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Zab Judah is the biggest challenge for Amir Khan so far

By Gerardo Granados: This Saturday night on July 23rd at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada we will be able to witness the rise of a young lion or the re-surge of once a lion king. Former multiple welter champion and International Boxing Federation (IBF) light welterweight champion Zab Judah (41(28)-L6) is the biggest challenge that the World Boxing Association (WBA) World light welterweight champion Amir Khan (W25(17)-L1) has taken in his boxing career so far.

Although Amir has the right tools to defeat Zab it won’t be an easy task for him because of the vast experience of Judah. Amir is slightly bigger than Zab; he is younger and could be hungrier for fame and fortune than Zab might still be. If Khan is able to clearly defeat Zab it will put him up there with the big current boxing stars and bigger fights & purses will knock on his door.

But how good does Zab still is? He was a good boxer with good power and great speed, good skills and simply a good chin; but at age 33 does he still have enough left to defeat the young lion who looks to be physically at his best? Boxing is called a sweet science and for some it is also an art and not just a martial art because when two great skilled fighters climb in to the ring you can see the beauty of boxing at his maximums. I believe Zab has a real chance to defeat Amir based on his experience and ring smarts, he might be able decipher the boxing style of Khan in the early rounds and then take advantage of the flaws on Amir defense and maybe be able to counter him with fast combinations of three punches.

Judah has faced good opposition but he has lost against some of the top fighters that he has fought. Lost to Joshua Clottey via TD9, Miguel Angel Cotto by TKO11, Floyd Mayweather Jr by UD12, Carlos Baldomir by UD12, Cory Spinks by UD12 and Kostya Tszyu by TKO2; he was stopped by power punchers and Amir is not as powerful as Cotto or Tszyu but he is a better boxer than Baldomir or Spinks are. Zab defeated former champions DeMarcus Corley via SD12, Terron Millett by TKO4, Junior Witter via UD12, Cory Spinks by TKO9 and Rafael Pineda via SD12; this makes me wonder if Zab might not be as powerful as some have argued in a couple of boxing forums and blogs. In his fight against Lucas Martin Matthysse he did not look good at all and as for many I believe the fight should have been won by Lucas but the fight judges awarded Zab the victory.

Amir´s advantage is not only physical, he is a really good boxer and his chin is not as bad as it was presumed to be. Problem for him is that once he feels hurt it makes him loose his focus and becomes quite vulnerable. Although he knows how to use his height and reach advantage, and his speed and mobility makes him a difficult target even for a talented veteran as Judah still is.

Khan has not faced great opposition yet, he defeated an over the hill Marco Antonio Barrera via TD5, Andriy Kotelnyk by UD12 and Paul Malignaggi by TKO11. He was fully dominating his fight against Marcos Maidana until he was hurt by a hard right in the tenth round and from there he started to struggle.

The Pernell Whitaker factor can not be overlooked because the hall of fame member might have the right strategy to defeat the young champion; let’s see if his pupil is able to materialize the instructions of his savvy trainer.

I just hope that the boxing style of both champions bring us a fight full of excitement that all fans are expecting from this unification bout. The winner will go on to bigger things and the looser will take the heat from fans, boxing writers and sports journalist world wide, so neither Khan or Judah have plans to loose and that by its own is a guarantee that we will get the chance to watch a great fight next Saturday night.

Make your bet on your favorite fighter, I am betting on an exciting fight that we all will be able to enjoy. May the smarter and bravest light welterweight champion win.


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