George H. Hanson Jr., Esq.

 

Judah (R.) working the jab.

Judah (R.) landing to Cruz’s solar plexus.

Ali (R.) attacking the smaller Edmonds.

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The Mouthpiece

Daddy Is Back!—Judah Spanks Cruz

By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date: Friday, July 16, 2010
Venue: The Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Promoter: Main Events & Super Judah Promotions
Coverage: ESPN’s Friday Night Fights
Commentators: Teddy Atlas & Joe Tessitore
Ring Announcer: Joe Antonacci
Matchmaker: J. Russell Peltz
Referees: Benjy Esteves Jr. & Eddie Cotton
Pictures: www.mikegreenhill.com

“Polish my belts. Christmas is over, daddy is back!” exclaimed Zab “Super” Judah at the post-fight press conference, twenty minutes after demolishing Jose Armando Santa Cruz (28 wins – 4 losses – 0 draws –17 kos) at 2:33 of Round 3 in their scheduled 10-round junior-welterweight bout. Gracious and beaming with confidence, Judah paid homage to the nattily dressed lady standing to his left—co-promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events—where his career began. Once the most feared junior-welterweight on the planet, Judah is back in the division after a six-year campaign as a welterweight. His foray in the higher division saw him win the undisputed welterweight title only to lose several mega-fights to Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey. Folks always wondered when he would return to his natural weight division.

If Judah wasn’t in the conversation before, he has now interjected himself in the Devon Alexander-Timothy Bradley-Amir Khan debate. It has been a long time since I have mounted my soapbox to prognosticate or strongly state my opinion. So allow me at this moment to not only get on my old trusty contraption, but to also squeeze myself on the Zab Judah bandwagon. Let me start with the weakest link in the championship chain—WBA champion, Amir Khan—I have a better chance of beating my fellow countryman and world record holder Usain Bolt in the 100m than Khan has of defeating Judah. And, I am a distance runner. WBO champion Timothy Bradley believes that using his legs to lift truck tires with his daddy standing on them will compensate for his egregious technical deficiencies. Judah beats Bradley worse than the racist Los Angeles Police Department did to a defenseless Rodney King. WBC and IBF champion Devon “The Great” Alexander is the most talented of the triumvirate and many have pulled out the anointing oil after his destruction of steel-chinned Juan Urango. However, one great performance does not make a legend. Again, Zab Judah wins this bout. I guess we might as well polish up the belts since big daddy Zab Judah is back home in the junior-welterweight division.

My conviction does not merely stem from Judah (38 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws –26 kos) stopping Cruz. It’s based on how he did it. Looking svelte and sporting a ripped midsection that had so much protective armor it is safe to surmise that he had the whole case instead of a six-pack. From the opening bell the southpaw Judah worked behind his right jab, circling outside of Cruz’s left leg. As Cruz came forward, Judah popped him repeatedly with the jab then dropped the straight left to the advancing fighter’s midsection. Seated in the first row of the press section I felt the force of the first straight left that stuck in Cruz’s solar plexus, forcing air out of his body. I saw that quizzical look on his face that only us fighters who have ever been hit in that same spot with a hard punch can recognize. At that moment, Judah had Cruz. In the second round Judah ripped
off two consecutive three-punch combinations like Clint Eastwood manning the Gatlin gun in the classic western, The Outlaw Josey Wales. All six punches squarely landed and took their toll. Judah would hit and disappear as Cruz tried to return fire to no avail, as if he were boxing a ghost. Towards the end of the round Judah lifted Cruz’s leg with a devastating right hook to the body. I knew that the fat lady was in the rafters clearing her throat.

In the third round, Judah continued to use the jab as Cruz fired back from his arsenal. During one of these exchanges, Judah faded back about six inches on his left leg and fired a picture-perfect left uppercut that connected with such force that Cruz immediately hit the canvas like he was shot with a .585 Nyati elephant gun. Cruz was hurt as Judah did his rendition of Lean Back, the eponymous dance made popular by the song of rapper Fat Joe, on his way to the neutral corner. Shaken and up at the count of five, Referee Esteves examined Cruz and allowed him to continue. Like a lion on the plains of the Serengeti preying on a wildebeest, Judah hopped on Cruz instantly. He ripped off a devastating combination with the straight left and right hook landing as Referee Esteves jumped in to save Cruz from further punishment. Alexander, Bradley, Khan, polish up the belts, Christmas is over, daddy is back!

2008 US Olympian, Sadam “World Kid” Ali (7 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws –3 kos) and Brooklyn’s finest made it eight in a row by dominating and stopping the diminutive and fearless Julias “Marvel” Edmonds (7 wins – 7 losses – 0 draws –0 kos) of Philadelphia at 1:14 of Round 3 of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout. The twenty-one-year-old Ali who’s parents hail from Yemen was born and raised in Brooklyn and is the only Arab-American to ever represent the United States at the Olympics. Standing a hair over five-feet-nine he towered over the smaller Edmonds by five inches. Two years Ali’s senior, Edmonds, who should be competing as a junior-lightweight, oftentimes fights as a lightweight and junior-welterweight and will face just about anyone. It doesn’t matter who you put in front of him he has only one gear—forward.
Ali (R.) attacking the smaller Edmonds.

As expected, when the bell rung the little man from Philadelphia came out of his corner in attack mode advancing towards his bigger opponent—head down, throwing with bad intentions. Ali looking like a matador in the bull ring of Andalusia, Spain used his jab and dropped a crushing right on Edmonds’ chin that introduced him to the canvas. Shaken, Edmonds was up at the count of three and was able to finish the round as Ali went to work. Ali displayed every punch in his well-stocked arsenal, landing from every conceivable angle reintroducing the Philadelphian to the canvas with a right uppercut in Round 2. To say that Ali was showcasing a boxing clinic is an understatement. Yet true to form, Edmonds kept coming like a pit-bull who has been programmed to attack even in the face of imminent death.

In Round 3, Ali landed a wicked right hand followed by a left hook that shook me in my seat and forced Referee Cotton to rescue Edmonds—the kid would never quit. Outsized, outgunned, and out-boxed Edmonds didn’t stand much of a chance. This was good for the television audience who always seems to enjoy and remember knockouts. However, it only proved to me that the obviously talented Ali can beat up little lightweights.

Other Results: Undefeated welterweight Alex Perez (11 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws –7 kos) of Newark, New Jersey won an eight-round unanimous decision by scores of 80-72, 78-74 and 77-75, similar to my score, over tough Edvan Barros (10 wins – 9 losses – 1 draw –7 kos) of Miami, Florida by way of Brazil. This was not an aesthetically pleasing fight as the taller Perez, who has had several interruptions in a professional career that began in 2004, seemed to lack timing. Barros could have taken the upper-hand but his mindset appeared to be that of the consummate opponent—snatch defeat from the jaws of victory—do enough not to get hurt. This was only Perez’s third fight since December 2007. Brooklyn heavyweight Adam Kownacki (3 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws –3 kos) had to rise from the canvas in the opening round, return the favor to Damon Clement (0 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws) of Dayton, Ohio and again in the second round putting him down for the ten-count after only 42 seconds. Jersey City cruiserweight Patrick Farrell (5 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws –3 kos) coming off his first loss at the hands of Kamarah “Black Magic” Pasley last month in Philadelphia was fortunate to walk away with a majority draw against Newton Kidd (7 wins – 7 losses – 1 draw – 4 kos) of New York. One judge had it 57-56 for Kidd while the other two saw it even at 57-57. Former amateur standout light-heavyweight Angel Concepcion (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) of Newark, New Jersey won a unanimous four-round decision 40-35 and 40-36 twice over Coatesville, Pennsylvania’s Shannon Anderson (4 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 2 kos). In the battle of southpaws, lightweight “Little” Nicky DeMarco (2 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws –2 kos) of Staten Island, New York was a ball of fire as he closed the show with a unanimous four-round decision victory 40-36 and 39-37 twice over Jose Guzman (5 wins – 7 losses – 1 draw – 0 kos) of Bronx, New York. The shorter DeMarco was all over Guzman from the opening bell throwing punches relentlessly to the delight of his fans who were cheering wildly. No question that this should have been the opening bout of the evening.

It was another exciting night of boxing with a tremendous performance by Zab Judah who sent a message to the entire junior-welterweight division, especially the three belt holders. Enjoying the night’s action were New York Jets Brandon Jacobs, Bart Scott and D’Brickashaw Ferguson; heavyweight contenders Alexander Povetkin and Tomasz Adamek; former world champions Mark Breland and Junior “Poison” Jones; DJ Spinderella from Salt N Pepa; and the Pride of Ghana—junior-welterweight Sugar Ray Narh along with his trainer, Kwame Asante, and manager, Alex Hamer Jr. The power punching Narh who has put 21 of his 25 opponents to sleep is eyeing a possible showdown with Judah.

While you are shining up the belts, since daddy is back, continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!
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