By: Sean Crose
Looking to prove that age was just a number, Zab “Super” Judah returned to the ring Friday night to face Cletus Seldin. Judah, 42, had held major titles in two weight divisions, but hadn’t fought in well over a year, and had only fought sparingly since his heyday as a major force in boxing. The fight with Seldin went down at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in upstate New York. It was promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing Promotions and was intentionally scheduled to occur during the nearby International Boxing Hall of Fame’s inductee weekend.
Although the 23-1 Seldin didn’t represent the high level fare Judah, 44-9, was once known for having faced, the Long Islander looked on paper to be a colorful and exciting foe. Known as the “Hebrew Hammer,” Seldin could boast of being a popular, come forward brawler who had come to the public through notable wins on ESPNs since defunct Friday Night Fights, and HBOs since defunct boxing programming. Given the colorful personalities and pedigrees of both fighters (especially the pedigree of Judah), the fight generated some interest. The Judah-Seldin match was fought at junior welterweight and was scheduled for 12 rounds. The NABA super lightweight championship was at stake.
The first round was close, as Seldin moved forward while Judah – perhaps slowly trying to get himself back into fight mode – strove to maintain distance. Seldin spent the second attempting to work his way in with the jab. He then seemed to wobble his man at the end of the third. Seldin worked the body effectively and consistently in the fourth. Judah looked to be hurt in the fifth. By engaging in disciplined effectiveness, Seldin appeared to possibly be breaking his man down. At the midpoint of the bout, it seemed that Judah might simply have been too old to hold off Seldin’s relentless assault.
Judah was a bit more active in the seventh, but not as active as he should have been if he expected to impress the judges. Judah landed well in the eighth, yet he didn’t do so frequently enough to perhaps win the round. The ninth was a return to Seldin’s relentless attach. By the tenth, it was clear that Judah might need a knockout to win, but probably wouldn’t get one. Seldin hurt Judah in the eleventh, then kept banging away at his man until referee Charlie Fitch wisely stepped in and stopped the bout.