Khan sees Judah as a tougher fight than Bradley
By William Mackay: WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (25-1, 17 KO’s) is wary of the power and experience that IBF light welterweight champion Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KO’s) brings to the table in their July 23rd unfication bout at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Khan, 24, sees Judah as a more dangerous opponent than the light hitting WBC/WBO light welterweight champ Timothy Bradley, who recently opted not to take a risky fight with Khan when he’s got the possibility to make a ton of money fighting Manny Pacquiao next year.
Speaking with eastsideboxing.com’s On The Ropes Boxing Radio show, Khan said “I think he’s [Judah] a tougher fight than Bradley, so we want that. That’s the reason why we’re taking on Zab Judah, and it’s a unification bout so that makes the fight even bigger.”
Khan is facing Judah because it’s the best money fight that could have been made in the light welterweight division, probably even bigger than the Bradley-Khan fight in terms of money. It’s no secret that HBO wanted this fight and Khan had already taken on a soft touch in Paul McCloskey in his last fight. Khan couldn’t exactly dig up another McCloskey type light puncher to face without HBO likely bailing on the idea. Judah is a riskier fight for Khan compared to Bradley simply because Khan has a weak chin and Judah can punch. That’s what makes this an interesting fight. Khan really didn’t have a lot of options. If he taken on a lesser guy, he would end up hurting himself because Khan needs well known opponents and exciting fights if he wants to build any kind of fanbase in the U.S. Thus far, Khan has had one exciting fight against Marcos Maidana with the rest of his bouts being dull one-sided affairs against Paulie Malignaggi and McCloskey.
Khan says “Zab Judah is very dangerous. He’s sorted himself out and he’s a better fighter now. A lot of people thought he was done.”
Judah hasn’t sorted himself out. He’s just fighting at his correct weight now instead of wasting his time fighting bigger guys at welterweight. Judah tried to make a go of it at welterweight but only had brief success and it’s been downhill ever since he beat Cory Spinks. If Khan moves up to the welterweight division like he’s talking about, he’ll likely suffer the same problems that Judah did and will find himself needing to come back down in weight to the light welterweight division unless he is carefully matched against old guys like Shane Mosley and paper champions. If Khan is put in with a good fighter like Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto or Floyd Mayweather Jr., I see Khan getting knocked out. The same with Judah. He didn’t belong at welterweight and now that he’s back at light welterweight, he’s finding success again. There hasn’t been improvement or any kind of sorting out like Khan is speaking of. Judah is just fighting at the correct weight now.
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