ESB Exclusive Interview: Zab Judah
15.12.05 - By Travis Marks: Eastsideboxing.com recently caught up with the Undisputed Welterweight champion Zab Judah. At a press conference held in the world famous Madison Square Garden it was announced that Judah (photo: Tom Casino) will be facing WBC mandatory challenger, veteran Argentinean fighter Carlos Baldomir. The fight will take place on January 7, 2006 and will be aired live on Showtime. Judah is fighting for the first time since the dismantling of then IBF mandatory challenger Cosme Rivera in three rounds earlier this May. Judah sat down with us to share his thoughts on Baldomir and the possibility of fighting former friend and the recognized number one pound for pound fighter in the world, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Article posted on 15.12.2005
Eastsideboxing.com: Zab, How do you feel being back in the ring after this little layoff?
Zab Judah: I donít look at it as a layoff; I have been working my whole time out. I look at it as an opportunity to come here and display my skills. Itís been a very long time since the world has seen a fighter like me..
ESB: What do you know about Carlos Baldomir?
Judah: I know that he is the number mandatory in the WBC and all I need to know is that he is coming for my crown. Thatís it; I donít need to know anything else.
ESB: Are you on a seek and destroy mission as weíve seen you against guys like Jaime Rangel and Cosme Rivera?
Judah: Definitely, everybody knows that Iím back at home so I have to come and show off again. I just feel bad for Carlos because heís the opponent thatís been put in there against me at a time like this. Right now itís about proving a point, to show the world who is the best and unfortunately for Carlos he has been given the opportunity to be in there while Iím grandstanding.
ESB: In the last few fights weíve seen you employ more of a right jab, straight left combo whereas in the early part of your career you used more of a variety of punches like the uppercut (that hurt Kostya Tsyzu), why the change?
Judah: If you can land a double jab and a left hand the fight can be over. Why not just stick to the script rather than throwing five, six or seven different punches. Everyone knows my left hand is very dangerous but my uppercut, jab, right cross, and everything else I throw is vicious. It doesnít matter which hand I throw it just matters what connects and when it connects theyíre ďoutta there!Ē
ESB: You seem to be more of a mature boxer in the last few years but you still seem to lose focus some times like against Rafael Pineda, why is that?
Judah: The Pineda fight is in the past and I canít go back and comment on that. As for the future Iíll be nothing but disciplined, Iíll be in there to do nothing but destroy, thatís what Iím about right now.
ESB: In the first fight with Cory Spinks you were having problems with him. Was it the 12th round knockdown that showed you that you can beat him or did you figure out something previous to that? Cause you were a different fighter in the second fight.
Judah: I never had problems with Cory, it took me to wake up and say ďZab, stop playing.Ē Thatís all it took.
ESB: The rumors are out there that if you are successful against Baldomir your next fight will be against ďPretty BoyĒ Floyd Mayweather, is that true and is the apparent bad blood between the two of you real or is it strategy being employed to hype up the fight?
Judah: Weíre not waiting on January 7th, a fight with the ďPretty GirlĒ is definitely true. Mayweather is a child to me. He has drawn the bad blood and itís definitely real, I want everybody out there to know that. Mayweather has drawn bad blood from Zab Judah and thatís a bad thing to do because heís definitely number one my hit list.
ESB: Without giving away your strategy, give me a tactical breakdown of how you see the fight going, as in what can you exploit?
Judah: I canít tell you what round but all I know is at the end of the fight you will hear ďand still undisputed welterweight champion of the worldÖĒ There is nothing in any fighter that I get in the ring that I see that makes me think twice. I see right through them. They are swiss cheese to me thatís why I play a lot and I do the things I do because I donít see anything in any fighter.
ESB: Do you feel that you are on the top of your game right now?
Judah: I feel like Iím not even at my prime yet. I feel like Iím still learning and Iím getting better as I go along. Iím just enjoying what I do.
ESB: If there is one thing you can change about your career that you could change what would it be and why?
Judah: I wouldnít change anything, as of right now my career has gone beautifully. My experiences have made me the person I am today. With all of my ups and downs, if I went back and change anything I probably wonít be the same fighter sitting right here today talking to you guys like this. I love everything about my career that has happened.
ESB: What would you like to say in closing?
Judah: I want to thank all of my fans that are going to come to Madison Square Garden on January 7th. Letís start the year off right, letís show New York City that boxing is the best and come out here and prove to the world that a fight like Mayweather and Judah deserves to be in New York City. That can only happen by the fans coming out and showing appreciation for boxing.
On behalf of Eastsideboxing.com we would like to wish Zab Judah the best of luck on January 7th.
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