Zab Judah “Super” In Claiming 140 Pound Title Against Kaizer Mabuza (Event Photos Inside)
by Geoffrey Ciani at Ringside – “Super” Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) put on a super performance en route to scoring a vicious seventh round knockout against Kaizer Mabuza (23-7-3, 14 KOs) to claim the vacant IBF junior welterweight championship. It was a tremendous victory for Judah who regained the title he previously won way back in February 2000 when he defeated Jan Piet Bergman by fourth round knockout. With Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan both widely viewed as the best the weight class has to offer, Judah now finds himself near the top of this extremely talented rich division.
From the opening bell Judah did his best impersonation of head trainer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker as he ducked, dodged, and found ways to avoid incoming fire with great regularity. Mabuza was pressuring Judah, but Zab was too slick and too fast. He was making Mabuza miss as he controlled the action with a laser-like jab which Judah often doubled, tripled, and sometimes even quadrupled-up. Mabuza had a bit more success in the second, but he was still missing the mark and his efforts to zone in on Zab’s body gave him mixed results at best.
Mabuza appeared to be doing slightly better at points in round three, but whenever it seemed like Mabuza was tempted to try and take the initiative, Judah would land a solid shot to quickly reestablish himself. In the beginning of the fourth, Mabuza was getting to Zab a little bit more but Zab was still in control of the action, until Mabuiza managed to catch Judah while he was off balance and in transition. This caused Zab to stumble forward and touch the canvas with his glove. It was appropriately ruled a knockdown, much to the dismay of Judah who clearly was not hurt.
Judah rebounded nicely in round five. He started loading up with some good power shots and he was making Mabuza miss regularly again. It was a dominant fifth round for Zab and he continued this trend to start the sixth when he appeared to rock Mabuza with a big uppercut early. Judah was in control, but then Mabuza seized momentum when he landed a crushing right hand which hurt Judah with less than a minute to go. Mabuza upped his attack and searched for weak spots, but much like he did in his previous fight against Lucas Matthysse, Judah had persevered and exhibited championship heart and determination.
Just as it appeared Mabuza was starting to work his way back into the fight, Judah landed a picture perfect hooking right hand that literally left Mabuza momentarily out on his feet. Zab followed up with a few quick shots and Mabuza dropped in between the ropes like a broken ragdoll. A follow-up barrage ended the contest and Judah won the title in dramatic fashion.
This was Judah’s greatest performance in recent memory, but even more impressive is the fact that Judah seems more focused than ever before. After all, the biggest knock on Judah was that he is easily distracted and not very smart inside the ring. On this night, however, Judah fought a smart fight and proved determined. With rumors of a potential 140 pound unification clash expected to happen this July between WBC/WBO champion Timothy Bradley and WBA champion Amir Khan (pending the result of Khan’s April bout against Paul McCloskey), Judah may not have a dance partner available to pursue for his goal of unification. There are, however, a number of talented foes who can represent interesting matchups for Judah who will no doubt find himself in the midst of discussions pertaining to the best junior welterweight the world has to offer.
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Article posted on 06.03.2011
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