COMMENTARY | The story came out earlier this week, and it raised just a minor blip on the boxing news radar.
Five-time and two-division world champ Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) had signed a deal with Golden Boy Promotions. Super Judah Promotions and Golden Boy would now be aligned in their effort to wring out yet another second chance for the 35-year-old Brooklyn native, who has seen tremendous ups and downs over the course of a 17-year professional career.
"Super Judah Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions working together is phenomenal," Judah said via Golden Boy press release. "I have been doing business with Golden Boy Promotions for a number of years, working both with them and against them, and I know what it's like to be on both sides. Through those times, I see that we are a perfect fit. This joint venture will give me the experience I need as a promoter and get me the big fights I want at this point of my career."
Signing Judah gives Golden Boy another name fighter it can showcase in Brooklyn's Barclays Center, exclusive boxing home to GBP. The talented boxer-puncher has surprisingly maintained a solid fan base and positive name recognition through several high-profile losses and random flat performances. Recently, a spirited losing effort against WBA/WBC junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia and a one-sided blowout of prospect Vernon Paris have served to rejuvenate the veteran's career and suggest that big things are still possible for "Super" Judah.
But even if Judah's career roller coaster plays out true to form and a big fall takes place shortly after this temporary high, Golden Boy comes away from the deal with a big "W" as holders of an ever-increasing share of the sport's main stage talent.
The promotional company founded by Oscar De la Hoya has done its best to amass a huge reserve of talent, especially in the 140-154 pound weight range, and can benefit from any number of potentially fan favorite pairings without risking loss of ground to rival promoters. This gives Golden Boy tremendous leverage in shaping the will and the way of three specific divisions. The next several months will put the company to the test when it comes to its willingness to actually pull the trigger on the bouts fans want to see. So far, it has definitely lived up to its word. But things get trickier and more complicated as time passes and fighter management begins to balk at 50-50 wars every time out.
This divisional dominance also means a perpetual need to produce quality fighters in order to keep the machine running along smoothly. The recent signing of Judah, who can fight at 140 or 147 pounds, along with the signing of welterweight prospect Sadam Ali and the attempted recycling of Shane Mosley shows Golden Boy's understanding that volume of talent is needed for their ambitious efforts.
With a new Monday night boxing show on Fox Sports 1 and an apparent dedication to putting on bigger, more frequent cards on Showtime, live bodies are a must. And Judah, despite a frustrating inability to ever live up to his full potential, is definitely still a live body.
The only question regarding the new Judah-GBP alliance is whether the southpaw former world titlist will be allowed some soft touches before being thrown to the young lions.
"I'll take on all challenges. That's how I want it right now," Judah told RingTV.com shortly after his deal was announced. "I'm just ready for the best. Big fights. Big fights. It's fair to say that I could go to welterweight, where I was once the undisputed champion. ... So, I can go up in weight. That's nothing. Team Judah and Golden Boy are going to make a big announcement shortly about that, so just hold out for that."
When it comes to Judah, the talk has never been the problem. Judah can make you believe in his abilities like few other fighters in the business. The problem has always been when the talented fighter is asked to put all of his individual skills and abilities together into one cohesive package.
With Golden Boy now holding open the doors, Judah will be granted his last chance to prove that he's greater than the sum of his parts -- even if he's really being brought in just as a high-profile opponent for younger talent. But whether Zab succeeds or not in his personal quest, Golden Boy is guaranteed to come away from the deal a winner. And the fans, who will get to see Judah fight to regain main-stage respect, may also be guaranteed winners.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.Sources: Golden Boy Press Release, RingTV
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