Sunday, 6th May, 2012
Talks are allegedly under way for the Mexican three-division title holder Juan Manuel Marquez (54(39)-6-1) to face former welterweight ruler Zab Judah (42(29)-7) at the Cowboys stadium in Texas on July 14th. The Interim WBO junior welterweight boss is looking for an opponent to fill the gap Brandon Rios left open after his dire performance against Richard Abril last month. Judah fits the bill after his impressive 9th round stoppage win over Vernon Paris in an IBF eliminator bout.
Marquez, who has won world titles on six occasions, has long been booked to fight at the Cowboys stadium, and will be looking to keep busy before a planned fourth installment of the Pacquiao series later this year. Judah fits the bilk in being a southpaw, and with finding some form after a disappointing stoppage loss to Brit Amir Khan back in 2011. The former undisputed 147 lb ruler is in the last chance saloon at the age of 34, and a big payday with the Mexican superstar would be a fitting way to end a career which has seen him win five world titles in the light-welterweight and welterweight divisions.
‘Dinamita’, who is coming off a classy win over Serhiy Fedchenko, where he won the ‘interim’ WBO 140 strap, will be looking to stay sharp ahead of another potential fight with Filipino pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. Their last bout ended in yet more controversy, and there seems more unfinished business later in the year as the ‘Pacman’ winds down his career and looks nowhere nearer to facing Mayweather in what would be the biggest prizefight of all time.
Judah is obviously keen for the fight to be made as soon as possible. “It’s a fight I have campaigned for,” said Judah. “This is a fight I wanted a couple of years ago and I still want it. I want him. He fought Floyd Mayweather and never touched him and he got dropped. I can do that, too.” Kathy Duva of Main Events (who promote Zab Judah) stated; “I’ve been having discussions with Bob for the past 24 hours. But the deal is not done. Obviously, we’d love to do it. I think it’s a saleable fight, a terrific fight. These guys are both big names, so we would love to do it and it’s not a complicated deal to make. He really wants the fight, but Bob hasn’t made us an offer yet. He’s exploring what it would take to make the fight, but I know we can make it if this is the fight they want to do. Bob knows that Zab is available, so we are talking about it.”
Bob Arum is set to make an announcement on Monday afternoon regarding Marquez’s next opponent. Originally, the names being mentioned were the undefeated Mercito Gesta (25(13)-0) and world title challenger Paul McCloskey (23(12)-1). The latter was stopped at the weekend by a resurgent DeMarcus Corley, and a potential fight with Brandon Rios has been canned due to his lackluster and controversial points win over Richard Abril.