Things We Learned This Weekend in Vegas
By John Novoselac, Doghouse Boxing (July 26, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
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Khan lands on Judah
Zab Judah's career revival came to an abrupt end Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, as Bolton born Brit Amir Khan unified 2 of the major belts at 140 pounds.  Despite oddsmakers installing Khan as a 4-1 favorite, many pundits expected Zab to showcase his cagey skills coupled with some new tools brought on by recently added trainer Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker.  It wasn't to be, as Freddie Roach trained Khan dominated from beginning to end.

Khan executed a masterfully designed game plan that smothered Zab's power, but Zab did himself no favors by throwing only 115 total punches over 5 rounds before getting stopped, landing a mere 20 shots.  Meanwhile, Khan exercised his arm length advantage pounding Judah for 61 of 284 shots including an uppercut to the beltline of Zab that would end things for the evening.

Main Events had done a nice job of rehabilitating the career of the former welterweight champion in Judah, but it appears that clever match making may have deceived the boxing public.  In his last 3 fights, all of which were staged in New Jersey where he was being cultivated into a regional draw, Zab came up victorious, culminating in the IBF strap in a win over Kaizer Mabuza.  Prior to that, Zab showed heart and resiliency in overcoming a late surge by powerful slugger Lucas Matthysse.  It had appeared that Zab had erased the ghosts of losses past, and was entering into a rare 2nd prime of a boxing career.

Amir Khan didn't receive the memo.  Many expected an early press from Zab, and for Amir to wait out the pressure and put it on Zab late as he ran out of gas.  What we got was the opposite.  Amir came out aggressive, while Zab had thrown only half as many punches as his Brit opponent.  Behind that aggression, Khan landed an uppercut to the belt line of Judah that would seal his fate.  As Zab cringed and claimed it to be a low blow, referee Vic Drakulich administered the full 10 count and called and end to the fight.  The crowd of 7,279 was none too pleased to see such a premature ending, albeit a definitive one.

With the loss, it's unclear where Judah will go.  His record now stands at 41-7, and his days on premium cable may be over.  Even his most recent fights on the big networks had Zab as the B side, but it's uncertain he'll even be welcomed back in that capacity.  

Khan on the other hand, should have a plethora of options with any of the major names at 140 pounds.  He's showing great improvement under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, and doesn't appear to have stopped improving.  For his immediate future, Khan would say, “If Guerrero beats Maidana, that could be the fight in December. I leave it to Golden Boy but, in my eyes, Maidana is a bigger fighter, a bigger person.”

Regarding his only conqueror, Khan would say, “He’s definitely in the picture but I think [Paul] McCloskey will beat him,” said Khan. “But we’ll add that name to the shot list.

I’m only 24 so we’re taking it one step at a time. By the time I’m 25, we’ll be looking at 147, then see where to go from there.”.

Questions or comments,
e-mail
John at: jnovoselac@yahoo.com



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