By Keith Idec
Main Events won a purse bid Tuesday to promote an IBF junior welterweight elimination match between former champion Zab Judah and unbeaten Vernon Paris.
Main Events, based in Totowa, N.J., won with a bid of $70,110 at the IBF’s office in nearby East Orange, N.J. Main Events, which promotes Judah, out-bid Don King, who bid $50,000. King recently signed Paris to a promotional contract.
The winner of the bout between Judah (41-7, 28 KOs, 2 NC), a Las Vegas resident raised in Brooklyn, and Detroit’s Paris (26-0, 15 KOs, 3 NC) will become the No. 1 contender to IBF champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs). Judah is currently ranked No. 3 in the IBF’s 140-pound rankings, one spot ahead of Paris.
The 34-year-old Judah lost the IBF’s 140-pound title to Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) in his last fight, July 23 in Las Vegas. Judah’s poor performance that night resulted in a one-sided, fifth-round knockout defeat. Judah filed a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after that loss, in which he claimed referee Vic Drakulich failed to call a low blow against Khan after the punch that ended the bout, but a rematch was not ordered by the NSAC, the IBF or the WBA (Khan was the WBA champion entering that unification fight).
The 24-year-old Paris stopped Tim Coleman (19-2-1, 5 KOs) and out-pointed veteran Emanuel Augustus (38-34-6, 20 KOs) in two of his three fights in 2011, but Judah could represent the toughest test of his six-year pro career.
Main Events chief executive officer Kathy Duva intends to schedule the Judah-Paris fight for sometime in the spring, but the date and site have not been determined.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.