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Peterson vs. Judah: Zab Judah the “good guy” against Peterson & his bogus title

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Junior welterweights Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah, ranked number 4 and 6 respectively, are likely to face each other for the IBF crown. Peterson’s manager and trainer, Barry Hunter, won the purse bid for Peterson vs. Judah with a minimum bid (there were no other bids) and the right to promote a match between his fighter and Judah, the mandatory challenger.

Twenty-eight-year-old Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) is the current IBF titleholder.  Judah, who’ll turn 35 this month, is a former welterweight and junior welterweight champ and has a record of 42 (29)-7.  He’s coming off a March victory over Vernon Paris, whom he TKO’d in the ninth.  Peterson last fought in December 2011, winning the WBA and IBF belts from Amir Khan.  Prior to a planned rematch, Peterson failed a drug test and Khan had his WBA title reinstated (which he lost to Danny Garcia in July).

This is just one boxing fan and writer’s opinion, but I deem it a disgrace that the IBF didn’t strip Peterson of their title.  Peterson can take a spinach leaf out of Popeye’s book any time he wants, but taking a drug with the intention of giving himself a grossly unfair advantage over his opponent is a different kettle of testosterone.  The IBF’s course of action was a cynical wink and a nod, consisting of having an “independent” doctor spout a lot of high-sounding, quasi-medical gobbledygook.

The bottom line:  The added levels of testosterone “would not have enhanced Lamont Peterson’s training for or performance during the bout on Dec. 10, 2011 [Khan’s loss of the fight and his titles], nor for his training for the [rematch] that was scheduled for May 19, 2012”.  Oh yeah?  And have I got a bridge for you.  Name your price.  Hmmm, I wonder if anyone at the IBF has said that lately.

So, instead of being stripped of his belt, Peterson is treated as a worthy titleholder.  Here’s hoping that Judah wins the IBF belt from the oh so mysteriously better…stronger…faster Lamont Peterson. It’s a position that Zab hasn’t found himself in very often throughout his career. Suddenly, he’s the good guy, fighting to restore order and a sense of justice to the boxing realm. Let’s see if he can pull off the role reversal with success.

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A native New Yorker, Clarence George is a lifelong aficionado of the Sweet Science. His favorite boxer is Tony Galento -- despite training on spaghetti and meatballs, and beer, Two Ton Tony still managed to knock to the canvas the greatest heavyweight of all time, Joe Louis. Clarence has divided his career between public relations and retail. His free time is devoted to researching, writing about, and breathing boxing, and he has worked with other boxing websites and communities, including MyBoxing.