History | Nov 03 2019

On This Day: Kostya Tszyu sends Zab Judah into a giddy rage

Zab Judah goes barmy after being dropped twice from one Kostya Tszyu punch, writes Matt Christie
Kostya Tszyu
Kostya Tszyu  |  Action Images/Reuters/Steve Marcus

1. OPINION was split on who would win the light-welterweight unification showdown between WBC and WBA champion Kostya Tszyu, and IBF king Zab Judah. The bout was set for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on November 3, 2001.

2. JUDAH, unbeaten at 27-0, sneered at his opponent’s chances in the lead-up, believing he was on the brink of an “easy” fight. “Tszyu’s style is made for me,” he said. “He’s strong, stands up straight and comes forward. His style is like Swiss cheese – full of holes.”

Kostya Tszyu

3. TSZYU, 27-1, was equally confident, although his prediction carried a little more respect and, as a consequence, a little more menace. “I study boxers and their styles,” the Russian-born Aussie said. “I’ve studied Judah and know what it takes to beat him… He wants to prove he’s the best and so do I. Everything has been said and now we have to prove who the great champion is.”


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