Zab Judah made his intentions very clear.
The Brownsville native plans on silencing his critics along with unbeaten champion Danny Garcia when the two clash at the Barclays Center Saturday night in a Super Lightweight title fight. The bout between the 140-pounders was rescheduled from Feb. 9 after Garcia suffered a rib injury in training.
The bad blood began at a press conference last December when Judah responded to verbal taunt’s by Garcia’s father, Angel, by sparking a heated shoving match on stage. Then on Friday, Judah crashed Garcia’s event at the Modell’s store near the Barclays Center. But now Judah wants his fists to do the talking.
“It’s called killing two birds with one stone,” he said. “Angel Garcia’s a trainer. He’s a father figure. He’s the older man. I respect my elders. At the same time, I can’t get in the ring and fight Angel Garcia. What do I do? I fight. I knock people out. I can’t do that with Angel. So how do I kill two birds with one stone, I am going to knock Danny Garcia out and watch Angel come in there and pick the fighter up.”
The card, which will be broadcast live on Showtime, also showcases fellow Brooklyn natives Daniel Jacobs and Boyd Melson at middleweight (160 pounds) and Luis Collazo and Zachary Ochoa at welterweight (147 pounds).
Garcia, a 25-year-old Philadelphia native, predicted he would win in four rounds. Judah, meanwhile, said he plans on taking out Garcia in spectacular fashion in front of his hometown crown.
“New York fans are very tough,” the 35-year-old said. “They don’t want you to just win by one.”
Judah (42-7, 29 KOs), who now lives in Las Vegas, was back in Brooklyn Tuesday for a workout at the Judah’s Brothers Gym in Brownsville. Despite becoming a more religious and spiritual man, he promised to bring back for this fight “the Zab Judah you guys know”.
“I feel calm. I feel prepared. I feel very at ease,” he said. “Everything seems to be working the way it should work out.”
The five-time world champion plans to employ the lightening quick hands and focus he showed as a young fighter taking the boxing world by storm. Recently, however, Judah has been criticized for not always performing in the big fights. He lost his title to Amir Khan in July 2011 before topping previously unbeaten Vernon Paris in March of 2012. Judah admitted to being swallowed by the fame that came with turning pro at the age of 18.
“I came from this area, Brownsville Brooklyn,” he said. “I went from this to go wherever I want, do whatever I want, buy whatever I want, take whoever I want, whenever I want, however I felt like it.”
Taking down Danny Garcia is next on his list of things he would like to do.
“Fight night Saturday night, the bell goes ding and Zab Judah will handle the rest,” Judah said.Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk