Judah addresses the media after his win.
Brooklyn Native Scores Seventh Round TKO over Kaizer Mabuza
Anybody sleeping on Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) was violently awakened on Saturday night, with the veteran Brooklyn fighter scoring a crushing seventh round TKO win over a very game Kaizer Mabuza (23-7-1, 14 KOs) to capture the previously vacant IBF Junior Welterweight Championship. Mabuza looked to capitalize on a distinct size advantage in this affair, but an extremely elusive Judah was able to roll off his jab and use active body movement to overcome the South African puncher.
“The team was great,” Judah said at the post-fight press conference. “I love what Pernell Whitaker brought to the table tonight, and you guys could see, man. Number one, he came into my life and told me ‘Zab, you’re a complete fighter. Your father taught you the game of boxing, and that’s a true statement. I just want to tweak a couple things. You have to remember to get the head out the way.’”
And get the head out of the way, Judah did. Mabuza used a stalking approach in an attempt to slow him down, but Judah used some slick head and body movement to consistently slide off the advances of his opposition. Whitaker came into the camp of the now five-time world champion for the first time in preparation for this bout, and his defensive influence was clearly evident in the work Judah turned in during the seven rounds of work.
From the onset of the action in the opening frame, Judah came off firing a heavy succession of jabs towards Mabuza, doing an impressive job of avoiding some power-driven punches the right-handed South Africa tried to deliver. Mabuza did his find his mark on occasion, and he even scored a knockdown late in the fourth round when Judah stumbled and had his glove graze the canvas. However, Judah did not let the point loss dissuade him from his game plan, and the seventh round saw his strategic approach reap some major results.
When that seventh frame bell rang, Judah immediately came out with a new purpose. He closed in early on Mabuza with a peppering of shots, concluding by his landing of a huge overhanded left cross that found its mark directly on the button of his opponent and sent him flailing into the ropes. The referee stepped in to count the very noticeable dazed Mabuza, but he then allowed the action to continue. As soon as that happened, Judah pounced on him and fired off a heavy flurry of punches until the referee had to jump in and wave off the fight.
With the TKO, which came at the 59-second mark, the crowd at the AmeriHealth Pavilion erupted as Judah captured the IBF Junior Welterweight Title and Whitaker garnered his first world championship as a trainer.
“I got a belt around my waist,” Judah joked at the post-fight press conference when asked about his performance. “I got the championship of the world around my waist, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know how to rate this, but this is worth a lot!”
Also during the post-fight press conference, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva confirmed that Whitaker and Judah will continue to work together, and the duo voiced their excitement in the future of that relationship. As for what is next for Judah, time and some upcoming junior welterweight pairings will determine that, but one thing is for sure. The boxing community once again has their eyes wide open on the five-time world champion, who is proving to once again be Super.
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