Judah / Clottey Battle for Vacant IBF Welterweight Title and New York Bragging Rights!

judah clotteyBy Jason Sardelis: Saturday night at the Palms Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada former welterweight champion Zab Judah 36-5, 25 Ko’s will battle fellow New Yorker Joshua “The Hitter” Clottey 34-2, 20 Ko’s for the vacant IBF welterweight title. The title was vacated by Antonio Margarito after his six round destruction of Kermit Cintron in April to opening the doors for his fight with Miguel Cotto.

This match-up looks like speed and style versus power and pressure. Judah has the edge in speed and his southpaw stance could be a problem for the tough Clottey. “The Hitter” will be looking to land the bigger shots but has shown a problem with his stamina fading in the later rounds as he did against Margarito. The Ghana born fighter tends to slow down as the fight progresses..

Clottey has won four straight since his loss to Margarito in December 06. He beat Diego Corrales decisively, flooring him twice. “The Hitter” then won consecutive decisions over Felix Flores 22-5, 16 Ko’s and undefeated Shamone Alvarez 19-0, 11 Ko’s before stopping Ko artist Jose Luis Cruz 36-3-2, 29 Ko’s in five. He must come in shape control the tempo and attack Judah’s body making it a rough fight.

Judah has lost half of his last six fights although they were against top ranked fighters like Mayweather Jr; Carlos Baldomir and Miguel Cotto. Rumors are abound that his losses were partially due to his sub par training intensity and high party profile. Add the fact of his freak injury cutting his hand requiring over fifty stitches causing the canceling of his scheduled match with “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Judah needs to be focused, control the space using his jab to set up his straight left, then move. He cannot allow Clottey to make it a war.

This fight will be career defining for both fighters. It will open doors to bigger and better fights, not to mention paydays for the winner, while the loser will assume the role of trial horse journeyman. Conditioning and discipline will be the deciding factor and the big question for both fighters. Has Clottey built up the stamina of a champion and did Judah buckle down in camp and remain disciplined enabling him to use the skills we know he has and needed to be a champion?

Article posted on 01.08.2008

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