& I can't wait for Hatton to jail rape Cotto...& later make PBF earn his money for a change.
& I can't wait for Hatton to jail rape Cotto...& later make PBF earn his money for a change.
I hope your not referring to America's best when Tszyu's fight list includes Mitchell (Who is a decent fighter, I'll give you that.) Jesse James Leija and Ben Tackie as 3 of his 5 fights in the last 4 or 5 years.
I don't know his entire fight list, but it wasen't exactly like Tszyu had been terribly active, and he damn well wasen't fighting the best the US had to offer. Forget the fact he was 35 years old too.
I'm not saying HAtton isn't good. We all know he's quite capable of being what people think he can. WHat I don't understand is why there is so much negativity towards a Judah/Mayweather fight. Hatton didn't exactly come out and offer PBF a decent price with a venue and a contract ready to sign. Neither of them are giant draws (Decent, yes.. But certinaly not huge, not even big for that matter).
Bring on Hatton/Cotto, bring on Hatton/Mayweather. I'll be on my couch watching all of them.
P.S. Sorry, formatting nightmares on my work laptop for some reason. I cannot figure it out.
Oh yes I am excited to see Judha-Mayweather!Judha looked so good in his last bout!Of course Mayweather-Margarito wouldn't be a good bout would it?
And Kurant-PLEASE DON't MENTION ALI's NAME WITH JUDA's!!!
THe point being, they all lost. Either matchups, or whatever. They all lost. Sorry to tell you, but it's a fact, it's reality. They are only human.
BTW, Morales looked wonderful against Raheem, or did you miss the fact he got his ass kicked? I didn't see ANYONE downplaying that.
Mayweather vs. Judah - Still a Fight
By Rob Scott from Dog House Boxing
If it's one thing that it should be easy to throw by the wayside - it's the odds. In predicting fights, we've all have come up short on more than one occasion. Famous missteps have been Tyson/Holyfield 1, Clay/Liston 1 and more recently, the domination of Calzaghe over Lacy. The show isn't over until the fat lady sings, and in boxing, we've written certain victories in stone, and we haven't even heard the subliminal fat lady clear her throat and go through her warm up of 'Mi-Mi-Mi-Mi'.
On Saturday April 8th 'Pretty Boy' Floyd Mayweather, 35-0 (24), will face Zab 'Super' Judah, 34-3 (25), for the IBF welterweight title at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on HBO pay-per-view, in one of those bouts that the majority feel is a definite mismatch. For varied reasons, critics, writers and fans have determined that this fight will be that proverbial cakewalk for Mayweather who is universally recognized as the Pound-for-Pound best in the game. Mayweather has been seen as the fighter who can only beat himself. An A-game Mayweather is looked upon as unbeatable. He is so good that it's hard to argue that point, but notice I said hard, not impossible. What isn't being considered is all the best have lost, even at a time when we all didn't think it could be done.
When people have their minds made up about a fighter though, it is like pulling teeth to change their thoughts. Judah has been in and out of this quandary on more than one occasion. After his 01' loss to Kostya Tszyu, he lost a bit of the luster that was bestowed upon him by those who compared him to the likes of Pernel Whitaker - just with the added pop that Whitaker lacked. Many chose to jump ship and bailed on the Brooklyn native when he was down. Fast-forward to 05' and Judah becomes the 'Undisputed' welterweight champion with a stirring, and more over, focused performance against Corey Spinks in the defending champion's hometown. That win, coupled with the perception of a more focused and spirited Zab Judah, made many of those who in fact jumped ship, grab their life preservers and climb back on board.
The clichéd words of "you are only as good as your last fight" hovers over Judah, as he is once again looked upon as less than the real deal by those who before turned their backs. They are again taking the plunge and jumping ship, as if Judah was the sinking Titanic, after his WBC title losing effort against the lightly regarded Argentinian, Carlos Baldomir.
The Baldomir fight was suppose to be a snack before the main course that would be Floyd Mayweather later on in the year. After the loss Judah still gets that big meal, but so many ask - why? To counter that question, I ask, why ask why? It just seems in Judah's case most have embraced the thought that in this fight he is a washed-up fighter as opposed to a fighter that lost his focus - or one of a fighter that had too much focus. The often-made error of a fighter like Judah focusing too much on someone like a Mayweather just may have been the thing that had actually created a sense of blindness to the challenge of a supposed tune-up in a Carlos Baldomir.
Yes he shouldn't have looked past his opponent, but that's a sin that many-a-fighter has made. Fortunate for him, it didn't totally spoil his Mayweather opportunity.
Whatever the case, listening to other journalists while I sat in press row at the Theater in Madison Square Garden on the night that Baldomir wrested the WBC strap from Judah, and even listening and reading everything since, I see that Judah's fight isn't only against Mayweather, but one against
public perception as well. The common thought has been one that Judah is a modern day Terry Norris, suffering from focus lapses and a suspect chin. In their minds, Judah's chin goes well beyond suspect. With some, it isn't even a suspect; it's one that has provided enough evidence for it to be tried, convicted and placed on virtual death row. It's a feeling that a fight with Mayweather would be just like pulling the switch.
But Mayweather has never been accused of being a knockout puncher. He is like a James Toney in the sense where he has just enough pop to definitely make his presence felt, but its after a wear down process that the knockout comes. Is Judah's chin that bad? We will definitely find out when these two talented fighters meet, because his chin will be hit and hit often.
For that matter Mayweather, who was buzzed and stung by a lighter hitting southpaw bee, in "Chop-Chop' Corley, will at some point have to take that same chin test. It's hard to agree with those who see a Mayweather/Gatti type affair, where Mayweather was barely touched. Even if there is a legitimate decline in the skills of a Zab Judah, thinking the fight will look anywhere close to Gatti is, in essence, saying that Judah should just hang up the gloves and not fight anyone, let alone a Mayweather.
Before Judah's loss, this was the best fight possible. Now after the loss, true the bout may have lost a little luster, but to say that the fight shouldn't take place at all is asinine. These are still two of boxing's best. The reality is they will fight on April 8th for the IBF welterweight title whether anyone agrees or not. Just who will come out on top in this still important, and more over, still dangerous encounter? For those that pick Mayweather hands down, remember our boxing history - we've all been wrong before.
Pound-for-pound king stands to tarnish rep
By Kevin Iole
LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. ought to be ashamed of himself.
A decorated champion like Mayweather might need a stiffer challenge than his April 8 bout vs. Zab Judah.
He's not, of course. The world's finest fighter will be perfectly content to pluck the welterweight title belt that Zab Judah "won" by losing to a guy with nine losses when they meet on the UNLV campus a week from Saturday.
But he ought to be ashamed for even considering fighting for that tarnished belt, much less doing it.
I doubt Donald Trump gets off by buying a Ford Focus for $1,500 below the sticker price.
I doubt Bill Gates agrees to a two-hour layover at Midway so he can save $75 off the full fare on a flight to New York.
When you're the best, the biggest and the brightest, you don't need to trifle with the little things that trouble the masses.
Luis Collazo needs a welterweight title belt. Zab Judah, who was beaten by a guy with nine losses, needs a title belt.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not.
He's already the pound-for-pound king. He's already regarded as one of the best of all time.
But Mayweather is still going to fight for the belt Judah won by losing to a guy with nine losses in Carlos Baldomir.
Mayweather has no intention of following Riddick Bowe's lead and dumping the belt into the trash where it belongs when he wins it.
Rest assured, he'll win it. But if he cared about the sport that has made him rich, he'd decline to even fight for this tainted title.
The fight, you may remember, was supposed to be for the undisputed welterweight championship before the supposedly great Judah was beaten by a guy with nine losses.
Poor Zab was so overwhelmed by all the interviews he was asked to do that he was not himself in the ring against a guy with nine losses. I guess that's why he blew off a conference call the other day, although somebody ought to let him in on a secret: No one was happier when he skipped the call than the boxing writers who would have had to listen to his drivel.
Given that Ricky Hatton wouldn't fight him and Antonio Margarito had a date he couldn't get out of, there were few choices for Mayweather when it came to picking a high-profile opponent for his April 8 date.
Actually fighting Judah, even though he couldn't beat a guy with nine losses, isn't the problem.
It's the part about competing for that belt that is wrong.
In June, the Associated Press Sports Editors will hold their annual convention in Las Vegas. I'm going to be on a panel along with Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press, Ron Borges of the Boston Globe, Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times and Al Bernstein of Showtime that is called "Boxing: America's lost sport."
We're supposed to talk about the ways the sports editors of America's newspapers can enhance their sections by adding more boxing coverage.
And I can point to many great stories that the vast majority of daily newspapers are missing.
But how I can defend a sport in which a guy loses in the ring and is given his belt back immediately?
And I can't understand Mayweather willingly agreeing to pay the exorbitant sanctioning fee he's going to be required to pay to fight for a belt that is so tainted, most boxing writers won't even mention it.
Can you imagine the outcry if the NFL had said after the divisional playoff game between the Colts and the Steelers that even though the Steelers had more points, the Colts were going to advance?
There is no way to justify that this is a title fight.
If you are involved in boxing and want to clean it up, you begin by not treating your customers like fools. But that's what Arum & Co. are doing by putting on a title fight featuring a champion who cleanly lost it in the ring (not to mention to a guy with nine defeats).
Boxers are so quick to moan when they're wronged by the sanctioning bodies, but they're quick to condone those injustices when it benefits them.
Mayweather would set himself apart by refusing to play those games. He's the best there is and everyone knows it.
He doesn't need the strap of an organization that gives its belt to a guy who couldn't beat a fighter with nine losses to legitimize him.
Here's a suggestion: Mayweather should take the money he would have spent on the sanctioning fees, announce he's donating it to something like Hurricane Katrina relief and then just fight a 12-round fight.
Then that money wouldn't be wasted by going into the pockets of those guys in New Jersey. At least then it would be helping people who desperately need the help.
and....what if the seemingly impossible happened and judah beat mayweather?? does he then RETAIN the title he LOST to baldomir?? then maybe the promoters and santioning committees could call in the men in black and they could zap us out of our collective memory that there ever was a carlos baldomir....with nine losses! sham, fraud, fake....fugazzi!
Mayweather's Big Mouth Steals Show
by Benn Schulberg from Sweet Science
Zab "Super" Judah was a questionable no-show during today's media conference call to promote his upcoming mega-fight with pound-for-pound king, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. With the undeniable sounds of a gym-in-action competing with the voices on the phone, you'd think Judah would take moments away from the rope-skipping and the bag pounding to answer certain deserving questions. But that wasn't the case as Yoel Judah, the keeper of the Judah clan and trainer to his son in the biggest fight of his life, answered all the questions and left little doubt as to what their camp thinks of the opponent at-hand.
"Floyd's got a real big mouth, we'll find out April 8 how much he can talk. We're gonna close his big a** mouth," said Yoel Judah.
What was supposed to be a conference call for Judah the fighter to answer questions about rebounding off the most lackluster performance in his career to challenge the greatest fighter of his generation turned into an angry outburst by Judah the father who was unrelenting in his attack on Mayweather. If we didn't know before then we clearly know now that Yoel and company's buttons have been sufficiently pushed by the great trash-talking of Mayweather and now they're calling for his blood.
"When you push our buttons you got problems. This is going to make history for the next 100 years. It's like Katrina, it's coming, just watch."
Whether Mayweather will have to face a devastating storm in Zab Judah and wipe away any blood at all come April 8 is a matter of debate, but it does seem evident that this time when Judah steps in the ring, he won't lack any motivation as he seemingly did against Carlos Baldomir.
Still, after thirty-plus minutes of Mayweather bashing today, I still wasn't sold on the Zab Judah show. Yoel made it seem that having a big mouth will inhibit Floyd from landing his punches.
When asked what advantage his son has over Mayweather Jr., Yoel Judah responded coldly, "When we step into the ring we have the advantage."
And so went today's press conference. More curious questions from the media about Judah the fighter and more angry answers about Mayweather's antics by Judah the father.
Seemingly bothered by every question, Yoel continued in his aggressive tone, "He's focused, he's training hard. The big fight he gets up for. He's up for Floyd because he's got a big mouth. We're from Brooklyn, we take and that's what we're coming to do."
Don King, who was unfairly blamed by Judah after his last loss for causing him to distract from training by making him take time to hype the fight, was supportive of his fighter's decision to skip today's interview in favor of honing his ring skills for April 8.
"He's got to revenge himself and that's what he's going to do to Mayweather. He doesn't want to talk because he's so upset and focused," King said.
Now this isn't just a battle between two fighters who are "old friends" and who've been at the top of their sport for years, it's also about those two promoters who've been at the top of their "sport" seemingly ever since the extinction of the dinosaur. King and Arum are at it again, this time with the pound-for-pound title at stake and all the bragging rights to go along with it.
"A winner never quits and a quitter never wins so I'm going to keep on doing this against Bob," King replied in response to how he feels about teaming up with his longtime adversary to promote this fight. As the great orator himself has said, "If it don't make dollars it don't make sense" and since this $44.95 HBO PPV fight should make "sense," King and his counterpart should be all smiles. Yet, despite the co-promotion, don't think King isn't chomping at the bit to topple Arum in the baddest way. No matter how much money is made, these two men are destined to remain fierce competitors until the final deal is made and the final battle is fought.
"I'd be surprised if he doesn't destroy Floyd," King predicted. "This fight will win fight of the year honors without a doubt."
Judah is training in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is King's backyard, and thus the promoter has had a bird’s eye view of his fighter's physical and mental condition. Since Zab wasn't available and Yoel was too busy hating on Mayweather, it was King who ironically answered with most clarity exactly how Judah's preparation is going as if he himself was the man doing the training.
"Judah's got the will to win, and the mind can achieve what the body can't achieve. He's got that desire, that unbelievable commitment to take this guy out."
Let's hope for Zab Judah's sake that his promoter's assessment is accurate and not mere hype to sell tickets, which we know he's a master at. The closest we got to Judah was listening to the pop-pop of his gloves hitting the bag and imagining what he might be thinking as April 8 closes in on him.
So we are left to speculate as to whether or not he will live up to the bold predictions of his father and promoter or wilt under the tremendous pressure of a career-defining fight against boxing's superman.
Greg makes a great point.
Zab skipping the conference call to focus on training shows me he means business here.
Judah is desperate in perhaps his last hurrah in terms of making big money in the sport, and desperate men are dangerous.
Zab can still hit with that left. Remember that great line from Percy Helton in the classic boxing movie, "The Set Up"?
George Tobias told him it's a million to one that Stoker wins the fight and Helton said--"That's just it, there's still the one! Stoker can still punch!"
Floyd is one of my favorite fighters, and I hope he is not underestimating this guy.
Last edited by StingerKarl; 03-30-2006 at 10:50 PM.
Obviously I favor Floyd because Zab is such a headcase. If I was a betting man, I'd take the odds and put a little on Zab. He's been wanting this fight for almost two years and Floyd was avoiding him in spite of Zab's belts.
Trust me guys, Zab doesn't belong in the crevice of PBF's shoe. The state of eachother's careers is no accident or coincidence. Zab is going to learn very quickly in the fight that he was never in the same league as PBF. They both may act like punks publicly but the substance behind them couldn't be further apart. IMO PBF will take his time & KO Judah and it won't be all that close. It's going to take a bit more than some power & a little luck to take PBF down and I don't see a glimmer of hope for someone like Zab here. The sum of what's already been proven just doesn't add up in Zab's favor whatsoever from where I'm sittin.
I believe there is one thing going for Zab. He has very good one-punch knockout power when the other guy gets careless. We seen it against Spinks and numerous chumps on Don King undercards. Unfortunately for Zab, Mayweather appears to have demonstrated a very good chin in bouts against Chavez and Castillo.
Zab is going to get dismantled by PB. He's not only going to be beaten he's going to be embarrased. Zab is a career underachiever who except for the 2nd Spinks fight, I've never seen him be able to stay focused for 3 straight rounds much less a whole fight.
Zab is a fraud & he's about to get exposed yet again.
Mayweather, Judah ready to show world they aren't pals
By Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY
If they were ever friends, and from the sounds of it they really weren't, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Zab "Super" Judah will enter the ring April 8 at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center with an ax to grind that Mayweather maintains is rooted in Judah's envy.
"The problem is this — Zab is really upset because he's not in my shoes," Mayweather says. "He's upset because of his position. He's been wanting to fight on HBO and be in my shoes, but I can't help that he's in the predicament he's in."
Coming off an upset loss to Carlos Baldomir, Judah's predicament is that his back is against the wall and his IBF welterweight title is at stake. That's not such a bad position to be in when you consider that the fight against Mayweather, billed as "Sworn Enemies," will be Judah's first headlining fight on pay per view (HBO PPV, $44.95) and is shaping up as one the most anticipated showdowns of the year.
Brewster fight tops weekend
Lamon Brewster (33-2, 29 KOs) vs. Sergei Liakhovich (22-1, 14 KOs) for the WBO heavyweight title, Saturday in Cleveland, Showtime, 11 p.m. ET/PT (free preview).
The WBC said Thursday that Oleg Maskaev will be the next challenger to WBC heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman. Both fighters should agree the winner of that fight must next fight James Toney. Rahman retained his title Mar. 18 with a draw against Toney.
Mayweather, considered the sport's No. 1 pound-for-pound champion, says he's the reason the fight with Judah still has marquee value. His leading role has been magnified, he says, because of Judah's lack of participation in the fight's promotional efforts, including Judah's refusal to take part in a conference call with reporters.
"He's a hothead, and he doesn't understand business," Mayweather says. "It takes two to make a fight, but I sold this fight. This guy hasn't cooperated from the beginning."
Mayweather, from Grand Rapids, Mich., points out that Judah, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., wasn't even a big draw in his own homecoming fight against Baldomir last January. The fight drew 4,734 fans to the Theater at Madison Square Garden, and many in the crowd booed as Judah's lackluster performance resulted in him losing a unanimous decision.
Before the loss, Judah was the undisputed welterweight champion. He's now recognized as champ only by the IBF, and that's only because Baldomir didn't pay that organization's sanctioning fees.
Nonetheless, Mayweather (35-0, 24 knockouts) says he never takes any opponent lightly. And there are many who still believe Judah (34-3, 25 KOs) has the hand speed and overall boxing ability to give Mayweather a real test.
"It's one of my toughest challenges," agrees Mayweather, a former world champion at super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight who will be fighting at welterweight for just the second time in his career. "It's a challenge, but I feel I always rise to the occasion. The thing I know is that he better not make a mistake because he ain't got the best chin. He's been saying that I can't punch, but come April 8 he'll see.
Judah's public silence differs from his earlier posture when he was trying get the fight with Mayweather, referring to him as "Pretty Girl," among other insulting remarks. "I told everybody I would shut Zab Judah up," Mayweather says. "I'm just surprised it happened this early."
Speaking on his son's behalf, his father-trainer says there's no time for talk because Judah is focusing all of his attention on training.
"Listen, he don't feel nothing for Floyd," Yoel Judah says. "Floyd's got a big mouth. He's got a real big mouth. And, we're going to find out April 8 how much he can talk. Watch."
Mayweather said he believes the genesis of Judah's dislike for him began with a sparring session a while back. "He was beating around the bush like he wanted to work with me, and I guess he didn't want to let his pride get in the way, so he said yeah, we can work," Mayweather recalls.
"He was already upset because we had played four games of basketball, and I beat him in front of all his friends. So I guess he wanted to test himself against me, and I came out on top each time."
Mayweather says the sparring session ended when Judah's father told his son to quit. "His dad's exact words were, 'Get out of the ring before that man kills you.' "
Less talk from Judah plays into Mayweather's hands
By Dan Rafael
For months, Zab Judah has done nothing but slam pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. in anticipation of their "Sworn Enemies" welterweight showdown.
But now that the April 8 fight (HBO PPV) in Las Vegas is growing closer by the hour, it seems as though Judah (34-3, 25 KOs) suddenly has lost his stomach for verbal warfare, going silent at crunch time.
There was a time when you couldn't get Judah to shut up about what he would do to Mayweather. Now, you can't even find him.
It seems as though Mayweather already has won the psychological war.
Instead of facing the press corps on a long-scheduled national conference call this week to discuss the heavily hyped fight, Judah was a no-show.
Instead, he sent his father/trainer Yoel Judah, promoter Don King and publicist Alan Hopper to talk for him.
HBO PPV (Saturday, 9 ET)
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
• Welterweights: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (35-0, 24 KOs) vs. Zab Judah (34-3, 25 KOs), 12 rounds
• Welterweights: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (35-0, 24 KOs) vs. Zab Judah (34-3, 25 KOs), 12 rounds
• Flyweights: Jorge Arce (43-3-1, 33 KOs) vs. Rosendo Alvarez (37-2-2, 24 KOs), 12 rounds, for Arce's interim title
• Lightweights: Juan Diaz (28-0, 14 KOs) vs. Jose Cotto (27-0, 19 KOs), 12 rounds, for Diaz's title
• Junior welterweights: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (24-0-1, 18 KOs) vs. TBA, 6 rounds
Their excuse for Judah's refusal to participate in the promotion was that he was training and trying to remain focused on the fight.
"No, he's training right now," Yoel Judah said when asked whether Judah would answer questions. "He's focused now, you know what I'm saying."
Over and over, Yoel parroted the party line.
"No disrespect to nobody, no reporter, or commentator, or matchmaker, or nobody," he said. "We're just not talking. He's focused. He's training. And, we're going to do what we've got to do in the ring come April 8."
Added King, "The guy is mad, I guess. He don't want to talk. He's so upset and he's so focused that he's going to do what he's got to do. And, some of the reporters should take this as a hint. A word to the wise -- Zab is going after Floyd with a relentless dedication and commitment to destroy him."
Mayweather (35-0, 24 KOs), meanwhile, couldn't appear more relaxed. In his second major pay-per-view fight, he is becoming a seasoned veteran of the intensity of the process.
He said during his own conference call that he loved the media and was available for all interview requests. Then he even took the unusual step of inviting the media personnel -- and their families! -- to watch him train any time he was at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas.
He ripped Judah for ducking the media and not doing his part to promote a fight in which both boxers can earn money on top of their base purses depending on how well the pay-per-view sells.
"It's not cool that his father had to get on the phone with you guys," Mayweather said. "If talking to the media on a speakerphone from a couch throws you out of your focus, you'll never get focused.
"He don't understand business. He's gotta learn. It takes two. I sold this fight. This guy hasn't cooperated from the beginning."
Mayweather didn't buy Judah's "training and focus" reasons for suddenly going silent.
"You can't lose focus talking on speakerphone for a half hour," Mayweather said in one of his many digs at Judah. "I'm going to do this call and then go right to the gym. I told everybody I will shut Zab Judah up. I'm just surprised it happened this early. Every night, I know he can't sleep. He's tossing and turning. He knows he is fighting a better fighter than Baldomir and a tougher fighter than [former junior welterweight champ] Kostya Tszyu," who knocked Judah out in two rounds in 2001.
another bump...thanks Bucket.
I'm watching this fight for free, so they aren't getting my money.
But, I think the PPV numbers will be lower than expected for this fight aside from the obvious reason that they are fighting for the most worthless belt in all of boxing. Judah, far from being rewarded, is only splitting a million for this fight and that includes Don King. For all of those that don't like Judah, and I include myself in that group, King will find a way to take a good chunk of that. Zab not showing up for the press conference will hurt the PPV sales. King and Arum spending their joint press conference focusing more on bashing HBO than promoting Mayweather-Judah will also hurt the PPV. Plus, with the cinderella story of the NCAA tournament and George Mason, the opening week of baseball, and playoff positioning in the NBA, boxing is far in the rearview mirror of most general sports fans and these fans are necessary to make a PPV successful. Plus, this fight comes after the last major fight with the hopelessly bloated Toney and Rahman fighting a listless draw. This PPV cannot be successful with all this going against it. If it is, then as Don King says, "Only in America."
If Judah wins, boxing is in for a world of misguided ratings p4p-wise...and in for a terrible time quantifying its 'stars'.
I'm more interested in seeing Arce vs. Alvarez anyway.
This is actually the first PPV that I will buy since last fall.
It's got a good undercard and the main event is attractive to me despite what happened to Zab in his last fight.
This fight will settle it for Zab. When he loses he should have to go back to the end of the line in the top 10 and maybe take an ESPN2 fight or two. If he doesn't go the ESPN or Boxing After Dark route he becomes total fodder for Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Miguel Cotto or Ricky Hatton.
If Zab refuses to start over and take some tune-ups on ESPN or Boxing After Dark he'll be fed to the wolves by Don King. King has Zab about $1.5 million in the hole right now, so when Zab loses to Mayweather he's going to have to do what Don King says or he won't get fights. No fights means no money and Zab is broke.
Judah may get back to even on the Mayweather fight. My guess is that King sacrifices Zab after this fight. Whenever King gets his money back out of a fighter he'll sacrifice him. King will feed him to one top fighter after another and I don't like Zab's chances in that scenario.
Put Zab in with a puncher - any puncher - and he loses basically every single time.
I personally will be ordering this fight too.
I don't see why not, with the snoozers that are Taylor/Hopkins and they bullshit heavyweight cards, this card is a monster in comparision to those.
FLOYD-ZAB A CONSUMER’S CHOICE? MARQUEZ-JOHN CERTAINLY THE HEIST OF THE 2006 BOXING YEAR!
April 03, 2006, 02:15:56 AM by Cliff Rold
IS ZAB & FLOYD WORTH A FIGHT FAN’S DOLLAR?
Landover, MD-Regular readers of this column know my opinion on the battle between Floyd Mayweather and Zab Judah. For those who don’t, I wrote in January, that “None of this should tell you that Mayweather-Judah lacks intrigue. It has a smidge; Judah has some pop and is nearly as fast as Floyd…but he’s proven that he isn’t a consistent upper echelon fighter…As to paying fifty bucks (the average PPV cost for fights), viewers shouldn’t be deceived with words that hold legitimacy like ‘title fight’ and ‘pound-for-pound.’ This sort of raping of the buying public won’t stop until there is no buying public for the wrong match-ups; push this fight below 100,000 buys and a message can be sent to Mayweather, his handlers and HBO. I ask all boxing fans…make them lose money so they will stop stealing yours. Pay-per-view dollars should go to fights, and fighters, that earn it. Mayweather’s last six fights don’t fit that bill (Judah off a loss is the best fighter he’s faced since Jose Luis Castillo in 2002) and Judah didn’t look like 50 cents, much less 50 bucks, against Baldomir, and he never did much to earn your dollar before that. Say no to HBO Pay-Per-View on this one.” My opinion of the main event hasn’t changed…but there is a compelling case for purchase on the undercard.
Read the Rest Here...
It probably won't have much effect, but on principal alone, I can not bring myself to order this bout.
Not being that big of a fan of Judah in the first place (Baldomir bout or no), It would have been tough for me to purchase it.
What's my motivation for staying away right now? My comcast bill shows Manny and Morales still on it. So I know that bill has to be paid. No need to go spend MORE money on a bout, that will not have the luster, appeal or interest for me.
So I'll let that be my added motivation to stay away.
Whihc I will.
Last edited by hawk5ins; 04-03-2006 at 11:20 AM.
Preparing for Gatti, Baldomir sees Judah beating Mayweather
By Jerry Magee
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Carlos Baldomir is predicting Zab Judah will defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the same reason Baldomir, a Sycuan Ringside Promotions fighter, beat Judah: boxer indifference.
“The way Judah overlooked me is the way Mayweather is thinking about Judah,” Baldomir said.
Mayweather, widely regarded as boxing's foremost figure on a pound-per-pound basis, faces Judah on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Baldomir, 34, was recently at Sycuan to sign a contract to defend his WBC welterweight title against Arturo Gatti on July 22 at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.
Baldomir (42-9-6, 12 KOs) was an 18-1 underdog when he captured a unanimous decision over Judah on Jan. 7 in New York.
After Baldomir's victory, Sycuan officials had to sift through a number of proposals for their man's first defense. Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya's promotional arm, wanted to match Ishe Smith, a product of the “Contender” television series, against the Argentine veteran, and Ricky Hatton of Great Britain was interested in challenging Baldomir.
After weighing the various proposals, Sycuan interests settled on the fight against Gatti (40-7, 31 KOs).
“It's going to be a battle,” predicted Glenn Quiroga, president of Sycuan Ringside Promotions.
“Gatti is no joke. He's a warrior. But we all know he has problems with his hands, and he takes a lot of punches to the face. It's going to be a war, but our guy will win.”
“He was a great champion in 1996-97,” said Baldomir of Gatti through an interpreter, “but he's not the same fighter he was.”
In opposing Gatti, ranked No. 4 by the WBC and No. 6 by The Ring magazine, Baldomir will be fighting at a site known as “The House that Gatti Built.” Gatti, 33, resides in Jersey City, N.J., and has fought frequently in Atlantic City.
Baldomir, though, has made a career of fighting in the hometowns of his rivals.
“I love our guy,” Quiroga said. “He came out against Judah determined to win the title and he came into the ring with that mentality.”
Baldomir chose an aggressive course against Judah, pressing him, taking his best shots and coming away with a unanimous decision.
“The guy has a chin of steel,” Sycuan boxing executive Scott Woodworth said of Baldomir. “He really does. Probably about the sixth round, Judah hit him and Carlos gestured as if to say, 'Do it again.' Judah then had a different look on his face, like, 'Wait a minute. I hit him with my best shot, and he didn't go anywhere.' ”
Baldomir said he will train for his match against Gatti in Los Angeles.
Sycuan, meantime, has matched its former lightweight champion, Tony Diaz of Coachella, against Ricky Quiles of Puerto Rico for a May 18 lightweight title elimination bout that is to be held in Hollywood, Fla., and is to be co-promoted by two tribes, Sycuan and the Seminole tribe of Florida.
Bout will help sell Mayweather
Promoter Arum believes Grand Rapids native will earn more than any other fighter.
Michael Katz / The Detroit News
Saturday's fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Zab Judah in Las Vegas is being billed as "Sworn Enemies," a catch phrase about as clichéd as it gets in a sport that almost prides itself on hackneyed phrases.
But this fight on HBO pay-per-view (9 p.m., $44.95) isn't about the soap opera story line -- how a friendship between Mayweather, a Grand Rapids native who lives in Las Vegas, and Judah soured, and now they're out to beat each other's brains in.
No, it's the latest step in the marketing of boxing's next superstar. And it's not Zab Judah.
"I think that the public now is beginning to appreciate (Mayweather's) talent, and as the most talented fighter in the world, he will be in the position to be the biggest attraction and make the most money," said Bob Arum, Mayweather's promoter, during a recent conference call. "I think one thing will naturally follow the other and as long as he -- as he (has) said, is cooperative with the media, knows and understands promotion -- the sky is the limit.
"I really believe that before he's finished, he will earn more money than any fighter in the history of boxing."
Mayweather (35-0) is sure convinced, which is a reason he patched up his longstanding differences with Arum. Isn't it sweet when dollar signs can bring two people together?
"You know, I appreciate Bob," Mayweather said. "You know, everybody -- there's life, we're going to have our ups, we're going to have our downs. But, when it's time to go do a fight, we know it's business, and we have to get along."
This fight could have been an even bigger drawing card had Judah (34-3) not lost his grip on the undisputed welterweight championship in a loss to unknown Carlos Baldomir in January. Judah, 28, was able to retain the IBF title because Baldomir never paid the sanctioning fee. And it hasn't helped Judah has avoided the media in the weeks leading up to the fight.
"We're just not talking," said Yoel Judah, Zab's father and trainer. "He's focused. He's training."
Mayweather, 29, said he thinks there's more to the story. Really, how hard is it to talk on a conference call?
"There's no way you could lose focus on that," Mayweather said. "If talking to the media on a speaker phone from a couch could throw you out of focus, he (will) never get focused.
"He's a hothead. He don't understand business, and that's what he has to learn. He's got to understand business -- this is a business, it takes two as far as this fight. You know, I sold this fight. Floyd Mayweather sold this fight. I told everybody I would shut Zab Judah up. I'm just surprised it happened this early."
Don't get Mayweather wrong. He's not overlooking Judah, an immensely gifted fighter who still has blistering hand speed and savvy ring smarts. Judah's problem, though, is he's facing the sport's most dominant athlete whose best years loom.
"I know and you guys know Zab is not faster than me," Mayweather said. "And even if we do match each other speed for speed, it's about timing and smarts. And remember, I always find a way to win."
Take Care of Business Floyd!
By Martin Wade from Dog House Boxing
“I’m not in the Game for the money; I’m in the game to be a legend” – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
April 8th should most likely be the beginning of the rest of what could be a legendary career. When Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps up to the scratch against erratic quicksilver Zab Judah he is roundly expected to dazzle and then brutally dispatch of ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’. Easier said from press row and our living rooms, but the cruelest game has never been that easy, and it most likely will never be again for little Floyd. According to the Mayweather camp, after coronating himself the champion of the hip hop generation (a demographic elusive to boxing) there are bigger and better things in the fistic Picasso’s future. Hearing all of this is encouraging to this observer, but I don’t detect a hint of the urgency needed to finish slightly ahead of boxings all time undefeated champion… Father time.
Obviously, Father Time is the only sure bet in the fight game despite what Floyd Mayweather and the ‘Bobfather’ will lead you to believe. Father time is insidious, working in undetectable milliseconds like a slow acting virus. Father time was already in play when Ray Robinson loosened his trousers to campaign at 160, making it conceivable for a Randy Turpin and later Carmen Basillio to enter Ray’s Narcissistic bubble world. Father time tampered with Haglers gears just enough to allow Ray Leonard to tinker with perception. Father time created the greatest fight in heavyweight history by rendering Ali a mere mortal-there for the malicious onslaught of Philadelphia’s real meat grinder. The story is repeated over and over again in boxing where milliseconds can not only get you beat, but leave you removed from your physical well being. Floyd Mayweather Jr. with 3 years of wasted gifts (and approaching 30) is no less vulnerable than any other ring marvel before him.
The time is now
Word has it that there is a tentative date for Floyd to take on WBO Welterweight champion Antonio Margarito on July 29th. Floyd should make this fight happen as soon as possible. For those who believe the Pretty Boy is afraid I beg to differ, there’s malice beneath the surface of any great fighter yet sometimes that primal cruelty is outweighed by fiscal cunning. Oscar De La Hoya is boxings toughest SOB in that boardroom as Ray Leonard before him. When Floyd makes the flippant “if it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense” remark he is (and rather injudiciously) verbalizing the harsh reality of the prize ring. Hopefully William and Morris will induce their new prized client to strike that tired cadence from the record with something more relative to Floyd’s historic (and not financial) predicament. It was at the same age Floyd is now that a retired Sugar Ray Leonard felt so unsure of his place in history that he came back against the best middleweight in the world. Ray knew his days were numbered, but based on his risk we never penalized him when he stayed too long. As great as Roy Jones was in his prime (Canastota plaque guaranteed) he left us with too many ‘yeah buts’. Great fighters should never leave us with words like ‘enigmatic’ and ‘unfulfilled’, Ray Robinson left us the prototype, one designed with no file space for ‘yeah buts’. Ray Robinson was a legend by the age of 30 because he routinely erased all questions and challenges to his supremacy. As far as the take no prisoners, get my money alpha male aesthetic that hip hop now projects Ray Robinson was the epitome of all of this in his time. Ray maintained that distinction (in boardrooms and on the block) by kicking much ass while looking good doing it. Floyd Mayweather makes no bones about telling everyone he is a millionaire so on the brink of 30 he should have no problem solidifying his claim for legendary status by ‘cleaning house’ in 2006. As he is currently in flirtation with mainstream acceptance his itinerary should match what he believes to be his new position as boxings next superstar.
Zab is a great start
Do I consider the fight a legitimate championship fight, uhm hell no but it is worth my PPV dollars? Why? The under card is stacked (as all PPV’s should be). Also I know Zab will bring heat; not newly converted PBF cheerleader Demarcus Corley heat but ‘do or die’ heat. Boxing is filled with drama and there’s nothing like watching a guy with world class skill fighting with his back against the wall. To hell with Brian Kenney, all he can do for me is pass me a Corona on April 8th. Plus I still believe Floyd will have to adjust to dealing with Zabs comparable speed and power. Floyd is no fool; he knows the difference between sparring and a real fight, actually his repeated recounting of the session is a red flag to me. Plus, a shopworn Sharmba Mitchell shouldn’t even register as a welterweight ‘debut’ in my book. I also believe there’s still love between the two, a combustible friendship between two guys with big egos always gets nasty-now add money and gloves. My worst days on the asphalt were against my best friend, he had all the tools to shut me down plus as a friend he understood what made me tick. When there’s a real likelihood that the two of you will end up 50 years old one day doing backyard cook outs together you want to close the deal. You don’t want your homey to look over the potato salad and give you that knowing glance. You know the one. The one that says back in the day I whooped that ass! Besides, Ring magazine still has Judah ranked #4 in the world. I’m still looking for Henry Bruseles on that list.
If you don’t believe Floyd has lost anything from 130 to 147 take a peek at the Corales spectacle and get back to me. Antonio Margarito is a very dangerous fight due to the same rugged volume punching style that made Castillo and Jesus Chavez such a tough nights for Floyd. Margarito is not going anywhere; he’ll be a force at 154 so it would be prudent for Floyd to get him while he’s still in his prime. Don’t allow age to make the fight anymore tenuous than it already is. With Antonio’s frame he’s in the welterweight division solely for Mayweather, so too is the same weight issue that loomed over the lanky Corales. This will also be a great opportunity for the ‘crème dela crème’ to ingratiate himself to Mexican fans. Part of what makes any product a ‘crossover’ is when it appeals to those outside of its target audience. At the Morales/Pacquiao fight Floyd received a mixed reception from the mostly Mexican/Filipino audience. It seemed that they wanted to make sure to boo him on camera yet they gave him love when he stood by his seat (tirelessly) signing autographs. Floyd’s relationship with Mexican fans reminds me of a woman that immediately likes you; although she may think you’re cute the onus is upon you to give her a ‘reason’ to give you some play. If Floyd abandons the ‘who is Margarita?’ rhetoric and handles the press buildup with dignity (see Hopkins/Tarver) it could go a long way (in market value) once the judges name him the winner of the July bout.
Make Hatton fight this year
Floyd should forget a September fight with De La Hoya; he’s banking on a cease fire (between Top Rank and GBP) that may never transpire. At the risk of getting a nasty e mail from Bob Arums attorney, the only way that fight goes down (on ‘Oscar time’) is if Floyd bolts for Golden Boy. The alternative is a must showdown with ‘new’ welterweight Ricky Hatton. Now let me get this straight most ‘objective’ ring experts make Hatton the man at 140 with full knowledge that he’s turned down overtures from the Mayweather camp? There are even reports from the ‘Hitman’s’ camp that a Floyd fight would be best for 2007. The Hatton fight should be a major campaign, the media should assist Floyd in beating the drums for this showdown especially in light of a Margarito victory. I fully expect Ricky to commence a love affair with American fight fans with a victory over Luis Collazo in May. I just don’t see a point in putting the winner of Gatti/Baldomir ahead of Mayweather if the fight is there. Ricky Hatton is the kind of fighter that can make Floyd a star, because he has the physical strength (and body attack) to put Floyd in ‘fight of the year’ type brawl-shades of Montreal anyone? Hatton is a junkyard dog, he drags you in the mud with him and you have to get dirty if you want to survive. Seeing the ‘Pretty Boy’ in that kind of fight will endear him to fans who would have never liked him otherwise, even if he’d amassed a record of 50-0. Top Rank should see it as a priority to make Hatton either put up or return to merry old England a merry old novelty. Also a victory would validate the ‘yeah buts’ that lingered during Mayweathers short stay at 140.
Not that a former three division champion and certain Hall of Famer should be considered a ‘substitute’ by any means. This is only the case when the main dish was shall we say ‘Golden’. Sugar Shane Mosley, as of this writing is on a resurgence that will probably make him a very live dog against the Pretty Boy. Although the historians groan that this squabble should have taken place at lightweight consider this. Mosley is currently ranked #3 at welterweight by Ring Magazine and in his first fight with Vargas he rediscovered the one thing that had us all calling him Robinson’s heir in the first place. Combination punching! Shane’s name recognition is enough to water the palette of any young legendary hopeful searching for immortality. I’d even go on record to state that Mosley is physically stronger and more explosive (even at 34) than the above mentioned fighters. Right after his strong showing against Vargas Mosley made it no secret that he wants to tangle with Floyd. If Oscar and Ricky Hatton balk (which is likely) the Sugarman is the only route to staying on PPV in 2006.
30 is a benchmark for men in most aspects of life, it is an age when most of us start to consider settling down as well as ‘being’ a father. In team sports 30 Is the age that most singular superstars who haven’t won a title begin to reevaluate their sense of loyalty. 30 for midlevel contenders can be a scramble for that one shot to make some real money before becoming a gatekeeper or worse. What is 30 for an already certain Hall of Famer? It should be a call to arms, a time to deepen the engravement on your plauque.30 should be a time to leave no doubt as to your place next to the past greats of the sweet science, and it should be a time to once and for all take care of your business.
Return of the Black fight Fan
Looking around room, under the table: you talking to me? Where did I go? I remember crying because I missed the broadcast of the first Leonard Duran fight due to a little league all star game. I remember inviting friends over for Tyson v. Ruddock and laughing with my then wife at the Ferdie Pacheco tirade regarding ‘that Sonofabitch’ Don King. I remember having a house full of people when Roy Jones ‘clowned’ James Toney in 1994. Zab and Floyd are bringing a strong hip hop ‘celebrity’ presence to this fight on Saturday night. That means the expensive seats will be like an episode of 106 and Park and the bling will be on blast , but Hip Hop (no matter how culturally relevant) does not tell the whole story. The one statistic that will always go uncalculated is the number of black homes that order PPV with all Latino headliners. My crib was filled with black men to witness Camacho/Chavez, Trinidad/Vargas and Trinidad/De La Hoya! When I go to the gym to shoot hoops, brotha’s who don’t keep up (with boxing) ask me about fights and a lot of times order all Latino cards based on my word. I think this fight will be a financial success but not because brotha’s have somehow ‘returned’. It will be a success because it’s a great match up (if not a championship one) with an action packed under card, promoted by the two greatest promoters of all time period.
The Best and Worst of Zab Judah
by Joey Knish from Sweet Science
There is a saying in gambling circles that no team is as good or as bad as their best or worst performance. Casual fans and bettors tend to look at a team’s best performance and assume they are now unbeatable moving forward. Conversely, a team coming off their worst outing is often labeled a poor team or a team in decline that should now be bet against. In reality, a team’s best and worst games can often be thrown out of the picture completely in order to come to a reasonable conclusion as to their true ability.
In boxing the same holds true, and those writing off Zab Judah based on his most recent performance against Carlos Baldomir are making a mistake.
We have seen Judah, blessed with incredible athletic ability, get careless and lose his concentration in the past. Aside from his opponent this weekend, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Judah likely has the fastest hands in the sport and carries pop in both holsters. He often appears to conduct his business effortlessly in the ring , moving and feinting with ease as he uses excellent reflexes to get in, go to work, and get out. Unfortunately, confidence has never been a problem for Zabdiel Judah and that arrogance has proven to be costly.
We now know that the 28-year-old Brooklyn native didn’t pay the price in the gym nor during the fight against Baldomir (42-9-6, 12 KOs). Judah may have been correct in thinking that Baldomir wasn’t the same class of fighter as he is, but Baldomir proved that preparation and determination can bridge the gap that nature builds. The warning signs were there if one was to acknowledge them as Judah made several mistakes heading into the fight last January, a fight that was designed to be a preview leading to his big showdown with “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather.
First off, despite boxing as a welterweight five times in the past and having settled into the weight, Judah failed to make weight on his first attempt on the scales. He isn’t a big welterweight by any means, but suddenly tipped the scales a full pound over the 147-pound limit. Then, early on Saturday night, Zab was seen working the corner of his brother Josiah who was fighting a four-round bout buried deep on the card. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, Zab was lending a hand to his father Yoel, who trains both Zab and Josiah. The lack of focus and professionalism continued when it was finally time for Zab to fight. When referee Arthur Mercante Jr. asked the fighters to touch gloves, Judah showed no etiquette and popped his opponent with a right to the thigh.
These acts of disrespect left many fans feeling as if the immature Judah got exactly what he deserved in being stung with the loss, and for the most par they are right. Where things get clouded, however, is applying the theory that the Judah we saw against Carlos Baldomir is the same fighter we will see this weekend on HBO Pay-Per-View against the best fighter in the world today, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
At his best, Judah is a speedy boxer-puncher who can adapt to the pattern of the fight and apply whichever strategy will lead to a positive outcome. He is completely comfortable forcing the action or counterpunching as his opponent pursues. Watching the southpaw feint, fire fierce combinations with both hands, deftly take a half-step to make his opponent miss, and then fire back with little offered in response is part of what makes the science of boxing so sweet.
Floyd Mayweather is arguably the best fighter in boxing right now and the chance that Zab Judah will take him lightly is a near impossibility. Mayweather is just too good. Sure, Judah will always have extreme confidence is his ability, being so naturally gifted will do that, but he will definitely be up for this fight.
What that means is we could have a showdown of two slick speedsters with arguably the most God-give talent in the sport. While Mayweather has been able to overwhelm opponents with his speed and precise shots to wear opponents down, Judah is likely the only fighter who matches up well with him in the same categories. “Pretty Boy” Floyd may have a slight edge in speed, chin and defense, Judah likely carries more one-punch power, comes from a southpaw stance, and may be the stronger fighter. Judah will be settling in for his seventh bout at 147-pounds on Saturday whereas Mayweather has only fought once at welterweight. Floyd beat on Sharmba Mitchell for six rounds when he debuted at 147-pounds in November of last year, but Mitchell himself was a 36 year-old career junior welterweight fighting for just the his second time at welter.
It appears the linemakers and betting public have short-term memories judging from the line on this fight – Mayweather has been bet up to a -575 favorite. While Mayweather dominated both Mitchell and Arturo Gatti in his most recent bouts, Judah was out-hustled in his lackluster performance against Baldomir and those results are fresh in the mind of most people.
Obviously Floyd Mayweather is no Carlos Baldomir but on Saturday night we will find out if Zab Judah at his best can beat one of the best.
Zab Judah: Mysteries of a Man-Child
by Patrick Kehoe from Sweet Science
Former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Zab Judah’s been backed into his own corner, a dividing line that separates validation from ruin. Only vindication can allow his transferal from the approaching abyss, his career now so perilously close to being defined as an afterthought, title belts won and lost and yet the general sense of potential diminished by intermittent mediocrity a final legacy. It will not matter if Zab Judah wins fights after Saturday night, unless he wins Saturday night’s fight; boxing means surviving to win and prosper, his particular career of note coming down to a singular challenge. For Zab Judah, Brownsville’s Brooklyn brat, the cycle of his professionalism winds toward meeting the challenge of defeating the nemesis of his mind and time, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Everyone in boxing contents themselves with the knowledge that Judah and Mayweather do not like one another, though papa Yoel Judah says it’s mostly about business, with some over-the-top talk curdling the mix.
“We are going to do what we do best, which is win… He don’t feel nothin’ for Floyd. Floyd has a big mouth… he don’t hate the man, he’s just goin’ to shut his mouth… I don’t think there’s hate between them, Floyd’s just pushing our buttons. This fight will be remembered 10 years from now… this will be like Katrina, it’s comin’ and you can’t stop it!”
Disdain drips off every other sentence emanating from the two camps. Both think of themselves as artists in a boxing ring, each a phenom, budding music impresarios, fame their game, boxing history their canvas, having been reared in a gym to be the men they are as professional practitioners of the science of boxing. There may be something of Leonard vs. Hearns to Mayweather vs. Judah, though reservations surrounding Judah diminish the exactitude of the parallel. Something of Hearns’ speed injected left lead into flashing right hands with leverage does strike a similar pose. And the vulnerability of the chin to direct contact fronted by a blurring array of offensive quality more completely suggests Judah at least a silhouette to the famous son of Detroit’s Kronk Gym. We leave the comparison there, for your extended consideration. Torn of the same cloth, both Mayweather and Judah are built for creating dynamic ring speed, changing the defensive geometry of the ring with a skip, jabs that sear, body shots that make their mark. Where Judah has met his equals or betters in Kostya Tszyu and Carlos Baldomir, Mayweather has so far escaped championship disaster, even direct threats authored by able foes such as Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo and Jesus Chavez.
Judah believes he’s learned more, knows the other side of glory, which remains a mystery waiting for Mayweather to endure. They know that at their best they bring the bling thing, the sparkling invention of masterful boxing to their best outings. If the measure of the man were confined to athleticism then the differences between the two fighters might be negligible. Indeed, one might perhaps see Judah as being the man with the advantage, insofar as power tends to translate itself at vital moments in major fights, when dispensed by throttling quickness. But the chemistry of this particular matchup will have so many more important compounds.
Many boxing observers wonder about Judah’s ability to compartmentalize his loss to Baldomir in his last outing. “We could fight Baldomir 10 more times and Zab would beat him every time,” was how Yoel Judah explained the rationalization of losing in what amounted to his tune up for Mayweather. And this against a fighter Judah himself was taunting as having been “slapped around by his sparring partners out in LA… some of my homeboys worked him over but good,” taunted the then-welterweight champion. The memory of Judah’s devastating loss to Kostya Tszyu in their 140-pound unification showdown at the MGM Grand in 2001 had been a daunting defeat, a moment of humbling psychological reversal. Though in the lead up to his IBF title shot Judah had been tested in besting hard rock Darryl Tyson. In his IBF title claiming win over Jan Bergmann, Judah had to climb off the deck in the second round to punch out a knockout win in the fourth. But the whispers of Judah’s Terry Norris tendencies for being buzzed before bombarding his way to victory began to define him. Tested as he was in the ring by fighters like Terronn Millett, Zab Judah never failed to take an opportunity to bark at his opponents, cutting below the usual layers comprising the thick skinned boasting that has become part of most big fight media junkets.
How bad did the kid from Brooklyn want to appear to be? Did he really suppose he would define his own space in the culture of championship boxing as a tough guy, a dangerous man in the mold of Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins or James Toney? Sometimes we are so keen to make our lives a video we forget that there has to be reality at the heart of living as we dream.
Of course, with all these allusions to Hearns and Norris and even Felix Trinidad, Judah was seen in good company, championed on ESPN by an adoring Max Kellerman. Kellerman went so far as to call into question the stoppage by Tszyu, adjudicated by referee Jay Nady. This against the on-air Showtime assessment of Bobby Czyz at ringside – “It was a good stoppage” – and a point/counterpoint feeling in the press of Judah having been denied by fate, fortune and foolishness, if not the fists of future Hall of Famer Tszyu. Judah’s loss to Tszyu evoked strong feelings of destiny denied as well as a serious failure to launch what so many expected to be a championship career in the 21st Century marked by exceptional performances. Was that assessment of Judah just an illusion that uncritical perception becomes if expectation is unchecked by reason? No, not exactly. For there was about Judah the elements of a unique athletic force, the speed, the rangy boxing, the demolishing hitting power; he was the shape of things hoped for.
Of course, there is the metal of the mind and the absolute need for clinical calculation of boxer-punchers to translate into attacking acumen. Then there is the need of the man to be the real thing, able to leap tall buildings, if you suppose, to ‘wear’ the name “Super” on your trunks. Otherwise you are just calling attention to the self; you are just posing in the place of other men of steel. It has never been the mind of the man which people have criticized with respect to Zab “Super” Judah, but the child raging within. In this era, no other fighter at the top level of world boxing has been called immature more than Zab Judah. His public tantrum in attempting to get in the face of Jay Nady in the moments following that loss Tszyu was perhaps the most officious example.
We note for the record that Mayweather himself was tagged as a classic juvenile ingrate with his labeling HBO’s multi-million dollar contract offering of the late 1990s “slave wages,” an inane expression of discontent. But Judah’s unintended peevishness stems from more than just barbing future opponents. Judah’s characterization of one-knee Sharmba Mitchell as “crying” over the loss to Kostya Tszyu, the first time around, struck many in boxing and fans a like as not merely distasteful but ironic in the extreme given his stool tossing reaction in losing to Tszyu.
Sure… we can pot shot the man, calling his mini-me association with Mike Tyson boxing’s odd couple or cast aspirations about all we want. All that counts is the fight to come and that much of Team Judah have identified correctly. Only taking up the challenge and making an artful war of it will be enough for Judah. We can in one sense dismiss everything that’s ever happened to Judah and think only of the challenge as opportunity nearing. Yet in realizing all that has constituted his career up to this point helps us to understand the silence that has greeted the media and fans from Zab Judah in the weeks leading up to this fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The silence has been instructing and suggestive. We do presume that the silence means intensity of training and absolute dedication to the task of his winning. Silence fills us with wonder and sounds out mysteries imperceptible, just past the point of our knowing.
We think we see things so clearly, the matters Mayweather and Judah will be fighting for, as if deliberating upon an eternal question. The truth is we don’t know and cannot calculate perfectly upon the future, even with all the variables and elements known to all. Judah wants us to take his silence these days as a sign of hope and to tell us he has come to believe there remains more than an inconsequential mystery waiting for “Pretty Boy” Floyd. And he’s not kidding.
Judah prefers to make statement with win
Zab Judah lost his last fight on Jan. 7 against unknown Carlos Baldomir.
By Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY
LAS VEGAS — Zab Judah didn't take questions at the final news conference before his IBF welterweight title defense Saturday night against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. Instead, Judah chose to make a brief statement.
"This is something I've prepared for my whole life, and not particularly for Floyd Mayweather," Judah said Thursday, referring to the magnitude of the event. "But come Saturday night, I've got a trick for you," he told Mayweather. "And you already know what it is."
Judah, 28, can make a major statement by beating Mayweather at the Thomas and Mack Center in a pay-per-view fight that few expect will go the distance.
"Zab Judah will deserve all the credit he gets when he knocks out Floyd Mayweather," predicted Judah's promoter, Don King, eliciting jeers from Mayweather fans.
The two fighters once were supposedly pals but showed at the end of the news conference why the fight is billed "Sworn Enemies." As they prepared to leave the podium, Mayweather could be seen repeating "You can't beat me," while Judah, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shades that covered most of his face, became agitated when Bob Arum, Mayweather's promoter, stepped in to separate them. "Don't touch me," Judah told Arum. "Don't ever touch me again."
Judah is coming off a loss against unknown Carlos Baldomir on Jan. 7. The fight at the Theater at Madison Garden was supposed to be a homecoming celebration for the Brooklyn, N.Y., native but resulted in Baldomir winning a unanimous decision. The loss stripped Judah of the undisputed welterweight title and left him with only the IBF belt because Baldomir didn't pay that organization's sanctioning fees.
Judah has always seemed to fight his best when his back is against the wall. He rebounded from a loss to Kostya Tszyu in 2001 by winning three consecutive fights, including a split decision against DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley in 2003 for the WBO light welterweight title.
After moving up to welterweight and losing a unanimous decision against Cory Spinks for the undisputed welterweight crown in 2004, Judah responded by winning the rematch last year, stopping Spinks on a ninth-round TKO.
Still, many observers believe Mayweather, a three-time world champion at 130, 135 and 140 pounds, is not the type of opponent a fighter on the ropes wants to see. Corley, who lost a unanimous decision against Mayweather, has fought both men and thinks that Judah is in way over his head.
"Zab has great speed, but Floyd has better speed," said Corley, a southpaw like Judah. "Zab has power, but Floyd has better power because he has better placement of his punches.
"Zab gets anxious in a fight, and when he rushes, he swings a lot of wild punches. With Floyd, you can't swing wild because he's on radar. He's going to break Zab down with punches to the body the same way he did against Sharmba Mitchell (last November in Mayweather's first fight as a welterweight)."
How the boxing experts see it
Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY Mayweather, KO 6
Ron Borges, The Boston Globe Mayweather, decision
David Mayo, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press Mayweather, decision
Tim Smith, New York Daily News Judah, decision
Jeff Haney, Las Vegas Sun Mayweather, TKO 8
Clifton Brown, The New York Times Mayweather, KO 9
Dan Rafael, ESPN.com Mayweather, KO 7
Richard Hoffer, Sports Illustrated Mayweather, decision
Kevin Iole, Las Vegas Review-Journal Mayweather, TKO 12
Bert Sugar, boxing historian Mayweather, TKO 9