Zab Judah did what he usually does. He folded on the big stage.
But this really shouldn’t be about the Brooklyn-born Judah, it should be about his opponent on the night, Amir Khan. Khan knocked out Judah with a body shot in the 5th round, unifying two light welterweight belts in a thorough rout by the rising star.
Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) dominated every second of the fight, using his jab to perfection, peppering the chin of Judah. Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) seemingly thought he could land one big shot, and waited and waited for it. Of course, it never came. The ending wasn’t without controversy, although there probably aren’t many on Judah’s side. The shot that Khan landed to end the fight was directly at the belt, and Judah claimed it was low. He stayed down for the count and said in the post fight interview that he thought the referee was going to give him a standing eight count since it was a low blow. It clearly wasn’t.It’s likely that Judah knew after a few rounds that he had no shot, and thought he could sell the body shot as a low blow.
But again, this shouldn’t be about Judah’s inability to step up once again, and it really shouldn’t be about any sort of controversy. Amir Khan is legit. He must be considered now as a top pound-for-pound fighter. It’s tough to imagine anybody at 140 pounds beating Khan, and that includes fellow titleholder Timothy Bradley. A move up in weight is probably on Khan’s radar, and even at 147 he will be physically dominant. His speed is blinding, maybe not matched by any one in the sport, and especially at 140 pounds, he is a giant. Tonight you could see the difference between the two fighters, and it looked like a middleweight vs. a lightweight.
Judah says he’ll be back, but now with his seventh professional loss – once again at the hands of an elite fighter – what type of fight could Judah really get? He has never really proved that he deserves to be in the same breath as top fighters, and it’s hard to imagine at this stage in his career he ever will.
On the other hand, Khan is just getting started.