Fight Night at The ‘Rock’

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 10, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — Zab Judah (40-6, 27 KOs) escaped the aggressive surge of previously unbeaten Lucas Matthysse (27-1, 25 KOs) to seize the IBF/WBO No. 2 rankings with a 12-round, split decision win at the Prudential Center this past Saturday night, in Newark, N.J.

The three official judges at ringside scored the bout 114-113 for Judah, 114-113 (Matthysse), and 114-113 (Judah). It was a very close fight that could have gone either way, but Matthysse proved to be everything Golden Boy Promotions believed he was — aggressive, heavy-handed, and powerful.

“It’s been 10 weeks of hard training,” Judah said. “I’ll take some time off and meet with my team and we’ll consider all of our options.”

Judah is going to take the victory and move on. Good call because Matthysse was able to match Judah’s boxing skills. It was a technical, tactical boxing match. Both fighters respected each other’s power and timing. Matthysse was able to avoid Judah’s southpaw straight-left, but was hit constantly by the right-jab.

Judah, the former two-time 140-pound champion and former undisputed world welterweight titlist, had his hands full. Judah needed every ounce of experience to keep the younger Matthysse off.

Matthysse surprised a lot of people with his ability to box, move around, and cut off the ring. Matthysse had no problems trapping Judah, but he was very careful of Zab’s potent and dangerous left hand. Matthysse boxed very well from the outside. Matthysse used his left jab as a range-finder to set up his right hand to Judah’s body.

Matthysse nearly hit the jackpot in round ten when he dropped Judah to a knee following a big right hand. In the final three rounds, Matthysse was clearly the dominant of the two. Matthysse kept drilling Judah against the ropes with solid shots.

He forced Zab to have to clinch. Judah showed a lot of mental/physical toughness. Judah clinched, grabbed, absorbed punishment, and fought to remain on his feet to the sound of the final bell.

The drawback for Matthysse is that he didn’t have the experience on a world class level. The young 28 year-old Argentinean’s biggest win was a stoppage win against former world champion Vivian Harris.

Some observers weren’t impressed with that performance at all. Also, Matthysse has never fought past the fourth round in 25 of his previous 27 professional contests against unrecognizable opposition.

Matthysse will be back.

As for Judah, he earned a mandatory shot that the vacant IBF 140-pound title previously held by unbeaten WBC junior welterweight champion, Devon Alexander, who signed to meet WBO titlist Timothy Bradley in January 2011.

Judah will face South African Kaizier Mabuza next.

Robert Guerrero W 10 Vincente Escobedo

Former three-time IBF world champion Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) dominated former 2004 U.S. Olympian Vincente Escobedo (22-3, 14 KOs) to win a unanimous 10-round decision.

The official judges at ringside scored the bout 100-88, 98-90, and a questionable 96-94 all for Guerrero, who scored knockdowns in rounds three and six.

Guerrero performed much better against Escobedo than in his previous performance against Joel Casamayor in July. In that fight Guerrero didn’t impose is will and was knocked down in the final round.

Guerrero’s southpaw right jabs were on point. His left hand found its mark and drove Escobedo backwards constantly. “It was a good fight,” Guerrero said afterward.

“I did what I had to do and pulled it out in the middle of the fight. I’m circled more, jabbed more, and threw more combinations.

It was a great victory. Too bad I hurt my hand. I threw a straight-left and hurt it toward the middle of the fight.”

The victory positions Guerrero toward a mandatory shot at the winner of the WBA/WBO lightweight title fight between Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis on November 27.

“That’s what you look forward to,” Guerrero added. “I’m the mandatory for Marquez-Katsidis. I have the No.1-ranking in the WBO,” Guerrero said. “I’m hoping by the beginning of next year. It’s a matter of getting the opportunity.”

It’s amazing that Guerrero has been able to remain focused and compete on a high level because; he had to deal with a lot of suffering outside the ring. His wife Casey has dealt with Leukemia and had a successful bone marrow transplant earlier this year.

Guerrero has been extremely supportive and helped Casey battle cancer every step of the way. He even vacated a world title instead of defending it because his wife needed him most. That’s a commitment.

“Under situations like that some people probably break,” Guerrero said. “Look at the situation with my wife Casey. It made me go out and perform better. She’s doing great. She’s cancer free.”

“Knowing what she had to go through to see her at ringside is a good.”

In other bouts: 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali (10-6 KOs) TKO’d Gary Bergeron (12-8,7 KOs) at 2:18 seconds of the second round. Unbeaten junior lightweight Adrien Broner (18-0, 15 KOs) knocked out Ilido Julio (40-20-1, 35 KOs) in the first round. Angel Concepcion (3-0) was victorious against Maurice Amaro (1-3) during a four-round light-heavyweight contest.

All three judges scored the fight 40-36 for Concepcion.

Also, Junior lightweight Mike Brooks (3-0-, 1KO) decisioned Kywayne Hill (1-6, 1 KO) en route to a unanimous four-round decision. All three scores read 40-36. Junior lightweight Tyrone Luckey (2-0, 1 KO) TKO’d Alex Montes (1-2) in the third round. Unbeaten lightweight Mike Perez (10-0-1, 5 KOs) destroyed Hevinson Herrera (14-7-1, 12 KOs) in one round.

Junior middleweight Bastie Samir (6-0, 6 KOs) TKO’d Damion Reed (2-4, 1 KO) in the first round. Plus, welterweight prospect, Mikael Zewski (5-0, 3 KOs) defeated Ardrick Butler (5-3, 2 KOs) by the unanimous scores of 40-36.