WBA "super" and WBC Light Welterweight champion Danny Garcia (26-0, 16) and challenger Zab Judah (42-8-0-2, 29) may have entered the ring with a genuine dislike of each other though at the end of their excellent bout they certainly seemed to have a new found respect for each other.
The bad mouthing, specifically by Garcia's dad Angel Garcia may have crossed the line of "decency" several times but that didn't prevent the fighters from showing their class in the ring as the two men put on an unexpectedly solid fight.
The bout started slowly with Garcia looking to land his dangerous right hand on to Judah who attempted to score with his fast jab. The opening round was certainly hard to split though it was due to neither man managing to establish themselves as the boss. As the fight wore on though Garcia seemed to grow in to things quickly and after rocking Judah hard in round 5 he managed to dominate the challenger in round 6 as the champion looked to be on the verge of forcing a stoppage.
Oddly Judah, a known "fast starter" really first came alive in round 7 as he used his speed and skills to thoroughly dominate the champion in his first clear round. It appeared that the notorious fast starter was starting fast for the second half of the fight, sadly however for the challenger his momentum was swiftly ended in round 8 as Garcia dropped him on to his pants.
Garcia, who appeared to be comfortably up going in to round 9, helped in part to the knockdown then claimed the 9th before an enthralling fight back by Judah saw him taking the final 3 rounds whilst detonating some really eye catching left hooks that appeared to hurt the champion. Sadly for Judah however it was too little too late and Garcia had bagged enough of the early rounds to retain his title.
For Garcia this was an expected title defense though few could have expected the difficulties that he had. The most shocking thing about the bout however was the heart that Judah showed in refusing to fold at any point in the bout, in fact his ability to fight back and to fight back hard was nothing short of excellent from a man who has often been questioned regarding his intestinal fortitude.