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Where Brooklyn At?

http://www.doghouseboxing.com/Media2/Zab_Yoel_Judah_By_Jason_Gonzalez_S.jpgPhoto and Article by Jason Gonzalez, MaxBoxing.com


At 34 years of age and after being on top of the mountain five times, Brooklyn’s own Zab “Super” Judah is (once again) ready to turn over a new leaf. There is no doubt that change is good; however, we have heard this before from him on many occasions. And once too many, his actions have failed to correspond with the words that came from his mouth. Now just eight months removed from his one-sided knockout loss to Amir Khan, Judah is coming back home. For the first time in over 15 years, Judah will be fighting in Brooklyn.


“I haven’t fought in Brooklyn since I was an amateur when I won the golden gloves,” said Judah, now a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. “I am excited to be back home. This is where I was born and raised.”
 
Tonight, Judah challenges Vernon Paris of the “Motor City” for the number one spot in the IBF at the Aviator Sports Complex. As of late, there has been a recent surge in East Coast fighters (particularly from New York) moving out to the West Coast. Former IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi now calls Hollywood home. Jorge Teron of the “Boogie Down” Bronx now kicks it on the Vegas strip with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. With Judah, the trend continues. Is this part of the new transformation? Judah doesn’t think so.
 
“Me moving out to Vegas had nothing to do with my boxing career,” Judah, now 41-7, (28), said during an open workout at his father’s gym in East New York. It was about me moving to the West Coast. I could have gone to Alabama and it wouldn’t have mattered.” But in retrospect, hindsight is always 20/20. It’s hard to fathom that Judah’s relocation had nothing to do with the “Sweet Science.” Judah has always had a reputation for lacking discipline. Combine this variable with fame and fortune while living in the “Big Apple” and forget about it. It’s a recipe for disaster.
 
Judah’s father, Yoel, chimed in with his thoughts regarding the change of scenery. “Yes indeed, it was the right move for Zab,” continuing, “Zab was born and raised in the streets of New York City. New York can be a tough place and it can get to you if let it. Unfortunately, for Zab there were a lot of distractions and he was getting into trouble. He needed that change and as a result, he settled down and has found God and reconnected with him.”
 
Exactly what kind of trouble was Judah was getting himself into? Yoel didn’t specify but it definitely makes one wonder if all of the rumors of the DUI’s, arrests for failing to pay child support and altercations in the streets were true. In one incident, it was documented that Judah chased a guy who robbed him of his necklace in his Lamborghini down a busy Manhattan street. The assailant, also in a car, crashed into a yellow taxi. Sounds nuts but Judah has always had a flair for the dramatics, which is why he is a draw wherever he goes. As far as living reckless, according to father and son, it is a thing of the past. So are a few other things.
 
“Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker is gone,” Yoel told Maxboxing. “Whitaker is one and done. He came up with the wrong game plane for the fight with Amir Khan. Whitaker had Zab boxing and moving around. If Zab had taken the fight to Amir and fought him on the inside, there’s no doubt that he wins that fight by knockout.” That said, have father and son reconnected? “No, my brother, James Harvey, trained him for this fight and will work the corner tomorrow night. So what’s dad looking for from his son tonight? “I want Zab to knock this dude out within the first eight rounds. Then we want the winner of the rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan.”
 
It’s hard to imagine Judah losing the contest to the relatively green Paris who, at 26-0 (15), sports a very manufactured record. So with a victory, Judah becomes the number one contender in the IBF and becomes the mandatory for either Peterson or Khan. Once again, Judah gets a title shot. I guess you can say that Judah is a brand name that never gets old. Whether at 140 or 147 pounds, he has been able to carry his power and will always have a puncher’s chance in any fight he is in.
 
“Wherever I go, whether 140 or 147, my power follows me,” assessed Judah, a native of Brownsville. “I knocked out Cory Spinks at 147 and everyone saw the Kaizer Mabuza knockout. I weighed 138 pounds for that fight. It’s hard for me to determine where I punch harder. For now, I am staying at 140 and everyone at junior welterweight is on notice.”
 
However, he declined to comment on what was in store for the future. “I can’t tell you that now,” said Judah. “For now, I am focused on March 24th and Vernon Paris.”
 
One last sidebar before concluding this feature is don’t be surprised if Main Events (Judah’s promoter) hooks up with Golden Boy Promotions in the near future. GBP will bring boxing to the Barclays Center once a month starting October 20. The Barclays Center is an 18,000-seat arena (the soon to be new home of the New Jersey Nets) currently under construction in the downtown Brooklyn area. Just imagine how popular a Judah-Malignaggi fight would be…
 
“I don’t fight on anyone else’s cards, so I don’t know,” boasted a cocky Judah, “but at the end of the day, if we can get a Super Judah Promotions thing going, then of course. I love Brooklyn. This is where I was raised. If I fight at the Barclay’s Center, I would have to have my man, “Jigga” (one of rapper Jay-Z’s many aliases), open up for me.”
 
Apparently, Brooklyn is in da house. But isn’t Brooklyn always in da house?
 
Jay Gon’s Fun Facts
 
-Zab Judah’s mother, Katharine, who Judah refers to as “Ima” (the Hebrew word for “mother”), is a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
 
-Yoel, who Zab refers to as “Abba” (the Hebrew word for “father”), is a seventh degree black belt and three-time world kickboxing champion.
 
- Zab’s brother, Daniel, was scheduled to be on tonight’s card but as a result of what he described as a “complicated situation,” he was scratched from the card.
 
-Daniel has sparred with Antonio Tarver and Lucian Bute. Rumor has it that Daniel would put the “beats” on the “Magic Man” but Daniel described Bute as being “nice” with the hands.
 
-Daniel says after three consecutive wins, he wants to fight either Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud or Bernard Hopkins.
 
-According to Daniel, expect an all-Judah card to take place in the summer or in early November. This card would feature brothers Joseph, Josiah, Daniel and Zab fighting stiff competition.
 
-Being that Zab fought both Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, then who better to ask for a breakdown of the fight and a prediction? “It’s going to be a good fight,” Judah would say. “Cotto is going to use his strength and power. Floyd will use his movement and speed. I like the fight. But all jokes aside, I am picking Mayweather to win.”
 
-After the Cotto-Mayweather press conference at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Mayweather made his way to the Judah Boxing Gym to work out. “He was out here with 50 Cent; I watched that boy work out and he looked sharp,” said Yoel. “He looked sharp as a razor. Mayweather will stop Cotto as a result of cuts late in the fight.”
 
-The Barclays Center is scheduled to open its doors on September 28, 2012. Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z will christen the building with a concert.
 
-Judah appeared to be already on weight; when asked what he weighed, he responded, “142, this ain’t nothing. After this [the workout], I am going to eat a big ass cheeseburger, some fries and a large milkshake.” Trash-talking will always be a part of Judah’s persona. It’s who he is. Some things never change.
 
-Not to be outdone, Judah’s opponent, Vernon Paris has been said to have been sparring with rapper Eminem during his preparations for tonight’s fight.
 
-Last but not least, I was born in Brooklyn. I guess you can say I was destined for stardom.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Jay Gon at jg51593n@pace.edu.


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