By Kirk Jackson
Out with the old in with the new, the aftermath of Amir Khan and Zab Judah: By Kirk Jackson
Last Saturday, rising star Amir Khan put the finishing touches on the former multiple division belt holder Zab Judah.
Photo: Tom Hogan/Goldenboy
It was a dominant performance from Khan, who controlled the action from the opening bell.
Landing his jab at will, Khan nullified any kind of offense Judah tried to apply, and with his long reach, Khan kept Judah in range to throw combinations and land which ever punch he wanted.
As a credit to Khan’s dominance, Judah could never seem to find his rhythm in the fight.
At times defensively Judah looked good, slipping punches, dodging a few combinations and moving away from impeding danger.
The only problem was Judah could not return back the punishment he was evading. Many times because of Khan’s reach and physical prowess, Judah was out of range to even throw anything significant back.
Khan systematically broke Judah down and it was apparent from Judah’s body language he didn’t want to continue fighting.
A questionable body shot or borderline low blow, put an end to things towards the end of round five and Khan was awarded the KO victory.
There were some questions heading into the match for both fighters. Many of those questions were answered.
For Khan, the questions of whether he is the best in his division and how does he fair against solid opposition has been addressed.
Khan is one of the best fighters in his division along with Timothy Bradley. The only thing missing from Khan’s resume at 140 is a fight with Lucas Matthysse or with Bradley himself.
As far as opposition faced, Khan beat Maidana who is a good but not great fighter, a really good fighter in Paulie Malignaggi, and has defeated whoever else they put in front of him at 140.
Although it’s fair to say Judah is no longer an elite fighter, he is still a really good fighter and Khan made quick work of him.
The only questions that remain of Khan is the durability of his chin and who he decides to face next.
For Judah, the story is all too clear.
While Zab hinted at not being finished fighting with his post fight interview, he is no longer a factor fighting competitively at the elite level and has been done for awhile.
Judah’s last victory against elite opposition came against Cory Spinks in 2005.
Since then, loses to Carlos Baldomir, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and now Amir Khan.
Even in his recent wins, he hasn’t looked to spectacular.
Sure he has beaten up on mediocre opposition, but even against the likes on somewhat elite fighters like Lucas Matthysse, Judah barely got by and in many eyes lost that fight.
When discussing the career of Zab Judah, he will probably be remembered as a fighter with tremendous talent, but never really lived up to his potential.
Judah had talent that even rivaled Floyd Mayweather, but the difference was the mentality each fighter.
Mayweather strived to be perfect in the boxing ring.
Training when every one else is resting, learning the fundamentals of the game, perfecting his craft, constant dedication, has enabled him to remain on top of the sport for more than a decade.
Judah trained hard, but probably could of trained harder in some instances early on in his career.
Perhaps he relied too much on natural athleticism and talent instead of thinking the game through.
Outside distractions, or whatever the case may be derailed Judah from reaching his full potential, and in most instances, lead to him coming up short in his biggest fights.
Even with the addition of the legendary Pernell Whitaker in his corner, it is too late for Judah to be a serious threat to anyone at the elite level.
Out with the old in with the new is the theme I took from this fight.
Amir Khan is the rising star, and undoubtedly will have huge fights in the coming years.
Judah, on the other hand is at the twilight of his career, and if anything, may have to come to the realization that he now is a gate keeper of which ever division he chooses to reside in.