Zab Judah Returns

By Francis Walker
Updated: September 2, 2007

NEW YORK — Former undisputed welterweight and two-time junior welterweight champion Zab Judah returns on Friday night, September 7 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Fighting for the first time since his 11th-round TKO loss to WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in June, Judah (34-5, 25 KOs) will meet Edwin Vazquez (22-10-2, 8KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight.

“I am a three-time world champion,” Judah said in a recent statement. “I’m want a fourth title, I am the best out there, I have fought the best in the world, I’ve had a few diversions along the way but that’s boxing, when I am in top form no one can beat me. My camp has been very productive, I feel good.”

Judah has had one of the most storied careers in boxing. Judah has won every major title between 140 and 147 pounds. The WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO championships have all belonged to Judah. The southpaw from Brooklyn has a lot of speed and his power is underrated.

However, Judah has had a number of setbacks that many people remember more so rather than what he has accomplished. Judah underwent more than 18 months of suspensions and fines.

After squandering the welterweight championship in an upset loss to Carlos Baldomir in January 2006, Judah was suspended for one year and fined $250,000 for repeatedly fouling Floyd Mayweather that led to a melee in the 10th round.

Although Judah proved that he is a professional and force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division, he has lost three of his last four bouts with one no-contest. Judah hasn’t won a fight in more than two years since he stopped Cosume Rivera (TKO 3) in May 2005.

No one should count Judah out. The 29 year-old gave Cotto one of the toughest fights of his career on one of the biggest stages in boxing — Madison Square Garden — on the eve of the Puerto Rican day parade in New York City.

“Judah hurt Cotto in the first and third rounds and dropped Mayweather, although the ref declared it a slip. A win puts him squarely back in the game,” said Russ Young of Prize Fight Promotions.

Judah is obviously in a must-win situation, but should beat Vazquez, an unthreatening opponent who is not expected to have an answer for Judah’s speed and power. Whenever Judah has been pressured into a must-win situation, he’s usually focused and difficult to deal with.