Vernon Paris Signs Contract; Fight With Zab Judah Is On

By Jake Donovan

Vernon “Iceman” Paris had no problem accepting short money in pursuit of his long-term goal.

The unbeaten 140 lb. contender signed his contract Monday evening, agreeing to terms for a 12-round title eliminator with former three-time champion Zab Judah. 

The bout will take place March 24 at the Aviator Arena in Brooklyn, NY. NBC Sports will televise.

“I just signed on the dotted line,” Paris (26-0, 15KO) told “I’m getting ready to do my thing against Zab Judah. Same way I got Tim (Coleman, whom Paris knocked out in the 7th round last summer), I’m going to get to Zab as well. After that, I’m looking at Lamont Peterson.”

The winner of the fight becomes the mandatory challenger to Peterson, who won two belts in his 12-round split decision victory over Amir Khan last month in Washington D.C.  

A hearing is scheduled for this week to determine whether the IBF – who ordered the eliminator between Judah and Paris – will follow the lead of the WBA in forcing a Peterson-Khan rematch. 

Main Events won the rights to promote this fight, with a winning submission of $70,110 in last month’s purse bid, considerably more than the $50,000 bid put in by Don King, with whom Paris signed last year. As per the terms of the purse bid, Paris as the #2 contender is entitled to 40% of the purse, which comes out to just over $28,000.

The money – or the location – is of little importance to Paris, who sees the forest from the trees and knows what comes down the road with a win in March.

“It don’t matter where we fight,” Paris, who grew up in Detroit, said of traveling to Judah’s old Brooklyn stomping grounds. “I’ve fought everywhere, in the ring, on playgrounds. I knocked somebody out in a Brooklyn playground once. This time it will be official after I break down Zab.”

That said, Paris’ side was offered the assurance of neutrality in terms of ringside officials.

“From my understanding it will be IBF judges, and not hometown judges,” informed Paris. “We’ll make sure the referee isn’t from around the corner and grew up with Zab, like that mess that happened in the Peterson-Khan fight.”

Paris enjoyed a breakthrough win last summer in climbing off of the canvas to thrice drop Coleman en route to stopping his longtime bitter rival in the 7th round of their ESPN2-televised bout. The fight was one of just three in 29 career pro fights that took place outside of the Midwest region.

This will be his first sanctioned pro fight in the New York, though an opportunity he’s anxious for, given what’s at stake. 

“I want to be a world champion this year,” Paris insists. “Not five years from now, but this year. I respect Zab and all he's accomplished, but he's had his time. I have my goals and he's in the way of that. If going to his hometown gets me to where I need to go, then so be it. I ain’t got a fear in the world of going to Brooklyn and knocking Zab’s ass out.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter at or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by 4Corners on 01-17-2012

A good step up for Vernon Paris. Yes, Zab is past his prime-not even that good anymore, but we'll find out if Paris is legit or not. If Paris wins, I wouldn't mind seeing him fight Mike Alvarado, Lucas Matthysse,…

Comment by Spray_resistant on 01-17-2012

Zab may always fail at the top level of the sport but this Paris kid is very untested so we just have to see how he handles the step up.

Comment by Realizniguhnit on 01-17-2012

Paris is bigger stronger younger undefeated and trained under Mayweather's Snr, he has every advantage going into this fight so as long as he doesn't get too reckless early, i don't see how he loses, Paris by UD as this…

Comment by freestylez007 on 01-17-2012

Damn Paris sounds like a true soldier talking about he don't give a dumb about money or location. I always like Zab but I got Paris on this one. If he keeps up with that mentality the money and fans…

Comment by Light_Speed on 01-17-2012

Paris stops Zab late.

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