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Rumor: Zab Judah-Randall Bailey for July 18 undercard?

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Zab Judah may face 140-pound puncher Randall Bailey on the July 18 Mayweather-Marquez undercard in Las Vegas. (via <a href="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41543000/jpg/_41543342_lowblow416.jpg">newsimg.bbc.co.uk</a>)
Zab Judah may face 140-pound puncher Randall Bailey on the July 18 Mayweather-Marquez undercard in Las Vegas. (via newsimg.bbc.co.uk)

T.K. Stewart reports that there are strong rumors that Zab Judah might make his somewhat long (kinda shortly) awaited return to the 140-pound division official with a fight against top-ranked IBF contender Randaill Bailey on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard on July 18.

Judah, who recently signed with Mayweather Promotions, is back in a buddy mode with "Money," who insisted that Judah be featured on the show. Should Zab (37-6, 25 KO) step back down to 140 and face Bailey (39-6, 35 KO), I think we can all agree that that one's plenty intriguing as part of the undercard.

I honestly would be interested to see how Judah, 31, would deal with a guy who has the power of the 34-year old Bailey, especially dropping back down to 140. Judah hasn't fought at that weight since a 2003 one-minute knockout of Jaime Rangel, after which he moved to welterweight and lost to Cory Spinks. After he beat Spinks in their 2005 rematch to become the welterweight world champion, he defended against Cosme Rivera before being stunned against Carlos Baldomir, which took a lot of the sizzle out of his already-scheduled showdown with Mayweather in 2006.

Since then, Judah has gone 3-2 with one no-contest, beating the guys you'd expect and buckling against the tougher opponents (Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey). I'd say that if Zab can comfortably get down there still, he's better off at 140.

But Bailey is no joke. He's one of the best punchers in the sport and Zab has not handled power shots well lately. No doubt Judah is faster and better technically, but Cotto eventually beat him up pretty bad back in '07 and frankly he quit against Clottey because he thought he was ahead on the cards with the accidental injury.

There are few fights better than this one as far as what could be affordably made with Judah on that undercard, so here's hoping it comes through. It's a tough but winnable crossroads fight for both guys.