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Zab Judah still kicking at 33

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 21: Amir Khan

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 21: Amir Khan (L) and Zab Judah during a press conference at the Mandalay Bay Resort to preview their Super Lightweight World Campionship Unification match on July 21, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images) Credit: Getty/Scott Heavey

Zab Judah an old man? Not according to the IBF 140-pound champion. Judah, 33, has endured talk that he is old and past his prime for several years now. Judah (41-6) disputed those notions during the final press conference for his bout against WBA champ Amir Khan (25-1).

The two will fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand on HBO’s Championship Boxing.

“People have been getting this stuff about Zab Judah, 33 years old, is an old fighter, mixed up,” said Judah. “What you gotta understand is that I turned professional at 18 years old. I was champion by 20 years old and I reigned ever since.”

Is 33 considered old for a boxer? It really depends on who the fighter is, how many fights he’s been in, the caliber of competition, etc… Manny Pacquiao is 32 and hasn’t appeared to have lost much. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 34 and we’ll know soon enough if he’s lost anything. Mayweather will face 24-year-old Victor Ortiz on September 17.

In Khan, 24, Judah is facing a big time puncher with quick hands. There are some who believe Khan’s quickness is equal to Judah’s.

“I don’t talk much. I let my fists do the talking in the ring and come Saturday, I’ll be the new unified champion,” said Khan. “We’re both powerful, both quick and exciting to watch. It’s going to be a great show.”

To Judah, age is just a number these days. In fact, he expects his age and experience to give him a leg up on Saturday night. He could be right.

“I just think that over the years of me being in this position, I’m prepared for Saturday night,” Judah said. “I’m prepared for what’s gonna happen. Amir Khan is new to this situation. He’s a young guy.”

So who benefits the most from the win and whose career will take the biggest hit in a loss? Khan’s career could certainly survive a loss. He’s still young and has a promotional giant in Golden Boy Promotions behind him.

Judah could probably survive a close loss. But if he gets embarrassed, he’ll have a hard time putting his name back into elite status. A rematch wouldn’t make sense for Khan, while potential big-name opponents wouldn’t have a reason to fight Judah.

A win for either fighter could set them up with a mega-bout against the likes of Timothy Bradley, Mayweather or Pacquiao. Yes, Mayweather and Pacquiao could certainly be future opponents. The reason being there is no guarantee the two will ever hook up.


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