CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Can Judah Upset Garcia? Will Mayweather Finally Lose?
Can Zab Judah beat Danny Garcia and can Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero upset Floyd Mayweather? Both fights are intriguing for there are many factors pointing toward upsets. Take Zab Judah versus Danny Garcia. Both have one common opponent, Amir Khan and this common foe does not bode well for Judah since Kahn slaughter Judah in five rounds while Garcia defeated Khan in four rounds. Garcia most significant victory was Khan in a fight that Khan dominated the first two rounds and even cut Garcia. Garcia changed the fight with a knockdown in the third round and finished off Khan in the fourth.
Garcia is only 25 and is now coming into his own as a fighter. In his win over Khan, he took on a superb boxer and won. Despite having a cut over his right eye, Garcia demonstrated that he could overcome adversity and that is an important trait in a fighter. His two bouts with Morales showed the growth in his development. In his first fight with the old warrior, it took him twelve rounds to win the unanimous decision but in the second bout, he took command early and ended it early.
Khan simply dominated Judah and at the age of 35, Judah has seen better days and his most significant victory over the past three years was a close and controversial split decision against Lucas Martin Matthysee that could easily have gone the other way. Judah boxed very well early but Matthysee relentless style and power nearly derailed Judah as he spent the last few rounds surviving Matthysee onslaught. Matthysee knocked Judah down in the tenth round and as Judah won the early rounds, Matthysee won the last half of the fight but he didn’t quite do enough to win the overall fight on the scorecard with the final score was 114-113, 114-113, and 113-114 in favor of Judah. The scorecard showed the closeness of the event.
So how does the 35 year old Judah win the bout? The first two round of the Khan bout showed that Garcia is vulnerable to boxers who can stick and move. Judah does have power to stop Garcia as his 29 stoppage in 42 victories show. Judah is still a slick boxer and if he can open up a lead on the scorecard and finish the fight, he can win the bout.
Garcia is a pressure fighter who keeps coming and he does have a nice right hand, a weapon that works well against southpaw. The key to Judah winning is two things. One is that the fight in Brooklyn and Judah is a Brooklyn based fighter, and this won’t hurt him with the judges. (Yes, occasionally some judges will allow the crowd to influence their decision and Judah will have the fans on his side.) If Judah can start out fast and win enough early rounds to survive the Garcia onslaught, he can win a decision as he did against Matthysee. I like Garcia simply because of his youth and ability to keep the pressure on throughout the bout. Judah has lost to pressure fighters like Carlos Baldomir and Kostya Tszyu, his first big event fight. (Baldomir loss was a close affair on the scorecard.)
Judah can win by boxing and staying upright but Garcia is the favorite due to his youth and power against an aging warrior.
Floyd Mayweather is the slick boxer and defensive wizardry but he is also 36 years old. In his last bout with Cotto, he showed some vulnerability and Cotto pressure did bother Mayweather throughout the bout. While the scorecard show an easy victory, Cotto was competitive throughout the bout. Those fighters who gave Mayweather trouble included Jose Luis Castillo were pressure fighters. Oscar De La Hoya lost a split decision to Mayweather and Oscar left jab gave Mayweather trouble in the first half of their fight. Now Mayweather is 36 years old and that factor alone is the key to whether Guerrero can win. Guerrero is one of those fighters who can fight almost any style. He is a good boxer with a good jab but as he showed against Andre Berto, he can brawl as well. Guerrero mauled Berto and roughed him up to win the bout. He has won his first two bouts in the welterweight division against quality opponents, Berto and Selcuk Aydin, who came in the fight undefeated. Guerrero has three things going for him. He has the jab that Oscar De La Hoya showed can neutralize Mayweather, he can be a pressure fighter that can bother Mayweather and he is only 30 years and still at his peak. If this was a Mayweather at his peak, this fight would be easy to pick. Mayweather’s quick hands and defensive wizardry proved problematic for 43 other fighters but the question is how fast is Mayweather one year after his last bout against Cotto.
I can’t bet against Mayweather but I view Guerrero a more likely upset winner over Mayweather than Judah over Garcia. If Guerrero wins, it will be based on two things. One is that Guerrero pressure allows him to maul the slick Mayweather and neutralized Mayweather two inch reach advantage and quicker hands. The second is the most important; will father time neutralize Mayweather advantage in speed? As for Judah, he is the older fighter against a hungry and more aggressive fighter, so Garcia wins by a stoppage in the later rounds.