Earlier this month Brooklyn-born Zab Judah scored a significant victory in stopping South Africa’s Kaizer Mabuza in seven rounds with a viscous TKO. With the win Judah did many things as he recaptured the IBF crown that he once held as well as putting his name right back into the mix in the hot and heavy junior welterweight class.
Now 33 years old, Judah currently calls Las Vegas home and was recently spotted inside of the MGM Grand as he discussed his career aspirations and other topics in the sport. Asked simply how it feels to be a champion again, the stylish southpaw couldn’t hide his elation.
“It feels great,” Judah said with vigor. “I won my first title in 2000; eleven years later I did it again. That’s an honor. In between I won four other titles. It feels great just to be back. I give all honor to God for just putting me back in this position. Jesus Christ is my strength and with him I can’t fail.”
<— Slideshow: Images of Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez
Asked how he dealt with his detractors throghout the process of again becoming a champion, Judah continued his praise for the man above.
“In life you can’t let man dictate your pace. As long as their is a God in the sky you can’t worry about anything. If God is for you, who could be against you?,” asked Judah.
There is an endless list of formidable challenges for Judah but he seems to be setting his sights five pounds north in eyeing a possible showdown with lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Judah recognizes that the usual suspects at 140 pounds seem to be tied up and would love a bonanza with the Mexico City star.
“Marquez is a great fighter,” Judah said with respect. “He’s done historic things in the past and I had a lot of respect for him. I think with all of the guys being tied up, with Amir and Timothy Bradley going at it, and Devon is getting ready to fight Lucas Matthyse, I see Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Zab Judah as the next pay-per-view fight out there. I feel like I don’t belong on the network, I belong on pay-per-view. That’s where I want to stay at.”
I pegged Judah for a prediction on a hopeful Khan-Bradley clash but he seemed indifferent.
“It’s going to be a great fight but in that fight I’d like the winner. He would be a good guy,” Judah said jokingly.
News flash: Floyd Mayweather Sr. says Floyd’s $100 million tag is too much
In a few weeks’ time perhaps the biggest puncher in Judah’s class will be in town as Argentinean firecracker Marcos Maidana goes up against former three-division champion Erik Morales at the MGM Grand on April 9th. Judah likes the fight and has particular interest in Maidana.
“Maidana is a good guy,” said Judah. “He’s a very strong guy. You have to be alert for twelve rounds and you have to just watch what you do. Keep alert and as far as that, I think those guys are going to make a great fight too.”
About one month later, inside of the same building, Judah will likely be sitting ringside as Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight crown against Shane Mosley in the biggest fight in 2011 thus far. Pacquiao is a huge betting favorite but Judah seems to be split on this one.
“I give Shane a shot. I feel that he’s a bigger guy and he should go in there and do business. Pacquiao is like myself. He’s a little guy, he’s a force to be reckoned with, left-hander with quick hands, and anything is possible.”
In the news
Sergio Martinez’s criticisms towards Pacquiao unwarranted
Reading between the lines with Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito
Ref Kenny Bayless talks Pacquiao, Floyd, Las Vegas, and more
Bert Sugar on Donaire’s move to Golden Boy
Larry Merchant not feeling Alvarez vs. Pacquiao as much
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com