ZAB JUDAH BRINGS THE PAIN
Zab Judah (28-1, 1 NC, 21 KOs), of Brooklyn, New York, and former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion returned to the ring July, 13, 2002 in Tunica, Mississippi, in front of a sellout crowd. After 10 rounds of brawling, jabbing, and several knock downs of IBF No. 6 contender Omar Weis (35-3-4 16 KOs) the final bell rang, and the judges ruled Judah as the winner of a 10-round unanimous decision (scores: 97-93, 97-92, & 96-93). With the victory, Judah a powerfully skilled, game southpaw moves closer toward a possible rematch with Kostya Tszyu ( 28-1-1, 23 Kos; WBC, WBA, IBF Junior Welterweight Champion). Fans may recall the high profile unification bout November 3, 2001 in which the fight ended in a second-round knockout. Many experts and fans of the boxing game felt the fight should not have been stopped. Judah was kind enough to sit down with the Flyer for an exclusive interview after the fight and discuss the bout, his visit to the Memphis area, and his future in the boxing game. Flyer: Zab your record is now 28 & 1; this guy (Omar Weis) was like a pit bull, but you got the tko. Talk to me about tonights fight. Zab Judah: It was a tough figh. I had a good fight with a great credible opponent. This guy was an excellent performer. You know I was game tonight. I had an excellent training camp with my father, my uncle. And the rest of my team Judah kept me focused and just let me know that all I had to do was just go out there and just use skills and dont try to knock him out and the win would come. Flyer: What was different about this fight, or was it just another night at the office? Zab Judah: Tonight was the first time I ever kept my hands up for 10 solid rounds. I didnt play and stayed all business; so you know it felt great. I like it and in the near future this is what you will see from Zab Judah. Flyer: Was this guy any tougher than any of the other fighters in the past? He was hurt a lot. Zab Judah: it wasnt so much about him being tough; he was a game fighter. With me having a lay off there was a little bit of rust, but at the same time I was game, too. He was a great opponent, he was in great shape, his skills were decent, but you know his thing was he kept coming, and that was a big thing. Flyer: Head butts: were they a problem in this fight ? Zab Judah: He kept banging me in my face with his head all night, but, you know, Im a veteran. This is what I do, I know how to adjust to pain. Im from Brownsville in Brooklyn, New York. They cant stop me baby, you know. Flyer: What do you tell Memphis and Tunica area boxing fans who read the Memphis Flyer and they find out you were here doing your thing? Zab Judah: I just want to tell people in Memphis I had a great time here. This morning we went to the Civil Rights Museum. I didnt know the place was loaded with so much history and I think its a great city. I just want to thank all my fans out here in Memphis for coming out and supporting me. And, if i have a chance to come back I will be back. Flyer: What do you think of the sports scene here in Memphis with big time boxing bouts like Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, Zab Judah vs. Omar Weis, the NBA, and the fans who love college football? Zab Judah: Memphis is popping, baby, its beautiful, great food, great women, great everything, its just a beautiful city. If I have any vacation time off to come back and relax somewhere, I might pick Memphis. Flyer: Where do you go from here? You leave town with a record of 28 and 1. Whats next for Zab Judah? Zab Judah: Like I said, this was a walk in the park, this was a stepping stone towards my victory. So I will be back in the gym, I will just put this under my belt as a great credible opponent to show everybody that Zab Judah is still here. I will just keep training hard. In the next fight Ill get better, better, and better. Flyer: It appeared Omar Weis was saved by the bell 3 or 4 times; what do you say to that? Zab Judah: Yeah, hes a great opponent. He was game, he was here tonight to win so you got to give this guy a lot of credit. I want everybody to understand that this guy Omar Weis is no bum, this guy is a great opponent. Any other Junior welterweights out there who fight him may have problems. I look for him to do good in the ring. Flyer: What do you tell young kids who Look up to Zab Judah, Lennox Lewis, and Muhammad Ali? Zab Judah: I tell kids in the game to work hard. Whether youre in football, basketball, or boxing. Anywhere you go anything you do somebody out there is always trying to do better; so just keep your head on straight and work hard. Flyer: Champ, do you have any closing comments? Zab Judah: Just tell everybody in Memphis I had a great time here. I love you guys, and hopefully I can come back here and do it again. Also, check out the hot web site and message board at www.zabjudah.com. Thank you, Memphis!