Zab "Super" Judah (41-6, 28 KO's) moved back into elite status in the junior welterweight division, stopping a sturdy Kaizer Mabuza (23-7-3, 14 KO's) at :59 of round seven to win the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight title.
Kathy Duva, Main Events C.E.O., was absolutely elated with her fighter's performance, and spoke about Judah's work with Pernell Whitaker, as well as possible match-ups against Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan.
"That was after six weeks," exclaimed Duva. "Imagine what he'll look like after six months? I think Zab will take them all to school."
Judah also gave high praise to many people on his team at the post-fight press conference, especially his new trainer, Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker.
"For six weeks I went to college and got a Ph.D.," remarked Judah. "I graduated with honors tonight!"
Judah opened the first round with a sound game plan. He used his right jab and superior lateral movement to keep Mabuza turning. Mabuza charged forward with his hands held high, but Judah penetrated his defense with a sharp left cross to the head late in the round.
Judah, using lots of feints and angles, made Mabuza miss often in round two. Mabuza was looking to land a big right-hand shot. Judah utilized his defense to create offense, and landed a strong right hook to the body. However, Mabuza came on late in the round, connecting with distinct body punches.
Mabuza threw a multitude of shots at Judah, trapping him in the corner during round three. Nevertheless, Judah got himself out of the corner by unleashing a rigorous left uppercut and a powerful right hook to Mabuza's body. Mabuza countered with a right cross - left hook combination to Judah's head. Mabuza was pressing, although Judah slowed him with a potent overhand left. At the bell, Judah landed a straight left.
In round four, Judah scored again with the straight left behind a well-timed right jab. Judah aggressively attacked Mabuza's body. Then, Mabuza unloaded a sequence of wide shots to Judah's body. Moments later, Mabuza connected with a right cross that landed precisely on Judah's chin. Judah was off-balanced, and his right glove touched the canvas, which was correctly ruled a knockdown by referee Samuel Viruet.
Judah shook the knockdown, and looked coherent again in the fifth round. First, Judah landed a right jab - left cross combination to Mabuza's head. Mabuza answered with a right-hand shot. Then, Judah countered with a straight left as he circled to his right. After that, Mabuza viciously assaulted Judah in the body with clubbing shots. Judah fought well in the beginning and end of the round, but Mabuza controlled the action in the middle part.
Once again, Mabuza brought heavy pressure in round six, stunning Judah after connecting with a piercing right cross that landed on Judah's jaw. However, Judah weathered the storm by using his superior lateral movement. Mabuza really started to find the target with his right hand.
In round seven, Mabuza left himself slightly open and Judah found his mark, landing a sneaky left cross that sent Mabuza reeling into the ropes face-first. Mabuza seemed out on his feet, but Viruet let the action continue. Judah, who has always been one of the sport's best finishers, let loose an array of punishing right hooks and straight lefts until Viruet stepped in to save Mabuza.
"I was glad to be given a chance to fight a big name like Zab Judah," explained Mabuza. "I had a chance to knock him out, but I didn't finish. I'd like to fight in America again if given the chance."
Mabuza added, "He had a lot of speed and experience. You win some and lose some. I will come back again and fight."
SIMMS OUTPOINTS MACKEY
Middleweight Tarvis Simms (27-1-1, 11 KO's) captured an eight-round unanimous decision over John Mackey (13-6-2, 6 KO's). Official scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Both men battled in close range throughout much of the bout, although Simms landed the cleaner, more effective punches. Simms was elusive, using a shoulder roll to avoid Mackey's shots, similar to James Toney and Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s style.
O'BRIEN WINS PRO DEBUT
Vinny O'Brien (1-0, 1 KO) forced David Navarro (0-2) to quit on his stool after three completed rounds.
O'Brien got tagged frequently with Navarro's left jab during round one, but he managed to outwork him, landing a series of rights to Navarro's head and body.
In the beginning of round two, O'Brien struck Navarro with a damaging right uppercut as he tried to free his other arm from a clinch. Navarro answered by hammering O'Brien in the face with a swift left hook. Navarro sustained a cut above his left eye, and was bleeding from his mouth.
Navarro's eye became extremely swollen in round three, resulting from the beating O'Brien was dishing out with wild shots from various angles. O'Brien's ferocious shots and relentless attack eventually caused Navarro to surrender.
PERALTA STOPS McPHERSON
Jose "Mangu" Peralta (5-1, 3 KO's) stopped Clifford McPherson (2-4-1, 1 KO) at 2:44 of round one in a welterweight match-up. Peralta landed a grazing right-hand shot to McPherson's head, but as McPherson fell to the canvas, he appeared to hold his waist. Subsequently, he was counted out. It was learned later that when McPherson went down, he was not clutching his stomach; He was holding his right hand. Following the fight, McPherson held his right hand after he had removed his glove, indicating he injured it while unloading a punch.
PAGAN TKO's GARCIA
Shemuel "The Chosen One" Pagan (2-0, 1 KO) stopped Marcos Garcia (0-4) at 1:33 of the first round in a lightweight bout. Pagan, a 5-time New York Golden Gloves champion, sent Garcia into the ropes after landing a sequence of violent straight lefts. Then, Pagan unleashed a brutal assault of vicious right hooks and devastating straight-left crosses until the bout was halted.
CROSBY DEFEATS HACKETT
In a four round welterweight match-up, Chris Crosby (6-1, 1 KO) won via split decision versus Greg Hackett (2-6). Official scores were 39-37 for Hackett, while Crosby received scores of 39-37 and 40-36.
Crosby, who is not a hard puncher, caught Hackett with a solid right hook in round one. Later, they exchanged a series of fierce body blows.
Crosby utilized his right jab more in round two.
In round three, Crosby sent Hackett into the ropes with an accurate, straight left to the jaw. Hackett quickly answered with a counter right uppercut to Crosby's body.
Crosby started round four fast, landing a swift counter-right hook to Hackett's head and body. Hackett began winging a multitude of wild shots. To the close the fight, Hackett connected with consecutive overhand rights, while Crosby landed a left uppercut - right hook combination.
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