Embattled Zab “Super” Judah
Seventh Round TKO Victory Over Kaizer Mabuza,
Tarvis Simms Wins Unanimous Decision Over John Mackey
By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey
Coming into the ring, Zab Judah looked confident that he was
going to win and take the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight
Title. He ran from side to side of the ring as the music
played, waiting for the introductions. Mabuza just looked
on. Most in attendance at the AmeriHealth Pavilion were just
as confident that Judah would walk away with the title. But
after a few back and forth rounds and then Judah’s glove
touching the canvas in the fourth and it being ruled a knock
down, there were those who were already giving the fight to
Mabuza. But the great thing about boxing is that a fight can
be decided in twelve rounds or with a knockout. In this
fight, Zab Judah made sure that he decided who won the
fight, not the judges.
Judah threw the first punch of the fight, a jab to feel out
his opponent. The round started slowly, both circling the
ring and neither really committing. Toward the middle of the
round, Mabuza was able to catch Judah off balance with a
punch. Mabuza chased after him but never capitalized on the
moment. The two went back to circling the ring. Toward the
end of the round, Judah landed a combination.
As the second round started, Mabuza was unsuccessfully
trying to cut the ring off. Judah just kept stepping around,
and the two circled the ring several times. Judah came in
and landed a combination to the body. Then he came back and
landed a second combination to the body. Judah then moved
just out of reach. Mabuza was throwing, but most were
missing. But then Mabuza was able to get Judah up against
the ropes. He landed a hard right hook to the body.
Mabuza was stepping up the pressure in the third round.
Judah seemed to be doing a lot more moving in this round,
trying to stay just out of reach. Early in the round, Mabuza
caught Judah on the ropes, landed a few clean shots, and
then somehow got himself tangled in the ropes. As the round
progressed, Judah was landing the cleaner shots; however, he
was throwing a lot less than Mabuza.
The fourth round started with a rally from Judah. He landed
a series of shots to the head of Mabuza and quickly followed
them up with a combination to the body. Mabuza was still
trying to cut off the ring. He landed a combination to the
head and body while Judah had his back to the ropes. Judah
easily got out. Mabuza stalked him down. It was as Mabuza
was throwing a punch and Judah was moving that Judah’s hand
touched the canvas. Referee Samuel Viruet ruled it a knock
down. Judah started to argue but quickly let it go.
Early in round five Judah landed a combination. Mabuza just
kept coming in. This seemed to be Mabuza’s greatest defense.
The more he pressured Judah, the less Judah landed. However,
at one point, Judah landed a combination as Mabuza came in.
Mabuza just kept swinging whenever he was close to Judah.
But it was Judah who landed a clean series of punches at the
bell. By round six, it appeared as though Judah was slowing
down. He was still moving all around the ring, but he wasn’t
throwing nearly enough punches. Mabuza was able to catch
Judah on the ropes and land several combinations.
The seventh round started like the other rounds, with a
quick start from Judah. In the first few seconds of the
round, Judah knocked Mabuza to the canvas with a straight
left. Mabuza survived the count. Judah rushed back in and
never let Mabuza off the ropes. Mabuza was being hit by a
flurry of punches. The only thing keeping him up at the end
was the ropes. Referee Viruet stopped the fight :59 into the
round. It could be said that it was those few punches that
decided this fight, but that would not be entirely accurate.
Although Judah might not have won every round, he kept his
attack up on the body of Mabuza, slowly wearing him down.
Mabuza, for his part, was trying to do the same thing. Zab
Judah was just doing a better job. But maybe that is why
they call him “Super.”
The co-feature was fought between Middleweights Tarvis Simms
and John Mackey. Although Simms has only lost one fight in
his career, he is not known for knocking out his opponents.
He simply outboxes them. That is exactly what he did against
Mackey. By the middle of the first round, Simms was
controlling the action, but by the second round, neither
fighter seemed to be able to control the action. In the
third round, Simms, a southpaw, started the round throwing
lefts to the body of Mackey. Mackey, however, just kept
coming forward. Simms spent most of the round fighting while
moving backward. Mackey landed a few hard shots to the body
of Simms, but it was Simms who finished the round strong.
In the fourth, Simms was fighting against the ropes, but
Mackey was never able to really use this to his advantage.
Simms was landing to the head and body of Mackey. Mackey had
a brief flurry while Simms was on the ropes. Again, it was
Simms who finished the round strong, landing a series of
shots to the head and body. The fifth started back and forth
between the two. Then Simms staggered Mackey. Simms kept up
his attack on the head and body of Mackey. By the end of the
round, Mackey was throwing wild uppercuts, apparently hoping
to catch Simms with a shot to put him on the canvas.
Mackey was starting to look tired in the sixth. It was
another back and forth round. Simms was able to catch Mackey
on the ropes, land a series of shots to the head and body.
Mackey fought his way off the ropes, but the round clearly
was taking a toll on him. In the seventh, Simms landed
several left hooks to the body of Mackey. Simms was fighting
methodically, just working the body of Mackey. Mackey was
now the one fighting while backing up. Simms was able to put
Mackey on the ropes several times. Mackey would get out, and
Simms would put him back. Mackey’s punches were looking
In the eighth and final round, Simms was chasing Mackey
around the ring. Mackey’s shots were missing Simms. Simms
knocked Mackey back several times. By the end of the round,
Mackey was throwing wild hooks, apparently hoping to knock
out Simms. All three judges scored the fight in favor of
The night began with Junior Middleweight Chris Crosby of
Brooklyn winning by unanimous decision over Greg Hackett of
Welterweight Vinny O’Brien of East Hanover, NJ won his pro
debut with a TKO victory against David Navarro of
Philadelphia. On the advice of the ringside physician,
Referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the action after the
Lightweight Shemuel Pagan of Brooklyn won by TKO in the
first round in his fight against Marcos Garcia of Camden,
NJ. Hand speed was the deciding factor in the fight.
Welterweight Jose Peralta, fighting out of Jersey City won
by TKO also in the first round, defeating Clifford
Welterweight Sadam Ali was supposed to fight on the card.
However, his opponent pulled out of the fight because of