Zab Judah won't be bringing his collection of belts he actually used to hold to Cowboys Stadium on July 14. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
A fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Zab Judah for July 14 at Cowboys Stadium is off the table, according to Steve Kim of Max Boxing, who says he was told Judah wants more money than Top Rank was offering for the fight.
Marquez vs Judah sounded like a terrific fight on paper, with no real chance of a dull or disappointing night of action, and some interesting style clashes likely between the two veteran stars. But it's not exactly shocking that the money wasn't there for Judah to take this type of risk, especially considering he has a mandatory shot at the IBF junior welterweight title in his back pocket thanks to his March win over Vernon Paris.
With Judah out, it's once again an open question as to who will line up against Marquez in July. The Mexican wants to face a southpaw so he can stay sharp for a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao this fall, but there aren't that many quality southpaws around 135-147 pounds who could step in at 140 or maybe a catchweight for a fight.
There is Mercito Gesta, who has been named by Marquez since the two both won on April 14. Gesta, a 24-year-old Filipino prospect with varying degrees of hype depending on whose report you're reading, has a record of 25-0-1 (13 KO), and can fight a little bit. My personal opinion is that he does not have "future star" written all over him, so frankly throwing him in against Marquez probably doesn't run the risk of prematurely ruining a potential moneymaker.
If they don't go with a southpaw, then Brandon Rios is right there and we all know he wants the fight, not the least of which is to atone for his boxing sins of not making weight for two straight fights, and then being on the robber's end of a robbery against Richard Abril.
We'll see. It wouldn't even be that surprising if the entire date gets scrapped, since we're talking about a show that would be nine weeks away right now. Personally, I'm really disappointed by this news, as I loved the Marquez-Judah fight as a mid-summer meeting of name fighters at a big, empty stadium.