Former two division world champion Zab Judah (40-6, 27 KO’s) will be fighting for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) light welterweight title against pressure fighter South African Kaizer Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KO’s) on March 5th at the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey. Judah, 33, looks to be running on fumes at this point in his career, as he’s no longer has the stamina to fight hard for longer than five or six rounds without running out of gas and taking punishment.
Judah probably should have just hung around and looked to take on the winner of the tournament-like series of fights between Devon Alexander, Timothy Bradley and Amir khan rather than take on Mabuza for a fight that won’t make money. Judah is hoping that he can defeat Mabuza and then use the IBF title as leverage for a good money unification bout against possibly Khan once the smoke clears from the series of fights.
However, Judah is going to have to pray he can get by Mabuza because this is a very dangerous fight for Judah at this point in his career. Mabuza is the type of opponent that gives Judah problems because of his high work rate. Judah’s best chance of beating Mabuza is to hope that he can survive to the final bell and hope that he can win another home town decision, like the one that Judah won in his last fight against Lucas Matthysse last year in November.
Judah, fighting at home in Newark, fought well for four rounds, and then ran out of gas and took heavy punishment in the remaining eight rounds of the fight. Judah was knocked down in the 10th and was really hammered in the last three rounds by Matthysse. It was a fight in which Matthysse started slowly with Judah but then built up momentum as the fight went on. This allowed Judah to win a controversial decision based on the first four rounds of the bout. Mabuza won’t give Judah that kind of luxury. He’s going to be making Judah use his old legs and force him to fight much harder than Judah has been accustomed to in recent years.