Zab Judah, a former titleholder at both 140 and 147, is hoping that a win over Cletus Seldin on June 7 will set him up for another crack at world title glory at 140.
The vacant NABA title at 140 will be on the line in his fight with Seldin. The NABA is associated with the WBA, whose current titleholder at 140 is Regis Prograis, but the WBA is also thrilled when they get a chance to create “world” and “interim” titles — and now “gold” titles — at any weight, so Judah, even at 41 and years past serious contention, could be in there sooner than you think. He still has some name value, for one thing, at least if he beats Seldin.
Judah (44-9, 30 KO) really has never been the same since he was upset by Carlos Baldomir back in Jan. 2006, which was meant to be a tune-up before his fight three months later with Floyd Mayweather. He lost to Baldomir, kept the Mayweather date anyway, lost that, and then lost to Miguel Cotto in June 2007.
Since then, Judah has been sort of in and out of boxing. He beat a couple club fighter types in 2007, then lost a technical decision to Joshua Clottey in Aug. 2008. He beat a few more club fighter types, then picked up a split decision win over Lucas Matthysse in Nov. 2010, and a TKO win over Kaizer Mabuza in March 2011, winning the IBF 140-pound title.
He was then stopped in five by Amir Khan in July 2011, but then bounced right back to dominate and stop Vernon Paris in March 2012. He lost to Danny Garcia 13 months later, then eight months after Garcia, lost to Paulie Malignaggi.
After the loss to Malignaggi, Judah didn’t fight again for just over three years, coming back to beat Jorge Luis Munguia in Jan. 2017, and then was out another year before going to Calgary to beat Noel Mejia Rincon.
Judah’s last notable win was over seven years ago against Paris. But a win over Seldin (23-1, 19 KO), a powerful but limited fighter, could well get him another shot.
Seldin, 32, became a popular attraction at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York, fighting at the venue 16 times between 2011 and 2017. He made his HBO debut in Nov. 2017, stopping Roberto Ortiz in three rounds, and made an extremely quick turnaround to return to HBO airwaves in Dec. 2017, losing a wide decision and being thoroughly outboxed against Yves Ulysse Jr.
Since the loss to Ulysse, Seldin has beaten Nelson Lara and Adam Mate, both via first round KO.
The show will also feature unbeaten French middleweight David Papot (22-0, 3 KO) against James “Buddy” McGirt Jr (27-3-1, 14 KO).
There’s been no announcement about any way to watch other than going to the fights in Verona, New York, but when I asked Star Boxing a few weeks back if the fights might stream on Facebook or something at the very least, I was told to stay tuned. So we’ll see. Honestly, I hope we get a chance to see it — I am intrigued by Judah-Seldin, I think it has a good chance at being a really fun fight to watch.