Amir Khan V. Zab Judah: Brooklyn Versus Britain

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This Saturday night in Las Vegas, Amir Khan will face Zab Judah in a junior welterweight fight from Las Vegas. To be clear, despite the promotional literature telling you it’s a title unification, it’s not for the Ring magazine title which is universally accepted as the real championship belt. But Amir Khan is using this fight as a chance to make a name for himself, and to see if he can maybe bait top-ranked Timothy Bradley to step in the ring with him and settle that specific championship vacancy.

So here’s the question for Amir Khan: Can he make that climb from a guy who is on the pound-for-pound outskirts to a guy that can create a mandate for himself?

But for Zab Judah, the question is different, but no less important. Can Zab Judah, a guy who has always been marked by what he hasn’t been able to do as much by what he has, finally make that step up to a great fighter? Or will he sink back down to a gatekeeper?

Khan first. This isn’t Marcos Maidana he’s in the ring with, so we’re not going to see Amir stand and trade with the willingness that he showed in that fight. But also, he’s not in there with Paulie Malignaggi who he can’t intimidate with his size and punching power. So in a lot of ways, this is one of his biggest challenges. Zab Judah, for all of his faults (and we’ll get to those later), is also a guy who has been in more than a few big fights over the course of his career. Amir Khan has been in exactly…one, and even that’s debatable depending largely on how you feel about Marcos Maidana.

This isn’t me saying, of course, that Amir is doomed. He’s most certainly not. After all, Amir is a Olympic silver-medalist and has the potential to be the best British lower-weight fighter since Ken Buchanan. High praise, I know, but Amir has the potential to make me look right. He’s got a solid jab, power in both hands, and is well-schooled far beyond just his amateur background. He’s got the trainer of trainers, Freddie Roach, helping him and, most importantly, making sure he’s remaining under control. Whenever Khan boxes and then sets up his punches off of that he’s a terror. But when he feels like he can brawl, when he wants to get his Meldrick Taylor on, he’s eminently more beatable than he would like to be.

Now to Zab Judah.

Zab’s an odd case. Ol’ boy was the first big boxer from NYC since Tyson. And he had that intoxicating blend of power and speed that all of the greats have had.

And early on, it looked like he was going to live up to all of that potential. He hammered people including crowd favorite Micky Ward, and started to look like he could be one of the pound-for-pound best.

But he got KTFO’d by Kostya Tszyu, and it all kind of went sideways for him from that point on. Suspensions, horrifically bad performances (typified by him losing the world welterweight title to unknown Carlos Baldomir in Madison Square Garden where he somehow managed to fight for 12 rounds with one glove around his own throat), and it all adds up to a career as a fighter, who while very good, was in no way as good as we were all told he was.

So what’s here for him? Simple. A chance to prove he belongs, and put the sins of the Tszyu, Mayweather, Baldomir, and Cotto fights behind him. Because if he hasn’t…if he’s still the same brilliant but terribly flawed genius that he was before, then he’s stuck on this level in perpetuity, and honestly, that’s not something that any of us want to see happen.

So in conclusion, my prediction for this fight: Khan will be too much for Judah and will either win a wide decision or TKO him sometime around the middle rounds.

11 Responses to “Amir Khan V. Zab Judah: Brooklyn Versus Britain”

  1. MODI says:

    This is a great win for Khan and I like your description of Judah as a “gate-keeper”. Judah at this stage is the type of fighter that every young dude has to go through before the biggest tests.

  2. Origin says:

    Whats up brotha Modi……yes this was a great win for Khan.

    Also not to high jack the thread but looks like Mcnabb will indeed be a Viking this season. Seems as though the Vikings and Washington have agreed on a trade. It just depends on whether Mcnabb will agree to restructure his contract.

  3. HarveyDent says:

    Judah is the most perplexing fighter I’ve ever seen since Tyson in that he has all the physical skills to be a legend but doesn’t have the heart. Heart is something that can’t be taught even though it can be earned and nurtured over time but Judah doesn’t seem to be willing to do that and it’s really a shame because he has the charisma to be great.

    OK, Donovan, I’m happy for you now if you take this deal because you’re finally getting everything you’ve needed over your career if you go to Minny: a stud running back and an hellacious defense. If you blow this opportunity then I have no sympathy for you.

    Congrats to Tavoris Jackson as well for signing with the Seahawks. He may finally get his chance.

  4. Origin says:

    Don’t forget Harvey……Rice still has to resign and the Vikings have to get some more help on the OL if they do that Mcnabb has a great chance to do well.

  5. MODI says:

    What’s up O and HD!

    Okay, on the “heart” thing… this could be a Brownsville trend… All the Brownsville greats… Tyson, Bowe, Shannon Briggs, Judah all have had heart issues — at least in any sustained way. Bowe would get up for one fight and coast for the next three. Still amazing that so many fighter could come from the same place. Says a lot about Brownesville

    I love the McNabb deal, and Jackson deal. Just became a Vikings fan. And it’s been about 5 minutes and McNabb is already getting disrespected. Tweets Christian Ponder:

    “Excited to have McNabb join. Will learn a lot from a Pro Bowler. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still fighting to start week 1!”

    Should have kept that last bit to himself…

  6. Origin says:

    How has it been man. Yeap that lil comment from Ponder doesn’t surprise me these kats know they can say whatever when it comes to any black QB. While the black QB has to come in and say all the right things and walk in with his head down low.

    Like Harvey and I said last year Mcnabb always wanted to go to the Vikings. The Eagles just weren’t going to trade him to them. Maybe this was all a hustle by Mcnabb and Reid to get Mcnabb to the Vikings all along. Nothing surprises me when it comes to the NFL and NBA.

    The deal still isn’t over because Mcnabb probably wants to get the best deal possible when it comes to restructuring his contract and not playing for chicken scraps. Plus he knows as soon as he has one bad game the fans in Minny will be screaming for golden boy Ponder. In the end he and the Vikings will get a number to restructure the contract to and maybe get an agreement that he will start this season no matter the record during the season. Now as I said before all this means nothing if Sidney Rice or Braylon Edwards isn’t at WR when the season starts and they don’t upgrade the OL.

  7. MODI says:

    “maybe get an agreement that he will start this season no matter the record during the season”

    can a player get that type of agreement?

    Favre and APete agree on OL, and Rice would be nice, but the OL can’t possibly be worse than the Skins

  8. Origin says:

    Dang Modi looks lik Rice is gone to the Hawks. The Vikings must now go all in for Braylon Edwards. I would say sign Edwards along with Moss / Roy Willaims. The Vikings must get Mcnabb a large big play WR who can turn short passes into big plays. Plus be able to beat people deep and go up and make tough catches. If they don’t get him this I don’t see them making it to the playoffs.

    They also need to get AP a freaking full back that can block and actually use the FB on running plays.

    If they do all of this they will be in the playoffs this season.

  9. Origin says:

    Oh and Modi check how that punk Florio is crapping on Mcnabb.

    “Maybe the last 15 months have humbled McNabb. The fact that he’d allow himself to be treated like something far short of an elite quarterback could be interpreted as a sign that he doesn’t care about appearances, and that he only wants to win.”

    Funny how the word humble always comes up when discussing black athletes. As though Mcnabb wasn’t humble before that bigot Shanahan. Seems to me his parents raised him to be pretty humble…..I mean isn’t this a man who contacted Campbell before he was traded to washington. Isn’t this the man who said he helped Vick get on with the Eagles because it was his duty to help a person out when they were down. Isn’t this the dude who told Cutler to always keep his head up.

    Baldinger on NFL network pissed me off last month saying that same garbage about Mcnabb and being humbled.

  10. MODI says:

    Florio is garbage…

    McNabb has been silent because if he peeped a word Florio and the rest of MSM would flip the script on him as disgruntled athlete which could impact ANY future employment. So he stayed quiet. DMac can’t win

  11. Origin says:

    So true Modi.

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