|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- SEPTEMBER 1:2001|
Judah-Tszyu Prediction Poll|
Compiled by JD Vena
Judah: 35/ Tszyu: 13/ Even: 1
If there has been a "junior" division that has consistently brought credibility to the weight classes that are sandwiched between the original eight, it is the junior welterweight division (or the 140-pound or 10 stone or light welterweight or super lightweight, whichever you prefer to call it). Think about it, over the past 80 years or so, the jr. welterweight division has produced legendary champions like Barney Ross, Tony Canzoneri, Jackie "Kid" Berg, Carlos Ortiz, Nicolino Locche, Antonio Cervantes, Aaron Pryor, Juan Martin Coggi, Julio Cesar Chavez and countless others. Along with the great fighters, we seem to be blessed with a marquee match-up every few years, some of which turn out to be epic battles. In fact, you could make a case that the "Fight of the Decade" over the last two may have been a contest between jr. welterweights (Pryor-Aruguello in '82 and Chavez-Taylor in '90).
This Saturday night in Las Vegas and live on Showtime (thank you!) , the spotlight will be focused on "Super" Zab Judah and Kostya Tszyu, arguably two of the best jr. welterweights in recent years. What makes this event so unique is the fact that the winner will have unified a title that has been fragmented since 1968 when Paul Fuji was stripped of the WBC version. But the winner of what we hope to be a great battle will not only walk away with 3 world titles; he will undoubtedly be added to the long list of great junior welterweight contemporaries. I leave you now with my dear friend and editor, Stephen Gordon who leads us off with the fifth installment of the CBZ prediction poll. Incidentally, the Ol' Spit Bucket is still groping over not attending the Ross-Canzoneri fights when he had the chance.
PS - I like Judah to score a knockout sometime before the 8th round. Judah won't be bored with Tszyu. In fact, it is Tszyu who I believe will be the careless one. The Russian/Aussie has a tendency of pulling away from oncoming punches with his hands way out in front of him. That being said, you can bet your ass that Judah will be quick enough to catch Tszyu with his own lightning power shots. Zab will down the "Thunda from Down Undah" with a sweeping right hook and finish the job fairly easy after that.
"As I've become painfully aware of (yet again), the Ol' Spit Bucket is TERRIBLE at picking fights. This year alone, I was thoroughly convinced that Corrales would beat Mayweather, that Hamed would smoke Barrera & that Tito would demolish Hopkins.
Yeah, well ... What can I say? & Now my always industrious associate editor, JD Vena, is assembling a poll on the Tszyu-Judah match. S'okay, I ain't gonna actually make a prediction (Lord knows it would be wrong anyway), but I will share some thoughts...
Kostya Tszyu is a very efficient fighter. He does everything well, box, power, stamina, chin, etc. He's an Old School fighter who in Judah is facing an undisciplined example of the New School in boxing. Judah's best attribute is his blazing speed. His worst attribute is his lack of discipline. On paper, with his youth, speed, power & agility this fight should be a walkover for him.
That's on paper. In the ring, Judah gets lazy & unfocused & at some point or another he usually gets nailed & knocked on his ass. He's gotten away with his lapses in concentration because his opposition has been considerably less than stellar. Against Tszyu he can't afford these mental fugues or he will be starched. I can see this fight developing along the lines of Hamed - Barrera but I think Judah will have focus on this night. If he does he could slice & dice Tszyu into ribbons of bloody flesh. If he doesn't have focus - for all 12 rounds - I can see Kostya grinding him down for a late round stoppage or decision.
The tenor of this fight is up to Judah. If he concentrates & uses all his skills he should win. If he veers from this path & starts showboating & screwing around, Tszyu, a consummate warrior, will decapitate the young man.
So that's my non-prediction, prediction."
GorDoom (The Ol' Spit Bucket)
Co-Publisher/ Managing Editor-in-Chief
"Judah by decision. Zab has it all and he puts it together in the biggest fight of his career."
Las Vegas Review Journal
"My predictive record is significantly below absolute random, so if I were to put a buck on my pick it would be the rational equivalent of pitching it into a wishing well. But, since you asked....I pick Kostya Tszyu to win, either by stoppage or decision. In my opinion Zab Judah is an untested, unproven boxer whose attention wanders all too easily. Obviously Judah is gifted, but I figure the pivotal element is mental---focus and toughness and experience. Tszyu walks away with it on those grounds. I also think Tszyu has excellent skills, under-rated speed, and under-rated defensive ability. He's had high caliber opponents over an extensive career. Judah's opponents have been carefully picked posies. I'd argue that the recent spate of "upsets" reflects the central importance of mental focus and toughness, which foster smart, versatile strategy. Barrera -Hamed, Hopkins-Trinidad, even Rahman-Lewis are examples of the same basic dichotomy apparent in the Tszyu-Judah match. I'm picking the pattern to replicate once more. Also, I think Kostya is cute and smart and a credit to the sport.
"Judah's handspeed and footwork is so superior it's difficult to imagine him losing to a rather plodding Tszyu. But Zab has shown alarming instances of carelessness, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him on the seat of his trunks at some point. But I'd fully expect him to hop up and continue tattooing Tszyu. Judah by Dec-12, or possibly a late round stoppage."
Quincy Patriot Ledger
"Zab by KO in 9."
"Zab Judah W12 Kostya Tszyu. This has been one of the hardest fights to pick in a long time. I still think Tszyu has an excellent chance of an early knockout, or at least keeping the score close by knocking down Judah several times early. But overall, I see Judah being too fast, using his feet effectively, and outboxing Tszyu down the stretch. Tszyu's best chance is to hope that Judah's incredible ego will force him to mix it up, because Tszyu will clearly be the bigger puncher."
www.BoxingChronicle.com & The CBZ
"Tszyu by TKO in 6 rounds."
"I'm going with my heart on this one - Tszyu by KO. While speed kills, experience usually pays bigger dividends. Jab doesn't hit ANYWHERE near as hard as Vince Phillips so I can't see him hurting Tszyu. And speaking of power, Zab's going to get a dose of power unlike any he's tasted before. I also feel that Koysta will be able to do something that other fighters haven't; knock him down and KEEP him down. By all accounts, Tszyu is training harder for this fight than he ever has and is focused & confident. He's done quite well historically against southpaws so Jab's angles shouldn't be too much trouble for him to work through.
"Judah by decision, though I would LOVE to see Zoo pull it off."
"Since I'd like to see Kostya win, I'll pick him. How did I decide on that? Simple, I pulled the pick out of my ass."
Co-Founder & Publisher,
"I think Zab Judah's speed will be a big factor in this contest for the junior welterweight championship. Kostya Tszyu will have a hard time landing his power shots. I predict an eighth round stoppage win for Judah. I think we're going to see a Mayweather-Corrales two on this night."
"Tszyu is a fine champion but he has too many weaknesses that Judah can capitalize on. First, he just gets hit too much. His defense will not be able to stop Judah's fast punches. That's going to be a big problem because Judah is a very hard puncher and Tszyu's chin will not be able to hold up. Judah's chin is not the greatest in the world either but he will be extra careful in this fight. Kostya has to be set to punch so Zab will use his legs and be patient. I expect him to be moving and giving Tszyu angles all night. The southpaw style will be giving him problems as well. The only edge I give to Tszyu is in the experience department, but that will not be enough to beat Judah. Kostya needs to get inside early and slow down Judah so he ends up standing in front him in the late rounds. That won't happen. Judah will win by TKO in the late."
"I have to go with Judah. His lack of big fight experience does scare me but, he is the better technician and he can punch pretty good when he stops and plants. Tszyu can punch real good but he comes straight in and is easy to hit. If Judah boxes and gives him movement and only punches with Tszyu on his terms later in the fight like Vince Phillips did he should control the fight. Judah is pretty close to reaching his prime, if he is ever to become a special fighter, and I belive it's possible, he wins this fight. Judah by unanimous decision!"
Toe to Toe (ESPN Radio 1490)
"The boxer beats the puncher, Mayweather does it to Corrales, Hopkins out boxes Trinidad, wisdom says Judah boxes Tszyu's ears off. Not this time. Judah has never been really hit and when it happens in this fight he will start backing up. As soon as that happens, the fight is over. He can not fight backing up. Tszyu by TKO in seven."
Advisor to Teddy Reid
"It is awfully hard to pick a puncher over speed and agility. In this fight we have two outstanding champions with two very different styles. Judah is elusive and uses the ring to his advantage, he explodes with flurries of punches and quickness. Tszyu on the other hand became a champion utilizing his power and determination. The key to this fight will be can Tszyu cut off the ring and make Judah fight standing still. Eventually Judah will try and go toe to toe with Tszyu and feel the power. From that point on Judah will be more concerned with not getting hit than hitting Tszyu. Tszyu by split decision"
"I like Zab by late KO or easy decision. Simply a match-up of styles and disparity in speed and footwork that favors Judah."
"Judah TKO9 Tszyu."
"I'm a huge fan of Tszyu but have to go with Judah in this one. He knows this fight will lay the foundation for the rest of his career. He is as multi-talented as Tszyu is alligator tough, and he will use every one of those skills to beat Tszyu by decision."
Gallery magazine, The FIST magazine
"I think the youthfulness and awkward punching angles of Judah will win out in the end. Tszyu will put a lot of pressure on but I think Judah will be a very difficult target"
"The Iceman" John Scully,
Former World Title Challenger
"In a year of upsets, I like the slight favorite, Judah, by unanimous decision. I think he'll raise his game for Tszyu, and styles say he'll win as he pleases. Too much speed, too many angles, and for Tszyu, too little defense."
"Speed, like the crystal meth manufacturer said to his co-conspirator, is the key. When I see Tszyu, I see deficiencies. To me, he has more holes than a Thai whorehouse. He is hittable, with a capital K(O). Zab, if he can keep that ultra-soft chin out of the way, should wear Tszyu down over the first six rounds with superior handspeed, leading to a stoppage victory in the seventh, for the Brooklyn-based Judah. This fight, unlike some others against recent softer opposition, will demand Zab's total attention, both in training and fight night. Judah, TKO 7."
Newsday & SecondsOut.com
"My man, 'Super' Judah will win by KO within six."
"Judah -- big."
"Judah will win by decision. Tszyu is a tough guy and well-schooled but he won't be able to cope with Judah's speed."
Los Angeles Daily News
"Judah winning on points."
Polish Boxing Promotions
"Kostya Tszyu by TKO in 7. I think his relentless pressure and power will prove too much for the younger, quicker Zab Judah. Judah can box, and he's a very good fighter and will continue to be a very good fighter, but he gets hit a little too much, and against Tszyu a little can quickly turn into a lot."
MaxBoxing.com and WQAM
"Judah by 12 round decision"
"I make this a very tough fight for Judah. Youth, speed and the southpaw style are big factors in his favour, but he can be caught and dropped (Jan Bergman and Terronn Millett had him down, of course and what seemed to be a flash knockdown against Reggie Green was not called by the ref). Tszyu has savvy and he's heavy-handed, and he'll be looking to punch with Zab, I think, to try to negate the hand-speed advantage of the younger man. I think Judah might have to pick himself off the floor and he might have to weather some body shots. But I do believe that Judah will rise to the occasion and win the fight by being simply too quick for Tszyu, hitting and getting out, for the most part. So, Judah by decision, but not easily. Judah must fight smart to win. I believe he will."
"Judah by TKO in the 8th. Zab is younger, faster and he's a southpaw."
"Judah may be floored but has enough ringcraft to win clearly on points."
"Judah will not want to get involved with Tszyu so we could see a cat & mouse situation with Tszyu getting outpointed in a very frustrating night. On the other hand if Judah decides to 'macho' it out I can see Tszyu knocking him out. My heart is with Tszyu but my head is with Judah."
"I expect Judah to win, probably on points but possibly on a stoppage in the last three or four rounds. His speed will be the key and I think Tszyu will struggle to cut off the ring and will be vulnerable to quick counters, particularly the right cross."
Fist & Boxing World
"I see this as a very interesting fight. Most people are picking Judah with ease - but I'm not so sure. Zab fights in spurts, he generally doesn't fight the whole three minutes. He also gets hit more than he should. If he fights in a very disciplined manor, he beats Tszyu decisively, either by decision or late TKO. If he falls asleep or gets careless, Tszyu will make this very interesting. I expect Tszyu to try to rough him up like he did Mitchell. But if Zab has two healthy legs, I expect him to win either by decision or late TKO. His speed of hand and foot SHOULD be the difference. I wouldn't be shocked by a Tszyu upset though - it's been that kind of year."
"I am still smarting about my prediction regarding Tito Trinidad and Hopkins, but here goes, much biased by the fact that I know Zab very well, having promoted 3 of his televised fights on ESPN: Zab is extremely fast, and I expect that his speed and southpaw attack will confuse Tszyu. Tszyu on the other hand is a very hard puncher, perhaps the most powerful that Zab has faced. I look for a great fight between two great warriors with Zab winning a decision."
Attorney for John "The Quietman" Ruiz
"Judah by decision."
Executive Boxing Consultant,
MICCOSUKEE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF FLORIDA
"Judah by a clear cut 12-round decision. Both combatants will be on the deck during the course of the fight."
"I am a big Tszyu fan. The Mongol warrior has strength, heart and can dig wicked hooks to the body. I am hoping -as a fan- for a Tszyu victory -but as a boxing man I must give the edge to Judah based on the speed factor. Judah is young and fast and could sniper the game Tszyu to a defeat."
"It's another 50-50 fight. Could go either way (I predicted Trinidad would beat Hopkins!).
If pressed I'd go for Judah to win. I think there will definitely be knockdowns but I think both men have good chins so I go for Judah to win on points."
"I predict that Judah will win a decision. Judah is too fast for Tszyu and will be able to hit him easily. Tszyu has relied on his power to pull him out of trouble in the past, but Judah will be careful enough to avoid being knocked out, and will coast to a victory."
"Even though I was born in Brooklyn, I like the Russian. He'll go to the body early. Then attack the head late. I would not be surprised if Judah pulls a Camacho Jr. and finds a way to quit when he realizes his face is getting rearranged. Then again, Judah could outspeed Tszyu and make the Russian look silly. I like the former."
This is a bit of a toughie and I really have to separate head from heart on this one. My head tells me that Judah does have the style to outbox Tszyu but my heart wants Tszyu to end this matter with Judah's flapping mouth. Melding my heart and head together on this one I'm going with Tszyu. I feel Judah will indeed get off to a fast start, possibly sweeping the first 4 rounds before starting to feel the effects of Tszyu's very discreet body shots. Midway I see Judah starting to flag and his poor balance and headstrong attitude getting him dropped on the seat of his drawers. After that a swollen and possibly cut Tszyu accelerates and stops Judah in the 10th. Like I say it is a toughie, but that's my pick. Incidentally, I did pick the winner of Trinidad-Hopkins, Barrera-Hamed and Mayweather-Corrales (although I thought that one would be a bit closer). But I've lost a ton on all those white heavyweights over the years. Y'know, sometimes I'll call a fight to a tee, even down to the humidity in the arena at fight-time, with one glaring problem...the other guy wins.
"Judah W12 Tszyu. The junior welterweight who someday takes out Zab Judah will be the same one the IBF junior welterweight champion walks into the ring with little respect for. That's precisely what we saw in the Lewis-Rahman fight and that's exactly why Judah was knocked on his ass in the Millett and Bergman fights. Don't expect Judah to be smiling, dancing, and talking to his posse in the third row this time out - there's simply too much respect there. He'll be sharp, poised, and focused. And when Judah is in his "work" mode, no 140-pounder out there touches him, not even an indomitable fighting machine like Kostya Tszyu. Judah breezes through a lopsided decision and unifies the belts."
"Tszyu connects with bomb, fight over in round 7."
Freelance Boxing Writer, London
"Tszyu has stiff straight counterpunches, vast experience against talented fighters, and knows how to fight through opponents' punches. Judah had good speed, footwork, decent power himself. Tszyu is on the down side and Judah is on top of his game right now. I can't stand watching Judah (other than when he goes to war) and Tszyu is a more polished fighter overall, but Judah's slick power boxing will probably get him the win."
"Judah by decision."
Advisor, Bernard Hopkins
"I expect Zab Judah to start quick with his fast hands and punching power. Tszyu will probably lose the first couple of rounds but he should catch up with Judah in the middle rounds and win by a KO before the 10th round."
Former WBC Bantamweight Champion,
"I'm not one to sit on the fence, but this has got to be one of the hardest fights to predict. So hard that you can't be sure whether this fight will even be competitive or not. To be honest neither one of these guys impress me that much. There are so many question marks. Tszyu is exciting because he hits hard and gets hit often. Judah is an explosive talent with power but thinks he's better than he actually is - at this stage anyway. It should be exciting, however long it lasts. But which one will last? My prevailing vision is Judah outboxing and dominating Tszyu early - perhaps almost stopping him - then Tszyu landing a bomb that takes Judah out. I think I'd go for Tszyu because of the superior opposition he's faced. But at the same time you have to believe this fight is in Judah's hands if he can be disciplined; like Mayweather was against Corrales and Barrera was against Hamed. I'm not convinced he can because, at least, Mayweather and Barrera had been in big contests before. I'd have to go for Tszyu in this one with a mid-rounds KO. But I wouldn't be surprised if Judah blows him away though in 3 though."
Derek A Bardowell,
"Judah is a 3-1 favorite and rightly so. Even though he's been knocked down to the canvas, his speed and quickness will elude Tszyu from making a statement. Judah by unanimous decision.
"I think Tszyu has been slipping badly in the last year or so. Judah by 10th rd KO"
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