Friday night at The Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, sees a 41 year old Zab Judah attempt to catapult himself up the Super Lightweight rankings after a lengthy lay off.
Judah hasn’t fought since January 2018, and has only fought twice in the last six and a half years.
His assignment this weekend is against the big punching, Cletus Seldin, in a battle of Brooklynites. Here I preview the fight.
Zab Judah (44-9, KO30) v Cletus Seldin (23-1, KO19) – 12 Rounds, NABA Super Lightweight Title
You would be forgiven for thinking that Zab Judah had long retired, after a long career that began way back in 1996.
A former IBF and WBO Champion at Super Lightweight, and a WBC, WBA (Super) and IBF Champion at Welterweight, it’s unclear what the motivation is for his latest comeback. His place in the Hall of Fame is surely assured.
Time is most certainly not on the side of a man who has faced several modern day greats in a 53 fight career. In no particular order, Judah has been in the opposite corner to greats such as Floyd Mayweather, Kostya Tszyu, Miguel Cotto and Mickey Ward to name but a few.
After back to back points defeats in 2013 to Danny Garcia in a challenge for the WBC and WBA (Super) Super Lightweight belts and then to Paulie Malignaggi, Judah has only been seen in a ring twice. The opposition he has faced in those fights has been poor at best. January 2017 saw Zab return to stop the 12-7 Jorge Munguia in two rounds, while a year later, he travelled to Canada to widely outscore the 21-13-1 Noel Rincon over ten rounds. That was his last taste of action, and his opponent on Friday is nearly ten years Judah’s junior.
Cletus Seldin may not have the illustrious record of his opponent, but “The Hebrew Hammer” certainly possesses power.
A professional since 2011, the New Yorker went on an impressive 21 fight winning streak before suffering a first career setback in Canada in December 2017. Yves Ulysse Junior dropped Seldin three times in the opening three rounds, before securing a wide points win to hand Cletus a first defeat.
Since that setback, Seldin has rebounded with two low key wins. Nelson Lara and Adam Mate were both knocked out inside a round, with Seldin last appearing in January this year.
Prediction: Presumably Judah’s plan will be to use what he has left of his slick skills in a bid to befuddle Seldin, while Cletus will surely look to end the fight via the short route. I think Zab will eventually run out of gas around half way, and Seldin can stop Judah in the later rounds.