Will The Real Zab Judah Please Stand Up!

09.01.06 - By Ralph B. Rimpell: We all know by now Zab Judah (34-3, 25 KOs) lost his undisputed welterweight crown this past Saturday night to Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6-12 KOs) of Argentina. The shock of his loss has worn off and most of us have accepted the results. Judah losing last Saturday night is likely the biggest boxing upset for the year 2006.Unlike ringside judges who scored a unanimous decision victory for Carlos Baldomir, I scored the fight a draw. I can respect the judge’s decision.. Congratulations to the new World Boxing Council (WBC) Welterweight Champion: Carlos Baldomir. Before the match, I wrote in my previous article Baldomir would be a tough fight for Judah. Apparently more than Judah had expected.

What went wrong? Judah weighed in at 148lbs instead of the welterweight limit of 147lbs. He would then go and dehydrate himself, perhaps a little too much, to make weight, and officially weigh in at 146.75lbs. For people, like me, who weigh 200lbs and over, 1.25lbs is of no consequence. We perspire or sweat that amount in 10-15 minutes if we have manual jobs. But to little guys like Judah, that can make the difference in strength, punching power, stamina, and reflexes. It’s now obvious that Judah underestimated Baldomir. The Argentinean hadn’t lost a fight in seven years, but look at his record; he does have nine losses, six draws, and twelve knockouts. This was supposed to be a “made to order” opponent for Judah in front of his hometown fans in New York. Judah was supposed to put on a spectacular performance to showcase his world class speed and punching power. A preview of what he was going to do on the rumored April 8, 2006 fight against WBC Junior Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (35-0, 24 KOs), which was to outclass him.

Judah would apparently look past Baldomir to his next match, a fight with Mayweather, which had not been signed by the Mayweather camp. If because, of lack of focus, physically not being 100%, or any other reason Judah should have been instructed by is trainer/father, Yoel Judah (in the words of trainer Georgie Benton to his prized pupil, Pernell Whitaker), “Win this fight, look good later”. Instead Judah would allow Baldomir to remain in a close fight, go into the twelfth and final round needing to win that round to pull out a draw, on the judges scorecards. He would let the twelfth round slip away along with his championship, self professed rededication to boxing, and future multimillion dollar mega fights. After the fight he would blame his promoter, Don King, for his loss. Don King would handle the situation like a professional. He disagreed with the judge’s decision, he stated he thought Judah won the fight, and would try to secure a rematch for Judah. Not bad for a man accused, by Judah, of not doing his job.

What next? Baldomir boldly stated before he beat Judah for the championship, Mayweather would be fighting him next on April 8, 2006. Baldomir is not contractually obligated to give a rematch to Judah, because he was Judah’s mandatory challenger. At the post fight press conference Baldomir again expressed a desire to fight Mayweather. The ball is now in Mayweather’s court. Mayweather has plenty of options. He could make is usual millions on HBO by fighting Baldomir and win his fourth world title in four divisions, and join the elite class of Thomas Hearns, Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, and Roy Jones Jr. He will likely make double the amount he would have made for fighting Judah, if he can entice Oscar De La Hoya into fighting him in what would truly be the mega fight of 2006. Mayweather can also remain at 140lbs and unify his WBC 140lbs title against World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion Ricky Hatton of England, and probably make more than he would have made fighting Judah. As for Judah, I believe the only way he gets a rematch with Baldomir is if Mayweather does not fight Baldomir. If that happens Judah will likely take short money, like the Spinks rematch, because Baldomir has stated he will only fight two more bouts. Its obvious Baldomir is going to cash in his lottery ticket, which is his WBC belt, likely with Mayweather or Judah.

Years ago on Espn 2 Friday night fights, then co-host Max Kellerman had Zab Judah and Terron Millet as in studio guest prior to their fight on August 5, 2000. Millet told Kellerman that he would defeat Judah. Judah replied to Millet “Don’t talk about, be about it”. As a boxing writer who is in touch with boxing fans from all walks of life, I bring a message from Judah’s fellow brooklynytes and people who are not fans of his. In the future: “Don’t talk about, be about it.” Zab your fans know you have the ability to be a great fighter. They know the Zab Judah that fought Baldomir on Saturday night ought to be arrested, because he was an imposter! That imposter who showed up on Saturday night was not from the streets of Brooklyn, New York. He seemed like he was a nice prep school boy who grew up in the suburbs of Long Island! Your fans know you have the ability to become a major player in the welterweight division by wining a world title again. Stop blaming Don King for your problems! You your self said “Big Don brought me back from the dead” after a spectacular victory on one of King’s fight cards. You have the right to refuse an interview or promotional duties if it interferes with your training regimen. In the fight game you’re only as good as your last performance. You have some work to do. Be advised it will be an up hill battle for the rest of your career. Make no mistake about that. No championship belts, no mega fights. Your fans have told me they have faith in you. So will the real Zab Judah please stand up!

Article posted on 09.01.2006

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