The aging Judah was really never competitive in what may turn out to have been his final fight.
Zab Judah was hoping to kick off one more run at a world title at age 41, but time caught up with the former two-division titleholder tonight in Verona, New York, as he was outgunned and eventually stopped by Cletus Seldin in the 140-pound main event.
Seldin (24-1, 20 KO) had a brief flirtation with possible stardom in late 2017, when he appeared on back-to-back HBO cards in November and December of that year, but he was badly outclassed in the second of those appearances by Yves Ulysse Jr, sort of showing his likely level.
But while Seldin, 32, may not be the slickest boxer, he is relentless and tough, and those factors were simply too much for Judah (44-10, 30 KO) this evening.
Judah won the first round on my card, but the wheels came off after that, and I gave the next nine to Seldin, who finally forced referee Charlie Fitch to step in and stop the fight at 1:40 of round 11.
Seldin had rocked Judah badly late in the third frame, with Zab sort of doing a take on the famous old chicken dance of his youth, but Judah hung in there, grappling a lot with Seldin to try and make up for the fact that his legs and reflexes are simply not there anymore.
Seldin, though, just kept finding it too easy to get in the pocket, touch Judah to the body, and keep on him with pressure. There was nothing pretty or remarkable about Seldin’s attack, but it was consistent, and Judah simply couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Seldin hurt Judah again midway into the 11th round, and with Judah trying to cover up on the ropes while Seldin swarmed, referee Charlie Fitch decided he’d seen enough. Judah didn’t like the decision, obviously, but this fight was pretty one-sided and the Brooklyn veteran had no real hope of getting back into it.
For Seldin, this is a good win, something he’ll be able to talk about — facing and beating Zab Judah, even a well past prime version — but it doesn’t make him a serious contender at 140 or anything. That said, Seldin’s the type of guy who will just keep plugging away, and who knows? He might wind up with a title shot sooner or later.
For Judah, this should really be it. If he can’t beat Seldin — not only that, but while he landed the odd good shot, he really wasn’t what you’d call competitive — there’s really nothing good that comes from him boxing on. He’s had a hell of a career, several world titles, 19 world title fights in all, a 23-year run overall. But apart from will, there’s not much there anymore.
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