By Mike Coppinger
Weeks after their Feb. 9 match was announced, Zab Judah was driving with his friends to watch Amir Khan fight Carlos Molina in L.A. when he noticed something suspicious -- a car had been tagging him.
"We had four SUVs and we pull up to the W [hotel] and I noticed there was a white car with two guys sitting in it watching. I'm not worried though, because I don't live that life any more. So we check in and all that, then we go to the mall. When we start drivin to the mall i see the white car again. Then we go to eat, go back to the hotel. Everybody gets dressed and comes down to the lobby. Now it's time to go to the fight. We all get in the cars, make a right, a left, get into the intersection and then boom, right there, it was like something out of a Hollywood set. We had four trucks, there must have been like 15 cop cars with lights on and sirens. They scream "get out the cars" on the bullhorn, guns are all drawn out. You would have thought I was Pablo Escobar."
"The LAPD are no joke. The sheriff comes up to me and I say 'what's going on?' He says 'listen Zab, I'm a big fan, I've been watching you for years, but we were tipped off by Team Garcia that Zab Judah was coming to LA to start a riot.' (Danny Garcia and Angel Garcia were ringside at the Khan-Molina fight at the LA Sports Arena.) They said that we had guns and all kinds of crazy stuff and that we were coming to do bodily harm to Team Garcia."
"I'm just an athlete coming to watch a fight. He asks me why I have so many people with me, but it's my team. My trainers, my security guys. He asks everyone to pour out of the trucks entirely and we're there for like 40 minutes. They're searching the cars out. We're in the middle of the street while they do all the searching. I told the cop if something was going to happen, wouldn't it have happened in New York (at the press conference to announce the fight)? The cops advised me to not go to the fight and that the Garcias are scared I'm going to do something. How are they scared? We're talking about a fighter and a father with a big mouth. I never said not one harsh word to that man, they started with me. "
"So I go watch the fight at a friend's house in Hollywood Hills and then I notice that the same car is trailing me again. They stay outside of the house for at least 40 minutes and just made us feel uncomfortable. The cops also advised not to go to the Sam Watson Charity Basketball Game the next day. So we weren't able to go to the fight or the game. These punks popped off and then call the police. It was sad, man."
"I'm going to go into the fight, all business, with no emotion and execute the game plan. I've learned from the past that when you fight with emotion, it's not good. I don't have any respect for them as people. Doing stuff like calling the cops (and fabricating lies) is insane. When the fight happens I'll get my satisfaction then. But it shows what kind of people they are. They act like super tough guys, but they're a bunch of punks."
Garcia pulled out of the fight two weeks before, citing a rib injury, though there was doubt to the legitimacy of the injury after Garcia' girlfriend tweeted that Garcia had been "making it rain" at clubs. The fight will now take place on April 27 at Barclays Center in Judah's hometown, where he will seek to become the recognized champion at a second weight class.
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