Danny Garcia is considered by many to be the No. 1 fighter in the world right now at 140 pounds, though there is certainly stiff competition for that claim in a talented, exciting weight class. But despite the fact that he holds two world title belts (WBC and WBA) and has beaten Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, and Erik Morales (twice), there remain doubters every time out that Garcia is really as good as his current reputation.
Garcia, 25, is hearing once again from his opponent that experience will be a factor, as veteran Zab Judah says he's a changed man, and that his years in the ring will help him pull an upset in Judah's hometown of Brooklyn on April 27. But Garcia has overcome experience before, and says it won't matter once the bell rings:
"When you get hit, it don't matter how much experience you've got. If you can't take the punch, that's the only thing that matters. I'm in great shape, and I'm focused, and I'm doing the right thing. When that's happening, the only person that can beat me is me. I'm ready to go, I feel strong, and it's going to be an epic night on April 27."
Garcia (25-0, 16 KO) has made a killing since stepping up in competition by proving skeptics wrong. As we've said before, there's nothing about Danny that makes him seem like an elite fighter, physically. He's a good puncher, but not great. He's not particularly fast. He doesn't have great defense. He's one of those guys who, to borrow an awful sports cliche, just knows how to win -- or maybe, it's just that he doesn't yet know how to lose. Garcia is a fighter greater than the sum of his parts, at least to this point.
Judah will have a speed advantage, the experience edge, and he's probably just as good a puncher. Zab has the talent advantage in this fight. But he's had that before and come up short. Though Judah, now 35, is past his prime years, he hasn't lost a lot in terms of skills or attributes, and the fight could be very interesting. Or it could follow the familiar Judah script. One way to find out.