Boxing


Zab Judah Has Complete Meltdown

08.01.06 - By Wray Edwards: There is no way Judah won this fight. The operative word here is “fight”. Baldomir fought and Judah (photo: Tom Casino /Showtime) goofed his way through most of the match. From the very beginning when he fouled Carlos by hitting below the belt instead of touching gloves, Judah was a complete disappointment. Zab managed to counterpunch, on occasion, but for the most part couldn’t get his tranny in forward gear.

It is not often that the writer prays, and probably one of the hardest tasks in the universe to ask of Deity is to request home country, home town judges to render a fair decision. Evidently our God is a mighty god, for even though Arthur Mercante Jr. did his best to rescue Zab from Baldomir’s onslaughts, judges Gualtiero Cavalieri, Melvina Lathan and Julie Lederman scored the fight punch-for-punch. Counterintuitive to the press row bias and that of the broadcast commentators, with the exception of Al Bernstein, the judges rendered a fair decision..

The first Five Rounds were pretty much even with Judah getting in an “accidental” head butt which cut the bridge of Carlos’ nose. Replays look as if “accidental” is a charitable term for what actually happened, 48/47 Baldomir.

ROUND SIX was somewhat resurgent for Judah as he seemed to be about to turn the action in his favor. He counterpunched effectively and finally completed a round in which he did some significant aggression, 57/57.

ROUND SEVEN turned out to be a startling reversal for Judah. It gave evidence that the two pre-planned victory parties of the Baldomir camp might just be in order. At 2:04 of Round Seven Carlos threw a blocked left followed by a right which staggered Zab and sent him falling against the ropes. Bouncing off the ropes the two fighters tied up as the ref tried to pry them apart. After they were separated Zab, for some reason, lunged at Baldomir (1:49) grabbing Carlos by the hips in his best Tae Bo takedown tackle form.

Unable to throw Baldomir on his back for the requisite two points…oops!! This was supposed to be a Boxing match, wasn’t it? At 1:36 Arthur warns Zab for holding (it’s about damn time) until at 0:51 Baldomir nails Zab with a short, crisp right cross underneath a hugely telegraphed, sweeping Judah right which misses as he spins to his left and staggers back (0:49) as the effect of the Baldomir right kicks in. At 0:42 Carlos connects with a long right causing Zab to stagger forward.

Judah then starts to amble around the ring looking for the door with an occasional look over his left shoulder to see if Carlos had left the building first…no such luck. Having run out of Tae Bo moves Zab (0:25) decides to try some cross country jogging. Perhaps he might be able to outrun Carlos…no such luck. Baldomir hot on Zab’s heels catches him in the corner and delivers more cowhide to Judah’s wheelhouse. More running…more chasing…then at 0:17 Zab gives the Chris Byrd tell: he sticks his tongue out at Carlos.

Baldomir is not fazed by the kindergarten insult and moves in again and at 0:09 Judah gets drubbed around a bit more as the round ends with a grazing right from Baldomir, 67/65 Baldomir.

Round Seven was what one might call the denouement of the fight. It became a frame around a picture of an ill-prepared fighter reverting to every regressive, ineffective resort in his bag of ugly, desperate alternatives. Gone was the ebullient, dancing champion who had so completely humbled the show-boating Corey Spinks. As the dogged, fearless Argentinean drove on and on to press his case for victory, Zab’s corner became more and more desperate to do the impossible…fight Carlos through Zab with words.

Admonitions to “be professional” could not replace what Zab had lost or failed to develop in preparation for this fight. It became painfully obvious that Judah had not taken Baldomir seriously, and it was way too late for him to do so. He was, in fact, so out of it at the end of Round Seven that he was questioned about where he was and given a spatial relations test by the doctor as he sat in his corner. As if things weren’t bad enough already, he also got the last thing he needed at that time: a tongue-lashing from his father who looked as if he could probably take Carlos out himself if it could be arranged…no such luck.

ROUND EIGHT started with more of the same as Carlos clocked Zab four or five times in the first thirty seconds. At 0:37 Carlos delivers a really nice right, left, right combo which drives Zab back with authority, 77/74 Baldomir.

ROUND NINE...Baldomir presses on with the majority effort, 87/83 Baldomir.

ROUND TEN…charity round to Judah, 96/93 Baldomir.

ROUND ELEVEN…at 0:47 Judah ducks low as Carlos moves in and as Zab raises up Carlos is bent over him a bit. Zab’s right dome hits the orbital ridge of Baldomir’s right eye and cuts him under the eyebrow. It was pretty much accidental. Carlos dithers Zab to the end of the round, 106/102 Baldomir.

ROUND TWELVE begins with Carlos showing sporting respect and genuine affection for his opponent. Judah is subdued. To form, Carlos outworks Zab in this round and when Judah tries to flare up for some recognition, Baldomir notches up also, gut for gut. In the last few seconds Carlos raises his gloves in victory probably glad he went the distance, but possibly expecting to be declared the victor, 116/111 Baldomir.

Judah went to the ropes to salute his fans who, as it turned out, were few and far between. His attempt to milk some cheers ended mostly in a chorus of boos and jeers. We scored Round Seven 10/8 and, in the end, were in agreement with Al Bernstein as to the winner. In poor form Showtime elected to interview the looser first. Perhaps though, it was best as Judah finally threw his first real haymaker of the evening, albeit verbal, when he accused Don King of causing him to lose.

“I have a promoter that’s messed up…Don King ran me around the city all day every day…I have a dirty promoter…you know what I’m sayin’…it’s time it comes to light…” at which point Jim Gray looks over his right shoulder with a look on his face which said, “Gee I hope King’s people aren’t headed this way to put a stop to Zab’s tirade.” He looked truly concerned as he did a triple take over his shoulder expecting the worst.

Then Jim went to Zab’s father who yammered on, adding stupidity to Zab’s lack of sportsmanship. King looked like a deer in the headlights as his fighter’s camp imploded. Judah projected a rematch which was later debunked by Baldomir’s camp. Carlos made excuses for Zab’s attitude saying that Judah was nervous…and for good reason.

Carlos Baldomir is the new WBC Welterweight World Champion and joins his fellow countryman Jorge Barrios in bringing another world title to Argentina. Carlos was not slick. Carlos was not pretty, but he was tough and was rewarded for his five month absence from his home and family. When hit during the fight it steeled him…encouraged him to beckon Zab to rumble in the manly combat of blood and sweat. He waved Judah in to test his fierce resolve and his willingness to power through pain to final victory.

Judah would have none of this. He fought in hapless spurts throughout the fight. He showed no heart when hit. He held, ran, ducked and staggered his way through most of the contest. He became hopelessly trapped in reverted behavior as Carlos showed relentless purpose. Zab never once hurt Carlos…not even for a moment. Baldomir had Judah in serious trouble at least five times during the fight. On the strength of that alone Judah was losing credibility, not to mention his lesser work rate.

Every fan brings a certain amount of baggage to their impressions of a Boxing match, but almost any observer of this contest must have had a sinewy, yesssss!! response to Jimmy Lennon’s pronouncement of the winner’s name. Few things in sport can match the release of satisfaction as fight fans fist-pump the air knowing that their take has been vindicated by the judges. East Side Boxing congratulates Carlos Baldomir for his hard won victory. We are also grateful for Showtime’s continuing effort to bring us these great events. See you at the fights.

Article posted on 08.01.2006



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