by James Slater: His intriguing fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley fell through – reportedly because he fell through some glass and was badly injured – but now Zab “Super” Judah is set to take part in another, equally intriguing fight. Zab will box Joshua “Hitter” Clottey for the vacant IBF welterweight title on August 2nd, at a venue still to be confirmed..
This is a very good match-up, perhaps one that will result in a better fight than what Judah-Mosley would have been. Clottey is an all-business welterweight who has been desperate for another world title chance ever since his competitive loss to Antonio Margarito back in December of 2006. That fight contested the WBO crown held by the Mexican tough guy, now Clottey will fight Judah to decide who will take “Tony’s” vacated IBF strap.
As fans know, Margarito gave up the IBF title so as to fight WBA champ Miguel Cotto in an absolute barnstormer of a great match-up. As such, what with this fight taking place on July 26th and then Clottey-Judah following it one week later, the fans are in for yet more good nights courtesy of the best division in boxing today – the welterweight division. Naturally, the Clottey-Judah fight comes a big second to the anticipated fight of the year (if not decade?) that is Cotto-Margarito, but August 2nd’s bout is certainly a top-notch fight also. Consider it the dessert to the banquet that will be served up on July 26th if you like.
But who will win – Clottey or Judah?
This writer’s money is on the man who was born in Accra, Ghana but now calls New York his home. Clottey is a more stable, better focused fighter, who has less chance of coming apart in a fight – either mentally or physically, than the unpredictable Judah. This is what I feel will win the 31-year-old the fight. Southpaw Judah has taken far more punishment in his career, I feel, than Clottey. Badly busted up by Cotto last June, Zab has won two decisions since. It is not clear what the 30-year-old has left and while his stance and still quick hands and feet will likely win him a few rounds on August 2nd, Clottey has been in with southpaws before – winning with no problem.
Indeed, aside from his points loss to Margarito, where Clottey was doing well until injuring a hand, it could be argued the 31-year-old has yet to legitimately lose a fight. His only other setback came via a DQ to Carlos Baldomir way back in 1999.
I think Clottey, a very hungry fighter, will show patience, better mental and physical strength and will then come on strong in the second half of the fight to either stop Judah late or win a clear decision.