Zab Judah’s New Beginning

By By Francis Walker BASN Boxing writer
Updated: March 12, 2012

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NEW YORK, NY( BASN) When Zab Judah (41-8, 28 KOs, 2 NC) meets undefeated Vernon Paris (26-0, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight title eliminator, it will be the former world champion’s very first professional bout in his native Brooklyn, NY. That’s amazing because, it will also mark Judah’s 52nd professional contest.

“This is the first time that I will be fighting in Brooklyn as a professional.”

Judah said during a recent conference call. “It’s a great feeling; you know the last time I fought in Brooklyn I think was Golden Gloves.”

Judah-Paris, along with the return of former cruiserweight and light-heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek, will be televised on NBC’s Fight Night beginning at 10 PM/ET.

The former undisputed world welterweight and junior welterweight champion is anxious to step into the ring for what should be another run at winning a world title.

“I’m excited again,” Judah said. “I’m telling you, I feel like I’m 22 years old again. I promise you, I’m going to come back here and give you guys the excitement that I gave you guys when I was 22 years old.”

A lot of people have counted Judah out through the years. Yes, Zab has faded in some of the biggest fights imaginable against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Kostya Tszyu, Miguel Cotto, and Amir Khan, but Judah continues to reinvent himself.

Judah constantly has restructured is career and strategically positions himself to either fight or win a world title.

Judah‘s last run toward a world championship was successful.

Judah reestablished himself by demolishing Jose Armando Santa Cruz (TKO 3) in July 2010 before surviving a life and death struggle against hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse (W 12). Many thought Matthysse would KO Zab.

Judah survived a brutal knockdown in the tenth, but won a razor thin split-decision after 12 rounds by scores of 114-113 (twice) and 113-114.

Judah arose from the canvas early and survived the effective boxing style of Kaizer Mabuza by dismantling him in seven rounds to claim the IBF 140-poud title in March 2011.

Judah stated: “This fight reminds me of the fight with Lucas Matthysse, when I was going against a fighter that was undefeated with all knockouts. You know what I’m saying? This kind of puts me back in that position again. There I went in and won that fight too. Then you had Kaiser Mabuza right after that for the title. I’m used to being in this position. In this position I shine best.”

The champion’s reign ended last summer when Khan stopped him on a solid body shot in the fifth round to unify the WBA/IBF junior welterweight titles. Eight months later, Zab is looking to put that loss (a significant one) behind him in search of another string of quality victories.

“I think people kind of forget that just last July I was the champion of the world,” Judah said. “And now I am coming back to get what is rightfully mine. Every time you step in the ring it means the same thing to every fighter. Vernon Paris means the same as Amir Khan meant to me. Anybody that knows me knows that winning means more to me than anything. I could care less who it is, the opportunity at hand is just Zab Judah stepping in and being the best Zab Judah that he can be.”

Judah is returning to face Vernon Paris, a younger, undefeated prospect on the rise looking to make a name for himself.

Paris is from the Detroit area and he has been carefully matched to date. The biggest win on his record was a TKO stoppage of Tim Coleman last summer.

Paris has never fought past the eighth round.

“I’m ready!”

Judah concluded. “The fire is lit!

Brooklyn is ready! You know what? All I can say is this going to be great! This is gonna be great!”