Judges scored the bloody, brutal bout 116-111, 114-112 and 115-112.
Garcia, 25, dominated the first half of the fight and augmented his lead by dropping Judah, 35, with a straight right in the eighth round. Judah, the former undisputed champion at 147 pounds, started scoring with straight lefts and right hooks down the stretch, arguably winning rounds 10, 11 and 12.
But Garcia did enough to render Judah’s late rally moot, and by the end of round 12, both fighters were bleeding profusely. Garcia had a gash on his forehead (perhaps the result of an accidental headbutt), and Judah was cut above his left eye and had a gash on his left cheek.
Despite the pre-fight vitriol, the pugilists and their respective camps embraced one another after the final bell sounded.
Garcia’s next opponent is expected to be the winner of the May 18 bout between Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KO) and Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Peterson will be defending his IBF light welterweight title.