Judah Wins “Undisputed” Welterweight Title, Is Oscar In His Future?

By Francis Walker
Updated: February 6, 2005

Zab Judah

NEW YORK, NY—Zab Judah scored an impressive ninth-round knockout in a rematch against Cory Spinks to win the undisputed world welterweight championship on Saturday. Fighting as an underdog in Spinks’ hometown of St. Louis, MO, Judah (33-2, 24 KOs) KO’d Spinks (34-3, 10 KOs) in front of 22,374 that packed the Savvis Center. The bout also set a new indoor-attendance record for a world title fight.

The victory was the biggest in Judah’s career. After failing to dethrone Spinks for the welterweight title in April and losing a second-round KO to Kostya Tszyu for the 140-pound title in Nov. 2001, Judah has finally won the “big” fight. Judah can appropriately be called “Undisputed” champion.

Hunger and determination was the difference in this fight,” Judah said. “I begged and prayed for a second chance after the first fight.”

In the first fight against Spinks, Judah lost a close unanimous 12-round decision. With the rematch occurring in Spinks’ hometown, Judah perhaps needed a knockout to win decisively.

Judah overcame a slow start to punish Spinks with hand-speed and power. Judah was simply too fast for Spinks, as Judah kept finding the right angles to attack Spinks from pillar to post.

“He did exactly what I thought he’d do,” Judah added. “He was running from my left hand, which made him pull back and let me take him to the body.”

Judah appeared to have scored a clear knockdown in the seventh round, but it occurred after the bell. Therefore, no knockdown was called. Judah pressured Spinks with flurries until he dropped a dizzy champion on the mat in the ninth. Although Spinks returned to his feet in front of his stunned home crowd, another vicious flurry by Judah caused referee Armando Garcia to stop the fight at the 2:49 mark.

Judah vs. Oscar De La Hoya: Although Spinks initially unified the WBC, WBA, and IBF 147 pound championships in Dec. 2003, perhaps the man to beat him could reap of its biggest rewards.

If De La Hoya decides to resume his boxing career following his ninth-round KO loss to Bernard Hopkins in September, he made it clear that he will compete as a welterweight (147). Judah is the new welterweight champion, which makes a compelling “dream” fight against De La Hoya a possibility.

De La Hoya’s attempts to unify the two-thirds of the welterweight championship against Felix Trinidad (1999) and unify the world junior middleweight title against Shane Mosley (2002) were both unsuccessful.

De La Hoya loves titles and would love to retire with another title reign, especially in a weight class he dominated from 1997-2000, fighting everyone from Trinidad, Mosley, Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Oba Carr.

A bout with De La Hoya could earn Judah $8-10 million, especially since Judah’s rematch with Spinks set a new indoor attendance record for a boxing match.