Zab Judah loses last fight, but after stay in the hospital, future prognosis is good
By Bill Tibbs
Zab Judah, (44-10, 30 KO’s), a former two-division boxing champion, was stopped last Friday night in the 11th round of a scheduled 12-round bout for the NABO super lightweight title in Verona, New York by Cletus Seldin (24-1, 20 KO’s).
The title, in reality, was of little consequence, but the fight itself was supposed to be a win that would be part of Judah’s latest, and last, run at a world title. But at age 41, he showed all the signs of a fighter who needs to call it a day - tough enough to stay in there, but with nothing left to turn a fight around against a guy who he would have beaten in his prime. Seldon is not fancy by any stretch but he is rugged and relentless and that was enough to handle Judah all night long. There was a time when just being rugged and relentless wouldn’t have gotten the job done against the slick and lightening fast Judah, but that was a lot of years and lot of ring miles ago.
Judah wasn’t happy with the stoppage (what fighter ever is?) but referee Charlie Fitch did the right thing in putting a halt to the bout that was way out of reach on the scorecards for the Brooklyn born Judah. The reality is that it was evident, early and often, that Zab’s reflexes are not what they used to be and his legs appeared vulnerable at best throughout the fight.
Seldin was able to dictate the distance on Judah and as a result land to the head and body throughout the night. After hurting Judah in the 11th frame, and pouncing on him when he realized he had shaken him up, Seldin was able to get the stoppage.
As the plot goes in the fight game, Seldin will try to use the win as a springboard to something bigger down the road. For Judah, the future is less clear. But, frankly, a boxing ring (a danger zone at the best of times) is no longer a safe working environment for Judah.
And, his post-fight reaction scared a lot of people.
The consequences of hanging on a bit too long in the fight game can have some difficult results down the road. Judah, feeling unwell after the fight, was taken to hospital for evaluation and appears to be recovering without any serious problems. But, it is over, enough, it is time to step away.
Judah has been an outstanding fighter, multiple world champion and fought 19 world title fights in a 2+ decade run; he was one of the major stars of his generation – all in all, pretty impressive stuff. Zab Judah has a resume that includes Micky Ward, Junior Witter, Kosta Tszyu, DeMarcus Corley, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Paulie Malignaggi among others. Simply put, Judah fought the very best of his generation.
Friday was a tough loss and a setback for what he had hoped would be another title run. While nothing officially has been announced, I am hoping he will make an official retirement statement soon. After the fight, there has been talk of a brain bleed or dehydration, or who knows? Team Judah has been quiet on the doctor’s post-fight findings. Regardless, Judah should not even consider boxing again. However, what Judah can do is walk away from boxing with his head held high as a great fighter who had an outstanding career as a multiple world champion.
Zab - I wish you the best of luck moving forward and thank you for the memories in a fantastic career.
Bill’s wishes are shared by everyone at Maxboxing.com