By Keith Idec
Zab Judah wore dark sunglasses during a news conference early Sunday morning to cover evidence of an extremely brutal battle with Danny Garcia.
It was easy to see Saturday night, however, that even at 35, the strong southpaw from Brooklyn still can compete at the championship level. Judah withstood serious trouble in the fifth and sixth rounds, a knockdown in the eighth and a nasty gash beneath his left eye to give undefeated Danny Garcia everything the young champion could handle in their 12-round fight for Garcia's WBC 140-pound title at Barclays Center.
Judah (42-8, 29 KOs, two NC) lost on all three scorecards (115-112, 114-112, 116-111), but the talented former two-division champion overcame adversity and persevered much the way he did during an 11th-round technical knockout loss to then-unbeaten Miguel Cotto nearly six years ago at Madison Square Garden.
"Zab is in the mix," promoter Oscar De La Hoya said after the fight. "He's right there. He can face any other champion, any other fighter. He didn't lose anything. He actually gained because of the way he fought.
"OK, he didn't get the win, but he gained from a very impressive performance against a tough, tough, strong fighter, with a chin of granite. Zab hit him with some shots. Both fighters gave a great performance."