Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Judah Loses Undisputed Title, Blows Mayweather Mega Fight
NEW YORK — What was supposed to have been an easy homecoming victory resulted into a nightmare. In front of 4,735 fans at the Theater of Madison Square Garden, New York City, Zab Judah (34-3-1 25 KOs) squandered the undisputed welterweight championship with a 12-round unanimous decision loss to light-hitting, WBC No.
1-ranked contender, Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6, 12 KOs). Judah’s multimillion dollar mega fight with undefeated Floyd Mayweather was thrown out the window.
“Zab Judah needs to go back, re-focus, double his efforts and dust himself off,” said famed boxing promoter Don King. “I think [Mayweather-Judah] it’s on hold. Pretty Boy got away again. I think Zab would have knocked him out.”
The fact that Judah was fighting at home did not favor him on the scorecards. All three judges at ringside scored the bout 115-113, 115-112, 114-113 for Baldomir.
“After months and months of training I finally made it,” Baldomir said afterwards. “This is my opportunity. I told you guys I would surprise you. The next person is Mayweather. I want Mayweather.”
Had Judah won the final round on all three judges scorecards (10-9), he would have retained all three championships on a draw.
The year 2006 is less than two weeks old and already an “upset of the year” and potential “mega fight” has been blown. There was no way a fighter as fast and furious as a 28-year-old Judah, of Brooklyn, NY, should have lost the once unified 147-pound championships to Baldomir, 34, Santa Fe, Argentina, a much slower fighter what packs very little power in his punches. But this is the fight game and the best are not always on top.
Judah’s loss to Baldomir spoiled an April 8th showdown with Mayweather, an undefeated former three division champion (130, 135, 140) looking for his fourth division title.
Although Judah lost all three title belts, Baldomir only wins the WBC title. Issues with sanctioning fees were the reason why the WBA and IBF belts were not on the line. Instead, the WBA and IBF crowns are now vacant.
In the opening round, it appeared as through Judah would have an easy time dismantling his challenger. Judah was very confident and perhaps grew over confident when he realized Baldomir can easily be hit.
In the fourth round, Judah was not as flashy as he began to get by Baldomir’s flurries. Judah was dominant, winning five of the first six rounds of the bout.
However, it was not until the seventh-round when Baldomir hurt Judah with a right to his chin. Judah, on rubbery legs, wobbled ran around the ring, grabbed and clinched Baldomir to survive. Judah did everything in his power to prevent Baldomir from knocking him out, which he did.
Judah survived the seventh, but all three ringside judges scored that round 10-8 for Baldomir. Judah did not throw any combinations until the tenth round. At one point between rounds, Judah’s father and trainer Yoel yelled to his son “hands-up, don’t drop em.”
The fight was close, but it was clear that Judah needed at least one knockdown in the final round to retain the world welterweight championship. Fighting with urgency, it was Baldomir who pressured Judah to fight moving backward. Baldomir missed a lot of punches, but did connect on a few punches that kept Judah away. Baldomir won four of the last five rounds of the bout.
“I thought I had done enough to win,” Baldomir said, I was a little bit worried when they were announcing the decision.”
Judah won undisputed welterweight championship when he knocked out Cory Spinks in the ninth-round in Spinks’ hometown of St. Louis, MO. Judah made only one successful defense of the undisputed welterweight title, a third-round TKO of IBF No. 1-contender, Cosme Rivera.
“I can’t say what’s next for Baldomir,” King commented. “It would be great for him and Judah to have a rematch.”