SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
He Still Got It!!!
Judah did not disappoint his followers in front of a packed house that included former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe and famed boxing promoter Don King.
Judah (42-7, 29 KOs, 2 NC), in perhaps the finest performance of his career, torched previously unbeaten, 140-pound prospect Vernon Paris (26-1, 15 KOs) at 2:27 seconds of round nine at the Aviator Sports Complex in Flatbush, Brooklyn on Saturday. The victory propels Judah back into title contention as the IBF’s No. 1-ranked challenger.
“All credit to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me the strength, the ability, to rebound myself,” Judah said. “I thank him first. I take zero credit tonight. God fought my battle. I prepared the temple and he fought the battle for me.”
James Bashir, assistant trainer to IBF/WBA/WBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko said it best: “it’s amazing what a little religion will do for you. You stop drinking, partying, and staying out late. You wake up early to run and train. Zab should have done this six years ago.”
Everyone knows that Zab has a wild side. Zab can be street too. However, Zab Judah has always been a cool, likable guy and there are a lot of people in boxing that know him (fighters, trainers, managers, etc.) that want to see Judah do well. There is a charisma and charm about Judah that makes you want to root for him, even when he isn’t at his best.
Judah has had some amazing performances. The night he rose from the canvas to knockout Jan Bergman to capture his first IBF 140-pound title was memorable. Fighting out of a southpaw style, Zab was so fast, powerful, and accurate with his punches.
Judah, on his last legs, traveled to St. Louis, MO to challenge Cory Spinks in a rematch for the WBC/WBA and IBF welterweight championship.
Judah had to wait nearly 10 minutes for Spinks to finish his crazy ring-entrance accompanied by Nelly.
Judah was so angry; he administered one of the most brutal beatings seen in a longtime.
Judah knocked out the hometown favorite to reclaim glory.
Vernon Paris tried to do what Judah did that night in St. Louis – wreck havoc and embarrass the hometown fighter in his own backyard. However, it wasn’t until, as early as the second round, Paris realized that Judah wasn’t nearly the caliber of the previous 26 opponents he faced.
Paris had no answer for the speed and power Judah still has at age 34.
Watching Paris struggle from my seat at ringside, I asked the question ‘how the hell did this Michigan guy amass 16 professional knockouts?’ I haven’t heard much about Paris before the fight and based on this performance against Judah, I’m not very anxious to learn too much more.
Judah, similar to his younger years, was ferocious from the opening bell.
Judah was much faster on his feet and was catching Paris from all angles.
Judah worked the right hand hard into Paris’ body. At one point, Judah landed a beautiful double-left hook to Paris ribcage, followed by a left-right-left combination to the head.
Paris‘ face was a magnet for Judah’s sharp straight-left. It was as though Judah couldn’t miss the side of Paris’ magnetic facial features.
The crowd rose to their feet throughout the main event. With the IBF No. 1-ranking and a mandatory title shot on the line, Judah wasted no time in getting Paris out of there. In the ninth round, Judah landed a straight-left that jerked Paris’ head backwards.
Judah followed with a barrage so violent, so brutal, and so relentless; Paris may never again be the same confident fighter he was while he was unbeaten.
“He (Paris) got into survival mode,” Judah concluded. “It would have been an earlier domination but he got into survival mode and tried to move around a lot so I had to use my jab and not get unfocused.”
Judah proved Paris clearly didn’t’ belong in the ring with him. If can’t being in the ring with Zab, you shouldn’t be in with the best.
Judah‘s performance against Paris makes you think… What the hell happened in the Amir Khan fight last summer? What happened in the Kostya Tszyu fight? Why didn’t he perform this way against Floyd Mayweather years ago?
Judah has always had the skills and the talent, but for years he has had to endure criticism about his chin, his stamina, and his full commitment to boxing. Now that Judah has found God, he appears to be focused and ready. Let’s just see if Judah can perform at his absolute best against at the highest level.
Jennings defeats former heavyweight champion Liakhovich
Undefeated prospect Bryant Jennings (13-0, 6 KOs) posted the biggest victory of his career. Having never fought past the six round prior to this years, Jennings, after only 13 professional bouts, defeated former WBO heavyweight champion Sergui Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KOs).
“Composure and focus,” Jennings said were his two main keys to victory. “Just being focused, staying calm, and being aware at all times.”
The 27 year-old was outweighed by nearly 20 pounds by the 6′ 4,” 235-pound Liakhovich.
Jennings, a well-sculptured African-American fighter from the mean streets of Philadelphia, impressively boxed and intelligently attacked Liakhovich behind a good left jab and hard three-four punch combinations. Liakhovich, looking to establish the use of his jab early in the fight, landed some great body shots of his own.
Jennings, however, countered Liakhovich’s pressure with even more precise uppercuts and hooks.
Jennings displayed great patience with his attack and superior conditioning. There were many occasions when it appeared the smaller man was simply too powerful for the former WBO champion.
I know my strength,” Jennings added. “I know I’m pretty strong. Most of the time, I didn’t have to use my power. You can use your speed. [Liakhovich] wasn’t moving that well. I didn’t have to be that quick. He didn’t surprise me with anything. He didn’t hurt me with anything.”
As the bout progressed, Liakhovich simply took way too much punishment.
Jennings drilled Liakhovich into the ropes with fierce aggression. As the former champion continuously lost his balance, eyes swollen, blood streaming, it was under the recommendation of the ringside physician that the fight be stopped at 3:00 at the end of the ninth round.
Jennings concluded his goal is to head straight toward “the top. To be the world heavyweight champion. Whatever the vehicle is, I’m going to get there. I like to achieve goals.”
In other bouts: Former WBC light-heavyweight and IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Nagy Aguillera (17-7, 12 KOs). The victory was Adamek’s first fight since failing to dethrone WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in front of 40,000 in Poland last September.
The judges scored the bout 100-90 (twice) and 99-91.
“I think I broke my left hand in third round and my right in the fifth, or sixth,” Adamek said. “My condition was good. He wasn’t hurting me. I thought it was as easy fight. I was quick. It was a great fight for the fans. I threw many, many punches.”
Adamek hopes to be ready to return to the ring in June.
Also, on the card, undefeated cruiserweight, “Demolition Man” Santander Silgado (21-0, 18 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Willie Herring (13-10-3, 4 KOs). Curtis Stevens (22-3, 16 KOs) knocked out Romero Johnson (11-6-1, 6 KOs) in round one. Angel Garcia (2-0, 2 KOs) spoiled the professional debut of Alan Beeman with a second round TKO. Jeff Lentz (2-0, 1 KO) out-pointed the exciting Vinny O’Brien (3-2, 2 KOs).