|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- MAY 19:2001|
Judah, Tszyu Ready to Unify|
by JD Vena
June 24, 2001
UNCASVILLE, CT - Well, the stage has been set. According to Vlad Wharton, the promoter of WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Kostya Tszyu, a confrontation between his charge and IBF counterpart "Super" Zab Judah will take place in early November to name the first unified champion of the division since Hawaiian, Paul Fuji held the designation in 1967. In a decent year for boxing that will also see a unified middleweight champion by the fall, boxing should have three unified champions be the year's end. Late last night at the Uncas Pavilion at the Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort, the proposed unification was nearly scrapped when the mandatory challenger for Tszyu's WBC title turned out to be a good fighter and came close to adding to this year's list of monumental upsets. 1996 Olympic silver medallist and European light-welterweight titlist Oktal Urkal of Germany came up short in a decision objected by the packed house. Even as the number one contender, many had felt that Urkal's chances were the same if Steve Erkel from Family Matters were to challenge for the title. But after a strong start and a 12th round rally, many felt that the unheralded Urkal should have walked from the ring with two world titles. It turned out to be the most competitive bout of the evening in the pair of jr. welterweight title fights fought between four men who all incidentally weighed in at 138 ½ pounds.
The challenger, now 28-1, 10 KO's was successful many times at backing the straight-up Aussie/Russian with sharp punches. His only knack was that there wasn't much force behind his punches, which have only stopped 10 previous opponents in his 28 wins. Tszyu (27-1-1, 22 KO's) had his troubles when he would punch and allow Urkal to finish some of the exchanges. There were many close rounds however and the judges sided with the champion on most of them. Dick Flaherty had it 116-112, Julie Lederman had it 115-113 and Terry O'Connor saw it for Tszyu by a tally of 116-113. The CBZ had it 115-113 the other way but won't argue with the verdict. After all, like Flaherty, I'm from Massachusetts so what do I know about scoring fights?
"I thought Kostya could knock me out," said Urkal. "But he couldn't. After they unify the title, I think we should do it again and if it's in Germany, I'll be sure to win (laughs)."
"Right now it's time to rest," said the relieved champion who went the full 12 round limit for the first time since June of 1995. "Like Zab I need to be with my family until it's time to prepare for our fight. Come November, you'll see who I really am."
In the co-feature, Brooklyn bomber "Supah" Zab Judah did his part in annihilating 100-1 underdog, Allan Vestor from Aarhus, Denmark. Like Urkal Vestor, the IBF's mandatory challenger (18-1-1, 3 KO's) carried as much chance as his power but moved around fairly well scoring a few combinations, which surprised the champion and those in attendance. But in the second round Judah, playing the role of the aggressor caught his prey and floored him with a left hand while the Dane was off balance. After managing to his feet, Judah pounced on him with a fusillade of sharp uppercuts, which convinced Vestor to take a knee. But time ran out in the round and Judah wouldn't have his time moment until :58 of the third round when his antagonist took a 10-count from referee Charlie Dwyer.
"He surprised me a little," said Judah, who extended his record to 27-0, with 1 NC and 21 KO's and defended his title for the fifth time. "Normally, I'm used to finishing guys when I have them hurt but I took him out the next round."
"I'm gonna train hard for Kostya and pull off the win," said the confident champion. "I'm not going to predict a knockout but if Urkal had any power, he would have finished him off. He was a good quick counterpuncher, but what is (Tszyu) going to do when he has a guy with the speed and power of me?"
If all goes well, we'll find out in November.
17-year old Francisco "Panchito" Bojado (136) of Guadalajara, Mexico impressively scored his 6th knockout in as many wins when he starched Glen Forde of Brooklyn via Guyana in the second round of a fight many expected to go the full six. Forde (135) who coming in owned a record of 9-5-2 with 4 KO's and had never been stopped and had been fighting 12 rounders as early as his 4th pro fight. But in the end, it was clear that Forde had never seen an opponent with the skills and power as the promising Bojado. After a tentative first round, which saw Bojado switch to a southpaw stance, Bojado exploded with a vicious combination of punches in the 2nd round, the last one being a left hook/uppercut which smashed into Forde's nose. Forde who took John Cusano's ten count with no intentions of getting up.
Fighting for the first time since losing a gallant 12 round war to NABF jr. welterweight champion "Sucra" Ray Oliveira, former IBF jr. welterweight champion "Cool" Vince Phillips rallied to score a knockout over game Marlon Haynes. Up until the stoppage, which came at 2:12 of the 7th, Haynes was ahead on two of the judge's scorecards. But deep into that round "Cool" Vince iced him with one of his picturesque right crosses. Haynes got up, but it was target practice for the old warhorse as he trapped the helpless Haynes in a neutral corner. Phillips who will turn 38 in July improved his record to 42-6-1 with 31 KO's. Haynes fell to 12-3-3, with 3 KO's.
In earlier bouts, Juan Diaz (137) who is also 17 years old had his hands full for 6 tough rounds with the always competitive, John Trigg (137) from Atlanta. Trigg lost all six rounds on all three judge's scorecards but had his moments in each of them. The busy Diaz of Houston, TX is now 10-0 with 6 KO's while Trigg is now 5-11-4 with 2 KO's. Nadar Hamden (156) of New South Wales, Australia and trained by the legendary Jeff Fenech, picked himself off the canvas after being floored by Bruce Corby (155) of Taylor, PA and won a 6 round unanimous decision. Hamden is now 24-0 with 13 KO's while Corby slips under the .500 mark at 16-17 with 14 stops.
Daniel Judah, 173, brother of Zab defeated Dan Sheehan, 179 ½, of Lawrence, MA in a one-sided six rounder. Judah is now 11-0-1 with 6 KO's and Sheehan is now 7-9 with 3 KO's. Francisco Tejedor, 120, of Barranquilla, Columbia and Peter Frissina, 118 ½, of Tarpon Springs, FL fought to a technical draw when the fight was stopped during the fourth round due to an accidental cut incurred on Frissina. Tejedor is 45-10-1, 31 KO's and Frissina is 23-3-1 with 15 KO's. In the first bout of the evening, Andre Eason, 139, of Brooklyn scored a 1 round KO over debuting James Mitchell, 129, of Washington, D.C. Eason is now 5-1 with 3 KO's.
Promoter - Main Events
Television - Showtime
Ring Announcer - Jimmy Lennon, Jr.
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