Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that discussions have begun to pit former welterweight beltholders Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana (Judah technically is a former champion) in what would amount to a WBC welterweight eliminator, with the winner facing WBC titlist Andre Berto later in the year on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Reeno says that HBO is very much on board with the idea, which would start with Judah-Quintana headlining a Boxing After Dark show. Quintana is promoted by Lou DiBella, and Judah by Square Ring. Both sides indicate that they are very interested in making this fight happen and sorting it all out.
Judah (37-6, 25 KO) is in need of a big win in a bad way, and while Quintana (26-2, 20 KO) is no superstar, he's a damn good fighter, a fellow southpaw that could give Judah a lot of stylistic problems. Southpaws often remark that they hate fighting other southpaws. Zab hasn't won a big fight since beating Cory Spinks in February 2005. He has gone 1-1 since pulling out of that scheduled May 31 PPV bout with Shane Mosley last year, losing to Joshua Clottey on a technical decision and beating Ernest Johnson in a snoozer on the Calzaghe-Jones undercard.
Quintana has fought just once since he was waxed in 2:15 by Paul Williams in their rematch, beating tomato can Josh Onyango in October by fourth round TKO. Last word was that Quintana was going up to 154 pounds and staying there because of trouble making 147, but there's no doubt that a Judah fight would be his biggest available payday right now. Quintana pulled up lame for a scheduled 154-pound fight on ESPN2 against Eromosele Albert earlier this month.
I like the idea, and believe either fighter would give Berto a great test later this year. I know I'm not Zab's biggest fan, but I do like to watch the guy fight. When he's on, there are few with his natural talents, and I really mean that.
I'm also not one for calling fighters on the carpet with their careers, but man, Zab needs this one. I'd love for him to go back to 140 pounds where he belongs, but I don't know if the weight would be too much for him or not. I assume not considering he weighed in at 143 for the Clottey fight at 144 1/2 for Johnson, but what do I know? If Judah doesn't take this fight and lines up another schmuck to tread water while waiting for a title shot from someone, that'll smell somethin' awful.