A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Iowa—Zab Judah took a step forward to be part of the 140 pound elites as he won the IBF title over Kaizer Mabuza with a seven round stoppage. Judah did his best impersonation of his new trainer, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker as he moved and jive away from the pressuring Mabuza while countering with effective punches.
Judah proved that he may be still one of the best junior welterweights but the history of Judah has always been that he seemed forever knocking on the door of greatness only to have it slam back in his face. Past defeats against Hall of Fame champions just as Floyd Mayweather and Kostya Tszyu showed that he was just short of being great.
Now at the age of 33, he has one more chance against a new generation of fighters who are now fighting for their place in boxing history. With Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley fighting for supremacy in the junior welterweights, Judah has new competition to prove that he belongs with the best of the bests. Over the next year, he will have an opportunity to fight one of these fighters to show that he still belongs in the conversation of elite fighters among the junior welterweights.
Wladimir Klitschko is pulling out of his April fight with Derek Chisora and he has signed a contract with David Haye (the latter may or may not be true). Both new items are related or most likely related for if there is a Haye-Klitschko bout signed, team Klitschko decided that maybe a longer recovery from his injury would be beneficial since fighting David Haye will be a more lucrative fight. As for Chisora, he will get a nice pay day for not fighting as team Klitschko will simply pay Chisora off as he prepares for Haye.
This is the way of boxing. Follow the money and don’t believe that there will be a Haye-Klitschko fight until they actually appear in the ring.
Erik Morales is on the comeback trail as he fights the hard charging Marcos Maidana in a junior welterweight bout. Morales best weight was as at featherweight and now he is fighting at the age of 34 against a younger hard punching fighter.
Morales is an old 34 and while he won three in a row in his comeback, the last image I have was his fight against David Diaz, a good but not hall of fame champion. Diaz simple pounded Morales and one got the impression, this was it.
Now Morales is back against a fighter that years ago would be made for him with his superior boxing skills but at 34 and fighting against one of the better junior welterweights. Morales will have his hands full. I don’t see this comeback resulting in a title fight anytime soon for Morales skills eroded before he faced David Diaz for the lightweight title and he has been in too many wars. Sometimes, fighters simply don’t know it is their time to quit and move on.
In 2009, James Kirkland was on his way to a title shot in the junior Middleweight division after having dispatched a solid fighter in Joel Julio. Jail happened and Kirkland spent two years away from the fight game before last Saturday night.
Kirkland pounded Ahsandi Gibbs in one round, showing the old power was back and he was ready to renew his march to a title. Kirkland was and still is one of those fighters who attack, attack and club his opponent into submission and if nothing else, brings a buzz in the ring similar to Saul Alvarez, another fighter who fights as if he is on search and destroy mission. Now that would be an interesting bout, Kirkland raw power versus the power and techniques of Alvarez. One thing is for certain, if Kirkland hit Alvarez with the shots that Hatton managed to lay on Alvarez, we will find out quickly how solid Alvarez’s chin is.
Miguel Cotto fights the every impressible Richardo Mayorga, one of those clubbing attacking fighters. The problem with Mayorga is that when he moved up in class, he got splattered with the exception of Vernon Forest. In his two bouts with Forest, he showed that he had the potential of being more than a club fighter, ready to slug but after Forest, Mayorga showed no improvement and quickly dissolved as one of those fighters who forever gave a better show outside the ring as in. The last time, he occupied center ring was against Oscar De La Hoya, who taught Mayorga a lesson in manners. I suspect that Cotto will too.
Finally, the best fight may be Sergio Martinez versus Serhiy Dzinziuk. Martinez stunned Paul Williams with a brilliant second round knock out and now faces the undefeated Dziniziuk for what is called the WBC diamond Middleweight title, whatever that is. For simplicity, Martinez is the best Middleweight in the world and if Dzinziuk wins, he will be the best in the world.