Former two-weight world ruler Zab Judah made a successful return to the ring last night, widely decisioning Mexican journeyman Noel Mejia Rincon over ten rounds in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Judah, now aged 40 and boxing for the first time since January of 2017, hurt his man early on, in round-two, but was then largely content to box and outspeed his opponent to the final bell.
Judah, who won by three commanding scores of 99-91, is now 44-9(30). Rincon falls to 21-14-1(12).
Southpaw Judah is still fast and after a slow and cautious start, he showed sharp reflexes last night as he totally out-skilled the tough and game but limited Mexican warrior. Zab was notably effective with his body work; this hurting Rincon more than once. It’s not clear how much Zab has left to offer at elite level, however, as last night’s bout primarily served as a rust-removing tune-up and not too much more. But what was Judah tuning up for? Zab has set himself a goal: that of ruling the world once again. Next up, according to the Brooklyn man, will be a return to Calgary, for another fight in April.
Maybe Zab will take his time, look to pick up a few wins, and then go for something big; be it a fight with a top contender or a world champion. Can Zab reign again? The current welterweight division is red-hot and full of formidable fighters, so this looks a tough task for the veteran who last picked up a big win in 2010 when he pulled put a split decision victory over hard hitter Lucas Matthysse (who is himself now champ all over again thanks to the win he scored last night; could these two hook up again one day, maybe?)
Maybe Zab can still make 140 and will look for a shot there, or maybe Judah might try the 154 pound division. Judah does not come across as a desperate or shot fighter, and he of course still has a big and instantly recognisable name. Don’t rule Judah out of at least fighting for a version of another world title some time in the coming months.