By Ryan Songalia
Yoel Judah, the father and former trainer of former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Zab Judah, feels his son still has a future in this sport - but only if he gets rid of head trainer Pernell Whitaker.
The 33-year-old Zab (41-7, 28 KO), who is coming off a one-sided KO defeat to the younger, larger Amir Khan in a junior welterweight unification bout in July, worked with the Hall of Famer Whitaker for his last two bouts. The influence was apparent as Judah employed more movement and counterpunching, as opposed to his trademark southpaw aggression.
"If he keeps that dumb trainer Whitaker, I don't know [if he has a future]," said Yoel Judah, who was at the Havoc Boxing card Saturday night at the Aviator Sports Center promoting his latest endeavor, The Judah Brother Boxing Gym on Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn. "Whitaker's a dancer, he's not a fighter. So if he wanna dance, then go ahead. Zab was never taught that. He was taught that when you make a man miss, take his head off.
"Zab has a lot more to give, but he has to go back to the Zab of old."
The Brooklyn native Zab is currently based in Las Vegas now. All indications are that he will continue fighting.
Yoel Judah said he had spoken to his son on the phone following the loss to Khan and offered sharp criticism. "I told him what I thought of the fight, he didn't do nothing. It was the worst he ever looked and he got dominated. It is what it is."
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.