Saturday night’s IBF Championship welterweight bout between underrated Joshua Clottey and troubled, yet proficient Zab Judah left a void in the division as it ended by way of a controversial 9thround technical decision handed to Joshua Clottey. Two of the bout’s judges had it 86-85 in favor of Clottey while the other (Duane Ford) had it 87-84 in favor of Clottey as well. With Judah controlling most of the action within the first few rounds, Clottey came on strong to draw the fight virtually even going into the dreaded ninth round. Judah received a cut by way of what was ruled an accidental head butt. Replays showed that the cut may have been actually caused by an uppercut. In spite of the tide turning at that point of the bout, Judah pushed through the fight with more drive and determination since his 2005 revenge stoppage of Cory Spinks. With such a close decision ending in such an anti-climactic way, it leaves more questions now in a division that was shook up only one week ago with Antonio Margarito’s 11th round TKO over Miguel Cotto.
Clottey coming up with such a win may very well set up a rematch with Antonio Margarito. The first match took place in Atlantic City in December of 2006 which had Clottey controlling the earlier rounds only to give way to Margarito the rest of the fight by way of an injured hand on a body shot. While this may be a logical match-up, it leaves another rematch on the table for Margarito that might be even more intriguing. In July of 2007, Paul Williams beat Margarito by unanimous decision in a hard fought battle featuring punches thrown by the hundreds from each fighter round after round. Williams simply began and ended the show with more precision than Margarito. With that loss looming over the head of the “Tijuana Tornado”, fans would welcome that revenge factor over the golden ticket payday against the fading and soon to be retired Oscar delaHoya.
The rest of the division has a few pending moves as Shane Mosley takes on the weight fluctuating and wild punching Ricardo Mayorga, and newly crowned WBC champ Andre Berto takes on the Contender’s Steve Forbes on the under card. With Judah, Kermit Cintron, Carlos Quintana, and Miguel Cotto all taking losses to some of the division’s best, I think fighting amongst themselves in the coming year would answer some questions as to who belongs where in the welterweight rankings. Matchmakers, promoters, and managers, do your work. Give the fans what they want . . . And will someone please call Don King and put Luis Collazo back in the mix.