Zab Judah: The strategy that Pernell Whitaker put together for Amir Khan is unbelievable!

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani, Photo by Geoffrey Ciani) - This weeks 130th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with reigning IBF junior welterweight champion Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) who is scheduled to have a unification bout against WBA champion Amir Khan (25-1, 17 KOs) on July 23. Judah spoke about his upcoming fight, and also discussed a variety of other topics including Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather-Ortiz, Kostya Tszyus Hall of Fame induction, Pernell Whitaker, and more! Here is what he had to say:

Regarding his upcoming junior welterweight unification bout against Amir Khan:

Its going to be a great match in boxing. Im prepared well. Im just excited about the opportunity. Once again I thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for this opportunity, and July 23 were going to show the world Zab Judah is still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

On his recent journey back towards the top which culminated in him winning a title last time out against Kaizer Mabuza:

Oh, like I said, its been a dream come true. Im just keeping the Lord first and letting him dictate my pace. Boxing closed a coffin on Zab Judah, put the nails in, and buried him, but God brought him back to life.

Regarding the on-line war of words between him and Khan that has been taking place on Twitter:

Twitter is a great social device. Its almost like having a huge text message with having everyones number without talking to them. You can just text everybody. Its pretty cool. Like I said, July 23 is going to be a great fight. Im happy the opportunity presented itself. We werent expecting for the Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan fight to fall out, but it did. Thats the good will of the Lord. Im very happy and very pleased and Im going to be 100% ready for this opportunity.

His views on what Amir Khan has accomplished thus far in professional boxing:

Hes fairly new to the division. Hes fairly new to the situation that hes going to be in. You know hes fought pretty decent opposition on his way up, and now I think his toughest task to date comes to hand. I think this fight for him is a little premature, but hey. Who knows? I worked very hard for this opportunity and July 23 Ill just let my skills do the talking for it.

On whether he believes Amir Khan has made a mistake in choosing to face him:

I mean I cant say its a career mistake because the kid is young. When I was 21 years old I lost my first loss, and I was able to come back and win four more world titles. I dont think that, its just that the kid is young and hes willing to put his career and his skills and ability on the line.

Regarding any strategies or plans him and head trainer Pernell Whitaker have discussed for the upcoming match with Khan:

Yeah, we spoke about it a lot. I mean I cant share that with you guys. (laughs) We know Amir Khan is a young guy. He possesses a lot of speed, and speed is power. So you know, were prepared well and if the fight was tomorrow, we would be all ready to go.

His views on how he was able to maintain his focus and composure in his last fight when Kaizer Mabuza started coming on strong:

It just showed my condition and my strategy for boxing. It showed no matter what he was able to think he was going to do, I was on point. I was ready for anything he could bring my way. Hes a very strong fighter. I give Mabuza a lot of credit. He came over from Africa and tried to take back home the IBF championship of the world.

On how he would rate the punch which led to the knockout against Mabuza amongst the best punches he has landed in his career:

I dont know. I mean it was a good clean shot. He made a mistake and I capitalized off it. He switched his feet which for me was an amateur move. You dont do that. Im a professional. I shifted myself and he walked up to me, and I let the hard straight left hand go. It was beautifully in my favor, and everybody knows once I get a guy hurt Im a great finisher.

His views on the battle of strategies that will take place between head trainers Pernell Whitaker and Freddie Roach:

Well I mean, speaking for myself, you have a Hall of Fame greatest fighter pound-for-pound the best in the world and one of the great trainers. I think that Pernell Whitaker with being the great fighter that he was, he knows how to put together great strategies. The strategy that Pernell Whitaker put together for Amir Khan is unbelievable! Its going to be hard work at its best.

On whether there were any truths to rumors that he was being considered as an opponent for Manny Pacquiao before he signed for a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez:

Yeah, there was a lot of realistic possibilities that it could have happened. It was just in the negotiation process, we figured why would we go up to 147 when we can stay right here and fight an opponent like Khan. Were still going up against Freddie Roach, and hey! Its going to be great. Its going to be a great night of boxing. Were prepared for the best Amir Khan that Amir Khan is going to bring to the table. Hes going to bring his A game and Zab Judahs going to bring an A+ game.

On whether he still considers himself to be in his prime:

Oh, of course! Bernard Hopkins is 46 years old and he just won a world title. Mayweathers 35 and hes fighting again to defend his title, so all of these guys are older than me, De La Hoya, Calzaghe. When you look at it people say Zabs old. How is Zab old when the rest of these guys that are in boxing that are the best fighters in the world, theyre all older than me. People are saying Zab as older because Ive been in the game a long time. Ive been in the game since I was 18 years old. I won my first world title at 20 years old. So people have been hearing about me, and then after that I won four more world titles. So Ive always been on the big scene. My first professional fight was the co main event to Pernell Whitaker on HBO. So people have gotten a good chance to see Zab Judah. I guess after hearing a persons name so long, Zab Judah, Zab Judah, Zab Judah, you figure oh yeah, hes old. Hes been around. Hes only 33 years old and Im feeling great.

On whether he believes Pernell Whitaker has helped rejuvenate his career and improve his mindset:

Yeah, Pernell has brought the best out of me. He has helped me get refocused on everything that were trying to get into. Him bringing along his expertise and him being a six-time world champion is kind of cool, because this fight right here with me winning this world title will be my sixth world title Ive won. This is going to be a great accomplishment for me, and Im happy!

His views on the return of Floyd Mayweather Junior and his upcoming fight against Victor Ortiz:

Its going to be a good fight. Floyd is slick and fast, but Victors young. A lot of the young guys are fighting us supposedly old guys. Thats going to be an exciting fight, but I think Floyds defense and hand speed is going to be a little bit too much for Ortiz.

His views on the fact Roger Mayweather predicted he would win his upcoming fight against Amir Khan:

Well Roger Mayweather was also a great fighter. He was a fighter and he was great. He knows the game of boxing and its an honor to have another legend such himself to give me that type of credibility. Like I said, we know each other, we know each others styles, and out of the whole 96 team with myself, Mayweather, and I think Antonio Tarver. He fights the week before me against Danny Green. Were the only three there still going strong and its an accomplishment for me to be associating myself with those type of guys like that.

His opinion on the perception held by many fans that him and Amir Khan both have weak chins and whether he believes that will be a deciding factor in their fight:

Well the name of the game is to hit and not be hit. I dont play the who can take the strongest punch game. My strategy is to hit and not be hit. To be honest Ive only been knocked out one time and that was Kostya Tszyu. The whole world had seen the fight. I was caught with one shot, I went down, I got up, and they stopped it. That was what, the year 2000? It was eleven years ago! (laughs) It was a long time ago. Like I said, people always remember the negative stuff that you do in your life. They dont remember the good things you do. Hey! Im okay with that. If people think that getting hit is going to be a factor, then hey, Ill let them think that.

His views on whether Kostya Tsyzu deserved to be inducted into the Hall of Fame:

Yeah, why not! He had a good boxing career, he worked hard, and he had done a lot of good things. He was the undisputed champ. Thats like me going to the Hall of Fame and somebody disputing should Zab Judah go into the Hall of Fame. So I dont think of that whole ground to say yea or nay. Im happy for him and his family, and I wish them much success.

His views on the biggest weapon Amir Khan will bring into the ring against him:

His size. He has good power, hes young, and hes going to come in there. For him its a point to make a point to people that hes King Khan. Understand there is only one King and his name is Jesus Christ and on July 23 I will show the world.

His official prediction on his upcoming fight against Amir Khan on July 23:

I dont make predictions. Zab Judah will be victorious whether it goes one round or twelve. Im going to be victorious. Im very confident, very eager, and very ready to get this on. Im just happy to be a part of one of the biggest fights of today once again. Its a great feeling. So no matter what people say about you, Zab Judah and Amir Khan is a big deal in boxing right now today. It means a lot to me to be in this position.


For those interested in listening to the Zab Judah interview in its entirety, it begins approximately fifty minutes into the program.



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Article posted on 28.06.2011

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