A shot at the crown

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 28, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — While boxing fans await marquee match-ups at the 140-pound weight division featuring Devon Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan vs. Marco Rene Maidana, there is going to be a special junior welterweight bout next week.

A mandatory shot at the IBF junior welterweight championship will be at stake when Zab Judah (39-6, 27 KOs) challenges Lucas Matthysse (27-0, 25 KOs) on Saturday, November 6, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“I am so excited about this fight,” Judah said. “I have never been in better shape in my life. I could fight this kid right now!” Judah-Matthysse will be the featured main event of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” telecast.

The co-featured attraction will match three-time IBF world champion Robert Guerrero (27-1-1-, 18 KOs) vs. 2004 U.S. Olympian, Vincente Escobedo (22-2 , 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round super featherweight attraction beginning at 11:15 PM/ET.

Judah, a former two-division world champion at 140 And 147 pounds, launched a successful return to the junior welterweight division in July when he stopped Jose Armando Santa Cruz inside three rounds.

The flashy 33-year-old southpaw from Brooklyn, NY displayed some of skills and conditioning that led him to the undisputed world welterweight championship by knocking out Cory Spinks in St. Louis nearly six years ago.

Judah was also reminiscent of the 23-year-old that blazed Jan Bergman to win his first world title – the IBF 140-pound title 10 years ago.

Judah has had his share of disappointments through the years: the loss to Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Floyd Mayweather, and the collapses against Kostya Tszyu and Carlos Baldomir. However, Judah remains fun to watch. His style is exciting and can be very difficult to beat when he is “on.”

Lucas Matthysse is a hard-hitting fighter from Argentina. He is heavy-handed, aggressive, and a fast starter. Matthysse bring a lot of pressure and can be relentless.

Matthysse, however, is an unknown commodity because, all but three of his professional 27 bouts have occurred in Argentina. Matthysse has fought past the fourth round only once – a 10-round decision win against Carlos Jerez two years ago.

“I’m coming to win,” Matthysse stated. “I’m very motivated for this fight and have worked extremely hard in camp. I want to bring the victory and belt back to my country.”

Matthysse will have his back against the wall fighting one of the premier names in the loaded 140-pound divisions. “I have all respect for him because he is coming here on my home turf to fight me,” Judah said.

“But he is stepping up to the big time now.”

Mathysse may have his back against the wall, but there are those that believe that he has enough skills and power to defeat Judah. Namely, Baldomir, who outpointed Judah to claim the world welterweight championship in January 2006 at Madison Square Garden, New York City.

“Lucas is stronger than me and has the power to hurt Zab at any point during the fight,” Baldomir said. “I think he will eventually knock him out if he takes control of fight from the first round.”

“He has the power and heart to be victorious on November 6.”