By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Zab Judah took his war of words with Angel Garcia to an extremely personal level Thursday.
An incensed Judah called Garcia, father and trainer of WBC super lightweight champion Danny Garcia, a “dopehead” amid a heated press conference controversy at Barclays Center.
“Angel Garcia is a dopehead,” Judah said. “Look at the man. He’s always going crazy. He must be a drug addict or an ex-drug addict or something. He can’t control himself. He reacts in a crazy, frantic way and me being from Brooklyn, and doing things that I used to do, this is how these people react. Plain and simple. I don’t know nothing else.”
The tension between Angel Garcia and Judah began Dec. 1, when Angel Garcia demonstratively disrespected the former two-division champion during a press conference to officially announce a fight that originally was scheduled for Feb. 9. The outspoken Garcia’s showmanship nearly incited a brawl between the two camps that afternoon at a Manhattan steakhouse, but they weren’t together again until Wednesday, when more drama ensued at a Modell’s Sporting Goods store near Barclays Center.
Danny Garcia was part of a group of Golden Boy Promotions fighters signing autographs during an event at Modell’s. Judah was not scheduled to be part of that event, but he said Thursday that he came anyway at the request of fellow New York fighters Danny Jacobs and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin.
“It [was] called ‘Meet the Champions,’ ” Judah explained. “I’m from Brooklyn. ‘Kid Chocolate,’ Danny Jacobs, they’re from Brooklyn. I came to support my team. We had just left the gym together. Did I say anything to Danny? … Did me and Danny have any words? No. Come on.
“Angel was the one who started it. He’s the one who was calling me all kind of names and talking loud and starting trouble, like he always do. Then, when the real deal starts, you want to call for a thousand police officers. If you want to be a gangster, be a gangster all the way. You want to be Al Capone, be Al Capone all the way. Don’t get there and go halfway with it.”
The Brooklyn native reiterated Thursday that he didn’t intend to confront Angel Garcia or Danny Garcia at Modell’s, but the incident led to promoter Oscar De La Hoya and other Golden Boy employees to conduct separate press conferences Thursday for Philadelphia’s Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) and Judah (42-7, 29 KOs, 2 NC).
“I never came in and went at Danny,” Judah said. “Me and Danny never said two words to each other. Watch the video, guys. That’s why I don’t want them to try to make it seem like I walked in and just started trouble. No, no, no! Me and Danny never had no words. I walked in and I was doing interviews. Angel was over there. Angel started with the screaming and the yelling and all this … like he just had a dopehead attack. I don’t what happened to him.”
Though clearly agitated at times Thursday, Judah dismissed the idea that Angel Garcia’s antics have affected his focus entering their 12-round fight Saturday night (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET).
“Angel Garcia can’t get under my skin, man,” Judah said, before taunting Angel Garcia some more. “He’s an addict, man. He’s a [customer]. I don’t worry about dudes like that. He’s a customer. I got young boys waiting to serve him, man, when it’s over. They waiting for that good Showtime/HBO/Golden Boy check. They waiting for that. I ain’t worrying about that dude, man.”
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.