Judah is back

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 17, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Friday night on ESPN, Zab Judah went back to the division that he began fighting in — junior welterweight — as he faced Jose Armando Santa Cruz.

For Judah, this fight was the first step before attempting to reclaim past glory and a junior Welterweight title.

In the first fight, New Jersey undefeated Alex Perez faced Edvan Dos Santo Barros. Analyst Ted Atlas viewed this fight as a slight step up for Perez but he quipped, “Compared to Perez last opponent who was 2-31, everyone is a step up.”

The first round, Perez took advantage of his 6-foot-1 frame with his reach but by the end of the second round, Barros managed to get inside and from the third round, he turned this bout into trench warfare.

Perez did not mind being inside since he showed some skills in shortening his punch for inside brawling but Barros was given a chance to beat the taller Perez.

Perez occasionally slapped his own punches and this took the sting off his punches, and while he boxed in the sixth round; his punches lacked sting to do much damage to Barros.

And even in the sixth round, he often fell into an inside fight.

The seventh round followed the same pattern of third thru the fifth rounds in which Perez gave up his heights and while Perez appeared to get the better of exchanges, Barros connected on some solids punches, in particular upper cuts.

The seventh round ended with a Barros right that got Perez’s attention. He connected on most of the punches but in failing to take advantage of his heights, he made what should have been an easy fight into a difficult win.

Perez won a decision while one judge had him winning every round but the other judges had a more accurate scores as one had it 77-75 and the other scored it 78-74.

In the second bout, former Olympian Sadam Ali challenged Julias Edmonds in his TV bout. Ali spent the first minute moving and jabbing, just looking for the right time to strike.

He nailed his opponent with a body shot that sent Edmonds down. From this point it was obvious that not if Ali would win but how impressive he will look. He was head and shoulder above his opponent in skills.

In the second round, Edmonds pursued but he was simply going over the trench into a machine gun nest. Ali simply pounded his opponent and scored a second knockdown.

Edmonds was determined to fight on after his second knockdown but he simply continued his pursuit into Ali punches. He continued the mismatch as he trapped Edmonds along the rope with quick sharp combinations at the beginning of the third round and the referee saw enough.

THE MAIN EVENT

Zab Judah came into the ring, knowing that this fight meant bigger fights ahead if he won impressively.

Judah looked like a boxer and his opponent, Mexican fighter Jose Armando Santa Cruz, had long arms and long legs on a taller frame, which gave him a awkward look.

The awkward looks portended an awkward fighter. The opening round showed that Judah had the quicker hands and better skills but would it translate into victory?

Judah moved beautifully and in the opening two minutes of the round saw quick jabs into Cruz’s face as he covered up while pursuing his opponent. The best punches were Judah two hooks to the body.

In the third round, Judah nailed Cruz with a solid left upper cut that sent Cruz down and Cruz struggled to get up. Cruz looked shaken and it didn’t take long for Judah to finish it off.

After one quick combination in which Cruz could not defend himself, the fight was stopped. On this night, the old Judah returned as he showed that he still had the skills.

Now back in the division that he made his initial reputation; Judah looked ready to challenge for a championship.