Another Showdown Set For Vegas

By Francis Walker
Updated: March 17, 2008

NEW YORK — A fight that no one ever thought would happen has finally been signed. Former three-division world champion Sugar Shane Mosley (44-5, 37 KOs) has agreed to face former two-division champion Zab Judah (36-5, 25 KOs) on Saturday, May 31, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

“Mosley vs. Judah: High Stakes,” a promotion of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 pm ET.

The announcement was made on last Saturday. Hours before Manny Pacquaio’s 12-round spilt-decision victory to lift the WBC super featherweight championship from Juan Manuel Marquez in a rematch from their draw nearly four years ago.

Mosley vs. Judah was a bout that was hotly discussed many years ago. Mosley, the former unbeaten IBF lightweight champion at 135, moved up two weight classes to the welterweight division to challenge Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC welterweight title in June 2000.

Mosley skipped the 140-pound class where Judah would win the IBF junior welterweight championship in 2000 and solidify his own place amongst the top fighters in the world without ever having fought Mosley.

In all honesty, it wouldn’t have made sense for Mosley and Judah to fight one another years ago, because their careers took different.

After beating De La Hoya, Mosley continued to reign as the WBC welterweight champion before losing two consecutive fights to Vernon Forrest in 2002. After a move to junior middleweight, Mosley would beat De La Hoya once more in controversial fashion in September 2003 before losing two straight to Winky Wright in 2004.

Judah, however, was destined to become a household name as a junior welterweight. Judah was a star in the making, as he pressed Kostya Tszyu toward a WBC/WBA and IBF world junior welterweight unification match in November 2001.

To the surprise of many, Judah was KO’d in the second round; leading to a post-fight tantrum and a six-month ban from boxing.

As a welterweight, Judah would win the WBO junior welterweight title from DeMarcus Corley in 2003 before shocking the world when he TKO’d Cory Spinks in 2005 to claim the undisputed world welterweight championship in Spinks’ hometown of St. Louis, MO.

But Judah squandered the WBC/WBA and IBF 147-pound championships by losing a shocking 12-round decision to Carlos Baldomir in January 2006 before risking disqualification during a 12-round loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in May that year.

Mosley and Judah, having both lost to unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in 2007, apparently are on the same page at the same weight. Mosley and Judah have signed to fight one another at 147 pounds in what should be one of the best fights that can be made today.

Mosley, at age 36, maybe older than his 30 year-old opponent from Brooklyn, NY, but “Sugar Shane” still has fast hands, a pressing body attack, and can punch in combinations.

Mosley has always been a strong welterweight. Judah, perhaps the faster of the two, will have in work cutout as the attempts to use his speed and southpaw stance to break Mosley down.

How much has the Cotto fights taken out from both men? Judah has fought twice since he was stopped by Cotto (TKO by 11) in June with both fights lasting 10 and 12 round respectively.

Mosley (L 12) lost to Cotto in November and hasn’t fought since, but was pretty active prior to meeting Cotto. In 2006, Mosley twice knocked out Fernando Vargas (TKO 10, TKO 6) before outclassing Luis Collazo (W 12) in 2007.

Notes of Interest

Both Mosley and Judah have a lot left and are fighting one another in the most popular weight division in all of boxing. Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, and Alfonso Gomez will share top-billing on an HBO televised doubleheader from Atlantic City, NJ on April 12.

Cotto will make the fourth defense of the WBA 147-pound title against Gomez, the man who ended Arturo Gatti’s career on a seventh-round knockout in July. Margarito will challenge Cintron in a rematch for Cintron’s IBF crown. Margarito pummeled Cintron into submission when the two fought several years ago.

Plus, Oscar De La Hoya returns in May to face Steve Forbes. Should De La Hoya win, he will head directly toward a return bout in September with Floyd Maywetaher, Jr., who is set to make $20 million for fighting the Big Show at WrestleMania XXIV in less than two weeks.