out to the fight,” Garcia said. “It was Saturday and I was fine. I sparred three different guys. I did 12 rounds. After I got done sparring, I had a sharp pain on my side. I thought maybe it was a cramp or something, but when I cooled down I couldn’t I put my hands past my head, because I couldn’t stretch because the pain was so severe. So I went to the ER.
“I got my ribs checked and they said I had a bruised rib. They said that it would take four to six weeks to heal, so I tried to train with it another week. But I couldn’t run or anything because it was taking my breath away. So we had to make the decision [when] I was supposed to spar that Saturday [Jan. 26]. I couldn’t spar, so I couldn’t go through a championship fight not sparring for three weeks, because timing is everything. So we had to make the smart decision and we had to postpone the date. But now I’m 100-percent ready and we’re about four weeks out and it’s coming up faster than you know it.”
Upon hearing Garcia’s explanation, the 35-year-old Judah avoided saying anything inflammatory.
“I’ve been in the game,” said Judah, a 16-year pro who has won world titles at 140 and 147 pounds. “I understand in this boxing sport that we’re in, things happen. I mean, Danny got hurt, Danny got hurt.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.