By Chris Cella
Earlier this afternoon it was announced that the unified light welterweight world championship bout between undefeated title holder Danny “Swift” Garcia (25-0, 16 KO) and former champion Zab “Super” Judah (42-7, 29 KO) which was scheduled to take place on February 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be postponed until April 27.
Garcia sustained a rib injury during training while sparring with DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, and despite his best efforts to work through the pain, his team didn’t want him to compete at less than 100%.
About the injury, Garcia shared the following with ESPN, “I didn’t even really feel it until we were done. But then I felt pain in my side and then when I was cooling down I couldn’t raise my hands over my head. I had a real sharp pain and I couldn’t really breathe. I went to the doctor and had an x-ray, and the doctor said I have a bruised rib, a wall contusion.”
Garcia captured the WBC light welterweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Erik Morales last March, and then followed up with two consecutive title defenses—a TKO win over Amir Khan, and then another defeat of Erik Morales, a fourth round TKO sending the veteran into retirement.
Although there were discussions about a replacement fighter being called in to take Garcia’s place, it was later decided that the entire fight card would be moved to April 27. All tickets for the February 9 show will be honored on the 27th.
There has been much buildup about this highly anticipated title fight between the young undefeated Garcia and the former champion Judah, fighting in Judah’s backyard of Brooklyn. Although fight fans will have to wait an additional two-and-a- half months to watch these future Hall-of-Famers go to war, it will undoubtedly be worth the wait as each warrior will be 100% and at the top of his game.
Garcia concluded to ESPN about the injury, “Every time I breathed hard, I felt like I was being stabbed. I talked to my manager (Al Haymon) and said, ‘Give me until Saturday, and if I can spar, I’ll do the fight.’ But I wasn’t mobile enough. It was tender and hurting so I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to get into a big fight with a bad rib. There’s a lot to lose. So it’s best to listen to the doctor. I’ll give it a few weeks and hopefully I’ll be back there in April. I’m still fighting Judah. I still want to fight him. I’ll still give Judah his butt whipping.”
The decision to call the fight off was surely difficult for the young champion, who has become of the most exciting fighters over the past calendar year, but thinking about what is on the line, he has made the right choice.