Zab Judah Edges Lucas Matthysse, Robert Guerrero Beats Vicente Escobedo

In the main event in Newark, veteran Zab Judah squeaked out a split decision win over Lucas Matthysse on split decision scores of 114-113 -- two for Judah, one for Matthysse. In the televised co-feature, Robert Guerrero knocked down Vicente Escobedo twice and survived a late rally to win a unanimous decision.

Judah (40-6, 27 KO) could very well have lost this fight with just one different judge. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-112 for Matthysse, but a fairly close 116-112, with an even final round. Matthysse had a 10-8 round in the 10th, scoring a knockdown of the Brooklyn native. But I really have no issue with Judah getting the win. It was a close bout, could have gone either way, and while I do feel that frankly Judah probably won in part because of his name value, you can't argue against the lulls in the fight making many rounds extremely close, and Judah may well have nicked rounds where frankly neither fighter did much of anything.

In fact, the first half of the fight was pretty dreadful, and frequently booed by the crowd at the Prudential Center. The second half, particularly the last four rounds or so, were better, and those came when Matthysse was most clearly in control. But there's enough to say that Judah won the fight. It's not a robbery.

Matthysse (27-1, 25 KO) may get credit for proving he belongs on the world stage, but if I'm being honest, I think the real story of this fight is that Judah is not the fighter he used to be. At this point, he's slower, he badly struggles getting hit, and he just isn't world class.

So that said, if Victor Ortiz wins as expected on December 11, expect Golden Boy, Main Events and HBO to look into that matchup. And since Zab won, OK, fine. Maybe Zab overtrained. He was sluggish the entire fight, with only flashes of what he used to be. He's really not SO old or beaten up that he can't still be good, so let's give him another shot with someone like Ortiz. If anyone really expects him to fight Kaizer Mabuza, well, I don't know.

Watching the Showtime card, I missed most of Guerrero's victory, but I saw three rounds. Escobedo won them all. The only note I'll make is that it seems clear reading other reports that Guerrero definitely won, and watching three rounds, I know for a fact that Eugenia Williams' 100-88 card for Guerrero was her usual inept performance.

We thank everyone who joined us today for a big Saturday of fight coverage, and we look forward to seeing you next weekend. And, you know, the rest of the week. Stick around for big fight week coverage of Pacquiao-Margarito.

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