CANASTOTA, N.Y. — Brooklyn’s Zab Judah was hospitalized Friday night after getting stopped in the 11th round of a fight at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, according to the bout’s promoter Joe DeGuardia.
Judah, 41, was fighting Cletus Seldin of Shirley and was stopped after a series of power punches from Seldin trapped him along the ropes. Referee Charlie Fitch stopped the 12-round contest at 1:40 of the 11th.
“He’s in the hospital in Syracuse,” said DeGuardia, “but he’s awake and he’s communicating and making progress. The hope is that we’ll have more definitive information on Tuesday. I’m hoping and believing Zab will be OK. He’s a big part of the New York boxing family. We are all very close.”
According to DeGuardia, Judah initially was taken to a hospital near the venue in Verona then transferred to a hospital in Syracuse, where he remained as of Sunday afternoon. DeGuardia would not comment specifically on Judah’s condition or injury, saying that the family asked for privacy. Multiple reports said Judah had a brain bleed.
Judah, a former two-time world champion who hadn’t fought in more than a year, absorbed a lot of punishment in the fight. Although he was never knocked down in the bout, a ringside physician came to Judah’s corner to examine him after the 10th round.
Seldin could not be reached for comment. His trainer, Pete Brodsky, said the entire team has been shaken up by the news of Judah's condition.
“I personally don’t care about the win, this is just a sport,” said Brodsky. “I’ve known Zab since he won the Golden Gloves. We are all pulling for Zab. These were two men competing in an athletic contest. There is absolutely no animosity between the camps.”
Judah left the ring on his own power after the fight and did not speak to reporters. He looked upset that the fight was stopped. Seldin posted a photo on his Instagram account of the two fighters after the match. They were smiling near the hotel’s casino.
Judah is a former junior welterweight and welterweight world champion. He fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto during his 23-year career.
“The flip side for Cletus, it was his career defining win,” said DeGuardia. “It was a torrid pace, brutal pace. He was literally all over him every second. We are all praying for him and his family and appreciate everyone’s concern.”