Welterweight Vernon Paris will put his undefeated streak on the line at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York on March 24th when the meets former world champion Zab Judah. The 34-year-old Judah was regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world a decade ago, but never really lived up to his billing. He’s attempting to put his name back in the mix of boxing’s elite, but suffered a setback last July when he was stopped in the fifth by IBF and WBA World Champion Amir Khan of Britain.
The 24-year-old Paris is one of boxing’s brighter prospects and he’s just thankful to still be around. He was shot twice as an 18-year-old in Detroit back in 2006 during an attempted murder and still has a pair of bullets lodged in his body. Two years after that he was stabbed and received a collapsed lung. However, he’s managed to dodge trouble in the ring and will take a 26-0 record with him into the ring against Judah with 15 KOs.
The southpaw Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) will be fighting in his hometown and this could be his last shot at glory. The bout has been scheduled as a 12-round eliminator for the IBF Junior Welterweight Championship with the winner getting a title shot at the victor of the Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson rematch on May 19, which is for the IBF Junior Welterweight and WBA Super World Junior Welterweight titles.
Judah already had a shot at Khan and appeared to quit after the champion nailed him with a shot on the belt line. Khan went down claiming it was a low blow and hoping the referee would give him time to recover. However, his ploy didn’t quite work out as he had hoped and he was counted out. Khan was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage and Judah just didn’t seem to know how to handle the speedy Englishman.
Paris has some decent power in both hands, but lacks experience. He hasn’t really faced a top-10 contender yet in his career, has never gone past eight rounds, and has only fought on four occasions outside of Michigan. Judah still has pretty good speed for an older boxer and is quite effective when utilizing his double jab. His defence isn’t as good as it used to be though and his ability to take a punch these days is questionable.
Paris can often be pretty wild in the ring and he sometimes depends too much on his power. If he can’t knock Judah out he’ll have a hard time winning a decision, especially in Judah’s hometown. While Paris can probably afford a loss, especially to somebody of Judah’s calibre, Judah can’t afford to lose another high-profile fight on national television.
A win would guarantee Judah another title shot and a pretty big payday against either Khan or Peterson. If Paris earns the shot against Khan or Peterson he’ll be a decided underdog, but could pull off an upset. The longer this fight goes the better it will be for Judah. Unless Paris can stop him or at least drop him a couple of times in the bout look for Judah to come out of it with a decision and another title shot in the near future.
Judah vs Paris Odds
Sportsbook Bet365 has the current odds of a Paris win at -138 and a Judah victory at +110. Visit Bet365.com to bet on this fight. If you sign up through a link here at Sports Bet Listings you will receive the best bonus possible so there is not need to enter a Bet365 bonus code.