Amir Khan vs Zab Judah - The Unification Begins
WBA + IBF Light Welterweight Championship
When: Saturday Night 23rd July Live from 1am
What: Amir Khan vs Zab Judah
Where: All on Primetime: Sky channel 480, Virgin Media ‘On Demand’ and online at www.primetimelive.co.uk
In music the acid test of success is often considered to be whether a group ‘breaks’ America, the same can be said of boxing. Despite being spoilt with exciting champions such as Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Carl Froch, apart from Lennox Lewis, British boxers have often struggled to make that global impact in their prime.
Ricky Hatton took Vegas by storm in his last two fights, but was unable to walk out with the gold on either occasion when facing the biggest names in the game. Joe Calzaghe had an end of career swan song in the States but he wasn’t facing the best in their, or his, prime and Carl Froch has struggled to make an impact state side despite reaching the final of the Super Six, with the final only finding a home in Atlantic City.
However that looks to be changing rapidly with Amir Khan. At 24 years old he is already headlining his second bill at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and is promoted by American boxing royalty in Oscar De La Hoya and his ‘Golden Boy Promotions’ company. With his last Vegas outing earning fight of the year in 2010, Amir Khan will be looking to set another benchmark by unifying the IBF and WBA Light Welterweight belts this Saturday night.
Amir Khan has lived with expectation since before his pro career started. After winning the silver medal in the Athens Olympics, at only 17 years of age, Amir has carried the expectations of the nation on his shoulders. After avenging his defeat in the Olympic finals Khan turned pro under the management of Frank ******. 18 undefeated fights were rattled off with 14 inside the distance, coupled with exposure on ITV, creating a groundswell of expectation around Amir’s career. That expectation was stopped dead with a shock KO loss to Breidis Prescott in 54 seconds in September 2008.
Khan was not to be deterred and turned to legendary trainer Freddie Roach to get his career back on track. Moving away from the distractions back home at only 21 years old, Khan relocated his training to the Wildcard gym in LA where he could learn from not only the world’s greatest trainer but also the best fighter active today in Manny Pacquiao. This decision was quickly proved correct as Amir moved up in weight and set about resuming his path to a World Title.
Within three fights of joining Roach, Khan achieved that goal by defeating Andreas Kotelnik for the WBA Light Welterweight crown. Four defences of that title have followed to bring us to the unification fight with Zab Judah this Saturday night.
Amir Khan has actively sort to face the best possible challengers in his division. Chasing a fight with WBC and WBO champion Tim Bradley was Khan’s first choice, Bradley turned the opportunity down to the derision of many. But Khan didn’t sit back and take an easy defence while waiting for his preferred fight to be made; instead he went out and actively sought the next best fight available to him.
In Zab Judah, Khan may well have found the type of dangerous opponent who helps create a legacy. Judah himself has had an exceptional career, as former undisputed Welterweight Champion, he has fought the best in the business in a career that has already seen 5 world title reigns. With a resume that includes names such as Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto and Kostya Tszyu, Judah has a veteran’s level of experience that could allow him to trouble Khan.
Judah is a prodigiously talented fighter, who has had his fair share of problems, with lighting speed and reflexes. Trained by Hall Of Famer Pernell ‘Sweat Pea’ Whitaker, Judah is looking to secure his own legacy by becoming a two weight undisputed champion. If Whitaker is able to add elements of his defensive work and footwork to the speed and reflexes of Judah you have a fearsome combination that would threaten any fighter in the world today. In the last year Judah seems to have found a new level of maturity and dedication that makes him all the more dangerous for Amir this weekend.
All of this brings us to Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Two lightening fast punchers step into the ring with claims on greatness. Only one of these fighters will walk out on step closer to their goal with the other being forced back to the drawing board. Both of these fighters have a point to prove and a desire to do it in style in order to secure the next big fight on the world stage. All signs point to a spectacular night of boxing and entertainment, a must see for all British fight fans.
The eagerly anticipated Khan vs Judah bout promises an evening of nonstop action on the UK’s leading independent PPV broadcaster – Primetime!
You can order the card for only £14.95 by calling 08712004444*, visiting www.primetimelive.co.uk or for Virgin Media customers by using the ‘On Demand’ menu. Customers on Sky must register the first time they use Primetime and once registered can purchase using the ‘box office’ menu.
Great article - keep promoting but I won't be buying as I'm going out to see it.
keep posting though mate; thanks for the article.
"Awww, so you lost darling - but it's the taking part that counts" My Mum... thanks for nothing Mum.