WHEN referee Charlie Fitch pulled Zab Judah out at 1-40 of the 11th round of a 12, it was not clear if the former super-lightweight and unified welterweight world champion intended to box again. But a day later, when it was reported that Judah had been to hospital with a brain bleed, the concern was for more than his career. Fortunately, the show’s promoters, Star Boxing, provided a positive update, stating that he was “awake, communicating and making progress.” On Monday he was released from hospital with Star Boxing saying, “While he will need rest, the prognosis looks promising. We send our warmest wishes to Zab and his family.” But it is safe to say that Zab’s time as a boxer is over.
Going in, it was thought that even at the age of 41, Judah might have enough left to defeat Long Island’s Cletus Seldin – a strong, tough but somewhat limited brawler. But despite training hard for the contest, Judah simply did not have it anymore. It should have come as no surprise, considering Judah was a faded force when losing to Paulie Malignaggi in December 2013 and had only boxed twice since.
While Judah’s physical prowess had diminished, his defiance remained as strong as ever. The moment Mr Fitch called a halt, Judah complained, then stormed out of the ring to his dressing room. Now that we are aware of how precarious Judah’s condition turned out to be, the official’s intervention might have prevented a tragic occurrence.