The crew over at Boxing Insider Radio, was gifted with a special present when former multiple division world champion and former undisputed Welterweight titlist Zab Judah stopped by. The Brooklyn, New York, native gave his take on Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2, as well as who he believes is going to come out with the victory in their third contest.
Like always, Boxing Insider brings in yet another high profile guest to the show to share their thoughts on the boxing world. To join in on the conversation, make sure you subscribe to Boxing Insider Radio on iTunes, Spotify or on Boxinginsider.com.
When former WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder was knocked out during his Heavyweight rematch against Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 22nd, it felt like the entire world stopped. Even if you believed Fury was going to win, in no way shape or form could you have anticipated the beatdown that was going to take place.
Regardless of the outcome, the majority of the world got this one wrong. Wilder didn’t just lose, he got destroyed. The predictions of a Wilder victory via stoppage or a Fury win on points were valid, but of course, all wrong.
If you were amongst those who believed that Wilder was going to get the job inside of the distance, don’t feel too bad. Your prediction couldn’t be nearly as bad as former undisputed Welterweight champion Zab Judah.
“I predicted that Deontay Wilder would win within three rounds by knockout,” said Judah on Boxing Insider Radio. “So I was surprised to say the least. Tyson Fury made me eat my words.”
Even with Fury leaving him with egg on his face, the multiple division world champion isn’t changing course on the outcome for a third contest that is set to take place in July, later on this year.
“I’m taking my last pick for the third fight, so if anybody asks me for my pick this time, just remember the pick I made last time. That’s what I believe is going to happen.”
So essentially Judah is expecting Wilder to get the job done this time around. Unlike his prediction for their second contest, Judah will be on an island all by himself. Not many are expecting Wilder to regain his championship status in the next few months.
At the moment, oddsmakers have Fury as a -275 favorite. Meaning, to win $100, you would have to risk $275. Wilder on the other hand comes in at +235. So with a $100 bet, you could bring back $335 total.
Zab has always been known as a bit of a gambler. His infamous Miami Beach dice game fight will live on the internet forever.
A 20 something year old Zab Judah, made his way down to Miami Beach to enjoy himself as he served a one year suspension during the mid 2000s. What was supposed to be a night of fun, turned out to be a night of fighting and gambling, which is exactly the way Judah likes it.
At the time, a young woman and what appeared to be her boyfriend at the time, attempted to hustle Judah out of a few thousand dollars. Let’s just say it didn’t end well for the pair. When you’re from Brooklyn, New York, you see the hustle coming a mile away.
So yes, when it comes to gambling, Judah takes pleasure in doing it, so if given the choice, the former champ will place it all on the line in favor of Wilder.
But before he does, he gave a bit of advice, from one former champion to another.
“Don’t think. Go in there and push two jabs in his face then throw that right hand like you’re in the strip club throwing money,” said Judah while he burst out in an uncontrollable laughter. “Fast and hard.”
Aside from handing advice on what to do inside of the ring, Judah also had a few words for Wilder in terms of what to do outside of it.
By now, you’ve all seen it. From the moment Wilder suffered the first defeat of his career, he chose to skip over accepting the responsibility of accepting the blame for himself. Instead, he pointed his fingers square in the direction of his pre-fight outfit which reportedly weighed more than 40 pounds. Judah, like everyone else, isn’t exactly falling for it.
“I mean first off, I’m not paying $40,000 and not trying it on but that could have been a downfall. But that is the wrong excuse. He lost his undefeated record and Heavyweight title because of his 40 pound suit? Nah.”
Although Judah did critique Wilder for his pre-fight outfit choice, he went in the opposite direction in terms of the stoppage which occurred during the seventh round. During the period, Wilder was taking an absolute pounding. The reprieve for the former champion came in the form of a white towel which was thrown in by cornerman and former Welterweight titlist Mark Breland. The backlash quickly followed as many questioned Breland’s decision.
With all due respect to those with a negative opinion for the choice that Breland made, you have no idea what you’re talking about.
“As a fighter who had brain surgery last year due to a dirty fighter, I’m all about safety. After my brain surgery I sat down with a lot of doctors and I learned about the brain. The brain is not meant to be hit on. So every time a fighter takes a shot to the head it’s not good. So for Mark Breland to sit back and watch Deontay Wilder take numerous shots to the head and jump in to stop it, then hey you can’t blame him.”
If anyone understands the frustrations of Wilder after losing the first fight of his career, then it would be Zab Judah.
In 2001, Judah was on top of the boxing world. He was a perfect 28-0 and held the WBA, WBC and IBF Super Lightweight world titles. He looked just about unbeatable. But then, out of seemingly nowhere, his aura of invincibility vanished into thin air.
A 2001 contest against Kostya Tszyu looked like an easy matchup on paper for Judah. The first round played out like most of his contest as Judah dominated. The second round however, saw him get caught with a clean shot and never recover.
The number one spot, along with his fame and money was all momentarily snatched from under him. When most fighters pick up the first loss of their careers, they either cry or sulk around in disbelief. Judah did neither, he went completely berserk.
“Man before I lost I always thought they would have to kill me before I allowed that to happen. When I lost that fight to Kostya Tszyu I went crazy. Remember I threw the chair across the ring, I wasn’t with any of that,” said Judah as he could stop himself from laughing as he recalled one of the most chaotic moments in boxing history. “No disrespect to the ref but I went after him when he stopped my fight. When he said the fight was over I said no, no, no, no, no the fight just started. Now it’s between me and you.”
Moments like the 2001 incident between Zab Judah and one of the referees is what helped make the multiple time champ an icon in the sport. He may have taken a brutal loss against Tszyu, but he managed to bounce back to not only win multiple titles in several weight classes, but also to become an undisputed Welterweight champion. So it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about bouncing back from defeat.
With Fury holding onto both the WBC and Lineal titles, many have him as the best in the Heavyweight division. But not Judah. He believes that another Heavyweight titlist is currently being slept on by everyone else in the division.
“Right now Joshua beats Tyson Fury. Anthony Joshua went through the worst embarrassment of his life in New York City at the hands of Andy Ruiz. He’s never going to let that happen again. So I think that loss made him a better fighter.”