Zab Judah loses! The implications it has on the welterweight division

08.01.06 - By Andy Meacock: The world of boxing never ceases to amaze me. Every year we see huge upsets and unfortunately for Zab Judah last night was his turn to suffer. Madison Square Garden witnessed Zab Judah give an uninspired effort which resulted in him losing a close decision to the little known Carlos Baldomir.

Prior to the fight there had been so much talk about a Zab Judah – Floyd Mayweather match up on April 8th. With Mayweather in mind, Judah obviously didn’t prepare a good enough strategy for Baldomir and paid the price. It could be argued that the fight was a draw as Judah seemed to get the better of the fight up until round sixth and Baldomir controlled the fight from that point on..

The biggest moment in the fight came in round seven when Baldomir caught Judah flush and Judah had to hang on for dear life. His chin is clearly a liability and Judah gave the crowd part two of his renowned, ‘Chicken Dance!’. A more clinical finisher like Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Kostya Tszyu or Mayweather himself would have closed the show on Judah if in that situation. I think that round really messed up Judah mentally as the rounds prior to that were practically all his. I definitely feel a fight like this should go to the person making the fight and that was Baldomir.

It could be argued that Baldomir deserved a 10-8 score for round seven. I haven’t seen the judge’s scorecards so I can’t specifically comment on them but had that round been a 10-8 round, then that would give Baldomir victory by one point by my logic. That’s just how I view the situation anyway and let’s fact it, scoring a boxing fight is totally subjective. I wouldn’t have criticised the judges had they scored narrowly it to either fighter but I think they made the right call last night.

Judah placed a lot of blame on Don King after the fight claiming that all the PR work had effected his focus but that’s bulls**t if you ask me. I’m normally a harsh critic of Don King but this was not King’s fault, it was Judah’s. Judah’s arrogance and complacency cost him the fight last night, plain and simple. I can only assume that he trained lightly and assumed he would just blow away his lightly regarded opponent. Even at the weigh in Judah was over the limit by one pound which is very unprofessional and I suppose the weigh in was an indication as to what we were about to see in the fight itself. Complacency is one of the biggest threats a fighter faces and Judah displayed that last night.

I’d be lying if I said I felt sorry for Judah. For years I’ve read interviews from him disrespecting other fighters. Boxing as a sport is struggling and many of the general public perceive boxers as thugs. Characters like Judah and Mayweather are stereotypes of that. I look forward to the day when they start acting like adults. It’s funny that guys like Judah and Mayweather hate/envy Oscar de la Hoya for his wealth, fame and popularity but instead of adopting a diplomatic attitude like Oscar, they talk trash. I don’t think they’ll ever get it.

So what happens now ?

Well the lucrative April 8th fight with Judah and Mayweather has gone up in smoke. After the fight Baldomir called Mayweather out. With great respect to Baldomir, I think that Mayweather would beat him very easily. I actually think that if Judah prepared properly and had a better game plan then he would win the rematch but it’s highly unlikely that will happen as there’s no rematch clause. I would pick other fighters like Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Kostya Tszyu and Antonio Margarito over Baldomir. I don’t wish to sound cruel but I think Baldomir is limited and was fortunate that Judah didn’t bring his A or B or even C game last night, hence why I feel he’d be defeated the fighters I just named.

On the whole I think the welterweight division looks great right now. It’s full of contenders and elite fighters. My guess is that Mayweather will win the WBC welterweight title from Baldomir on April 8th or another date. Hatton v Gatti looks set to happen in May at 147lps as Hatton is looking to get his name known to the US audience and who better to choose than a people’s champion like Gatti.

So if we assume that Mayweather and Hatton take care of business then we’ll hopefully have a superfight lined up in the second part of this year. I think Mayweather v Hatton is one that people are most eager about at this point. They are both each others worst nightmare style wise and that makes for a great fight.

We shouldn’t forget about Mosley either. He’s fighting Fernando Vargas on February 25th in what should be another good fight. I fancy Mosley to take care of Vargas by points, it will be a close but clear victory and Mosley’s speed will be the difference. So assuming that Mosley wins then I am sure he will be back in the mix at 147 and Mosley poses a general threat.

In closing, I don’t normally write articles out of spite or to sound hostile but I was genuinely happy to see Judah lose last night. Hopefully he will spend some quiet moments thinking about his whole ‘gangsta’ attitude and adopt a more humble persona. I think Baldomir deserves congratulations but I feel Judah lost the fight himself through his arrogance and inability to focus on the task at hand.

If he wants a successful future in boxing then he’s going to have to make changes, starting with his attitude…

Article posted on 08.01.2006

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