Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

King Khan Climbs To Top With Knockout Of Judah

By Jake Donovan

Tim Bradley has been served notice – either get your ass in the ring or concede the top spot to those making noise in the ring.

Amir Khan served notice in a big way to the boxing world on Saturday evening at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada with a fifth round knockout of two-division titlist Zab Judah.

Both fighters weighed in at the super lightweight limit of 140 lb for their alphabet unification match.

The opening round was an awkward chess match for both combatants. Khan was overshooting with his right hand, while Judah fell short with his right jab, rarely following up with his left, though both managed to land their money shot on separate occasions in the otherwise uneventful round. A clash of heads left Judah briefly buzzed, though more discouraged that the sequence went undisciplined by the referee.

It was as close as the fight came to being competitive, as Khan controlled whatever action took place in the majority of the subsequent rounds. A more subdued Judah was passive almost to a fault, not letting his hands go enough and coming up short whenever he did throw his shots. Khan caught wind of it and boxed at his leisure.

By the end of the third round, even Judah’s new trainer, former four-division world champion Pernell Whitaker pleaded with his charge to let his hands go, particularly his straight left.

Judah tried in vain to carry out the instructions of his teacher and one-time idol, but Khan refused to allow the transplanted Brooklynite to get untracked. Constant lateral movement and a peppering of his jab and right hand allowed Khan to remain in the lead and keep Judah stuck behind the eight ball.

After dominating the first four rounds, Khan turned up the heat in the fifth. His timing paid off in dividends, and insists it was the plan all along.

“I could’ve been more aggressive early on,” Khan revealed afterward when explaining the fight-ending sequence. “But I have a lot of respect for a world champion like Zab Judah and didn’t feel the need to take such a big risk until the right moment.”

That moment came in the form of a right hand late in the fifth round, which caused Judah to double over.

What happened next is apparently open to debate, although a number of replays confirmed that the right call was made by referee Vic Drakulich.

Judah was still recovering and bent over below Khan’s waist when the final punch of the fight would be thrown. The sales pitch offered by Judah led the crowd to believe that he was clipped with a low blow, but replays confirmed that Khan instead landed a beauty of a right hookercut that caught Judah on the beltline and continued upward into his solarplexus.

The shot was powerful enough to force Judah to his knees, though grabbing his crotch in an attempt to sell Drakulich on a foul occurring. The third man would have none of it, instead instructing Khan to a neutral corner before picking up the count from the timekeeper. He made it all the way to ten, with Judah still on the canvas squirming in pain, though moments later in disbelief that he was counted out of the fight.

The official time was 2:47 of the fifth round.

Khan continues to rack up wins against a steady stream of Top 10 competition since his arrival to the 140 lb division in 2009. The 2004 Olympic Silver medalist improves to 26-1 (18KO), racking up his eighth straight win since suffering the lone loss of his career nearly three years ago.

Judah’s fourth tour as a titlist is a short-lived one, losing his alphabet belt just four months after picking it up in a vacant title fight. The loss is his first in nearly three years as he falls to 41-7 (28KO).

The loss could prove to be his last hurrah as a legitimate force on the championship level, though he’s not quite yet convinced of that, or even that he deserved to be shown the exit in this bout.

“I thought he was giving me an eight count and then a chance to recover,” Judah claimed afterward. “When he counted to ten and said ‘Over’ I didn’t know how to react. But I’ve overreacted in the past, so this time I just let the fans decide what took place.”

The incidents to which he refers both took place in Las Vegas. A knockout loss to Kostya Tszyu in 2001 was immediately followed with a tirade from Judah, that including his shoving his fist under the chin of referee Jay Nady and also throwing a corner stool at the third man. His actions earned him a six month suspension and a hefty fine.

More time and money was lost due to his actions in a Vegas ring five years later, due to the role he played in an in-ring riot during his eventual points loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now a born-again Christian, Judah leaves his faith in the Lord, but his boxing future is now left in the hands of the court of public opinion.

Meanwhile, Khan’s stock continues to skyrocket. The 24-year old racks up his fifth win over a legtitmate Top 10 super lightweight, dating back to his title win over Andriy Kotelnik in his divisional debut two years ago.

His to-hell-and-back points win over Marcos Maidana late last year proved his mettle, with 2011 supposed to have been the year where he backs up his claim of being the best 140 lb fighter in the world.

The date was originally reserved for the sole purpose of settling that argument, as Khan was slated to face de facto divisional leader Bradley.

However, those plans changed when the Californian instead decided that his contract with co-promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson had expired and that he wanted to wait until he found a new promotional home before engaging in what will be by far the most lucrative fight of his career.

Khan instead agreed to take on Judah for the sake of keeping the date and staying active, though never quite buying into the reasons that it wasn’t Bradley standing in the opposite corner.

“I think he’s scared,” Khan believes. “If he’s the champion he says he is, he would have faced me a long time ago. Zab Judah is a better fighter than Tim Bradley in my eyes.”

Bradley is of course in a terrific position to have his say in that discussion.

But until he’s standing in the opposite corner of their own championship match, he’ll have to live with the growing belief that the assumed top spot is no longer his but now Amir Khan’s for the claiming.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected] .

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by 1prodz on 07-26-2011

[QUOTE=right hand jab;10890611]The three fighters you've mentioned are fighting at 154 pounds, two weight categories above where Khan is currently fighting, MORON!!![/QUOTE] Don't consume yourself with fake weight division and a million champions in each weight divisions. Back in the…

Comment by budfr on 07-24-2011

Judah is a boring fighter. And being trained by Pernell Whitaker, he just learned to hug, run and move good. People don´t like that anymore, it´s for cowards. That´s why fans prefer Pacman over Mayweather.

Comment by kfcfloydiots on 07-24-2011

JUDAH "BEEN_HURT" needs to retire now. Pernell was a great boxer, but he's not that good of a trainer, especially when Amir has the best trainer in the world with Freddie Roach. And sparring with Pacquiao will only make him…

Comment by Slevin on 07-24-2011

[QUOTE=mshap;10890797]for all those jumping on the Kahn bandwagon -- how do you think BRADLEY would have done against Judah last night?[/QUOTE] He would have won on points after stopping the fight with numerous headbutts (all in an empty stadium btw..…

Comment by Blue Heffner on 07-24-2011

Cool, Khan got that win. That should have been expected. It was Zab Judah. Khan said himself, "Judah hasn't won any of his big fights...he lost to Mayweather, Cotto...."

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (52)
Top Headlines Roach: 'I Would Love' to Have Pacquiao Fight Keith Thurman Roach: I've Changed My Mind, Golovkin CAN'T Beat Andre Ward! Anthony Joshua Reflects on His Roots, Connection To Nigeria Juanma Continues To Motivate as Clash With Entrenadorcito Nears Liam Smith Vows To Use Williams To Make Statement To Critics Video: Freddie Roach on Pacquiao, Cotto, Golovkin, More Amir Khan Not Ruling Out Conor McGregor Fight in UFC or Boxing Kennedy Katende Ready To Do Damage in Sundsvall, Sweden Abel Sanchez: Ward Will Beat Kovalev, It Won't Be Controversial Errol Spence: 30,000 Fans Rooting For Kell Brook Won't Faze Me Video: Robert Garcia on Mikey, Golovkin-Jacobs, More Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis: Torch Songs Video: Abner Mares Discusses His Career, Future Options Golovkin's Coach Reacts To De La Hoya's Position on June Fight Video: Richard Schaefer on Future of Ringstar Prospects, More Leduan Barthelemy Drops, Stops Reynaldo Blanco in Nine Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Jayson Velez in Play For May 5, Las Vegas Robert Garcia Fears That Age Has Finally Caught Up With Golovkin Golden Boy Prez on Linares' Future, Garcia/Lomachenko Fights Schaefer Agrees With De La Hoya's Position on Golovkin June Fight Photos: Ringstar Sports Prospects, Schaefer, Roach, Garcia Presser Nonito Donaire Meeting with Promoters, Decision Coming Soon Briedis-Huck Now For Full WBC Title, Bellew Made Emeritus Champ Nacho: Chavez Jr. Will Never Be His Father, But He Can Win Petr Petrov Continues To Grind Hard; Antoine Douglas Gets Win Vincent Feigenbutz To Top May 13 Sauerland Card in Karlsruhe Golovkin's Trainer: Spence is Not Ready, Brook Will Beat Him Christopher Diaz, Olympians Return on Top Rank Card, April 21 Muhammad Ali - New Film Getting Developed, To Drop in 2021 Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker Finalized for HBO Latino, April 15 Bellew Admits He Was Terrified, Wrote a Will Before Haye Fight Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Not Likely To Leave Auckland Daniel Dubois vs. David Howe Added To Manchester Card Crawford-Diaz Announced for 5/20 at MSG, Not Prudential Center Kosei Tanaka vs. Angel Acosta Finalized For May 20 in Nagoya Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Ticket Information Quigg vs. Simion Could Become Final Eliminator, Says Hearn Cause of Amateur's Death a Mystery as Investigation Continues Warren: Forget Flanagan-Crolla, Let’s Make Flanagan-Linares Amir Khan Eager to Test Out His Surgically Repaired Right Hand
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement