About two months ago, I "broke news" to the Bleacher Report community with my article about a potential Zab Judah vs Juan Manuel Marquez match-up.
I ran into Zab at a restaurant here in Las Vegas, and he told me that he was in negotiations to fight JMM this July.
Obviously, that match-up didnt come to fruition due to Marquez's bigger, more lucrative third fight against Manny Pacquiao this upcoming fall. So I apologize for the misleading article; I was only trying to share a good conversation with my fellow boxing comrades.
I can now 100% guarantee Zab Judah fight will be in the squared-circle this July, but he'll be taking on fellow junior welterweight title-holder Amir "King" Khan. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, the two will be fighting July 23 to unify their belts at the Mandalay Bay here in Las Vegas.
This fight is much bigger than a fight against Marquez in my honest opinion. Khan (25-1, 17 KOs) is one of the biggest names and personalities in the junior welterweight division for the past two years now. This will be Khan's fifth title defense since 2009 and probably his toughest.
Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) has rededicated himself to the sport since his downward spiral in the mid 2000's. He has become a very religious man these last couple of years, and he brought in Hall of Fame fighter Pernell Whitaker to train him along with his father. Judah has won his last five fights and reclaimed the vacant IBF junior welterweight championship this past March with a 7th round TKO victory over Kaizer Mabuza.
According to Amir Khan's promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, this fight was made because fellow titleholder Timothy Bradley turned down a career-high payday of about $1.4 million to fight Amir Khan, leaving Judah as the obvious next opponent.
"This was not an easy deal to make, but I am happy that in the end it got done. Whenever you have two world champions fighting each other you have a big fight. It's a big-time fight with two big time names. It's a big test for Amir and a tremendous opportunity for Judah." Schaefer said.
The two sides were going back and forth for the past week over the deal. Khan wanted a 60-40 split, while Judah wanted 50-50. Both sides finally agreed to a 55-45 split in Khan's favor.
I don't know about you guys, but this is a fight I am very excited to see, definitely the boxing headliner of the summer. Speed and experience vs youth, size and strength.
Lets not forget it's a match-up of trainers too. Zab Judah has the defensive Sweet Pea Whitaker in his corner now, and Amir Khan has some guy in his corner named Freddie Roach... maybe you've heard of him?
If I were a betting man, which I am, I see Judah's experience and speed giving Amir Khan trouble throughout the fight. And if Judah can stay away from getting cut and bleeding, he'll win this fight. That's right I said it!
Granted, Judah is much older now but Khan has yet to fight anyone with the skill and speed Zab possesses.
What do you think?