Exclusive Interview: Yoel Judah

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Yoel Judah

GL: Has training camp for Zab been and has it been difficult to keep him focused on Baldomir with the mega fight with Mayweather on the horizon for April 8? "I feel like this here, we're not looking at Floyd at all. We have to stay focused on one man at a time. We're focused on Baldomir right now. Zab is supremely in shape, he's supremely confident and he's going to be supremely dominant on January 7. Tata has never been in the ring with a fighter like Zab, I promise you. If the fight goes longer than three rounds I'll be shocked. Greg, once again all of the sparring partners were getting sent home with broken jaws, knocked out, swollen eyes, everything. Zab is going to put it on this boy, that's what I send him out there to do and that's what he's going to do. Tata you don't even know what you're in for."

GL: Do you feel that Zab is better at welterweight than he ever was at 140, and if so, why?

Yoel Judah: "He was an animal at 140 but he's better as a welterweight. He was at 140 his whole career, but now he's grown into being a welterweight, he's got his man strength, he's more confident and he's more mature than ever before. Zab is natural and solid at 147 and anyone who steps in that ring with him is going to disappear, I don't care who it is.

GL: So what round will Tata disappear in?

Yoel Judah: "If it goes longer than three I'll be shocked. I don't think he's getting out of three rounds."

GL: Is having your son defend his undisputed welterweight championship at Madison Square Garden something you dreamed about when Zab was a kid?

YJ: "I'm very excited about this. We've been there before but to headline at the Garden is unbelievable and we're going to give the New York fans what they want to see. Our people behind us have to be a little more solid, but I don't want to get into that right now, but I'm happy that Zab is headlining and I'll keep it at that for now."

GL: When will you and Mayorga get into camp to prepare him for his May 6 date with Oscar De La Hoya?

YJ: "We're looking at February 1."

GL: Why do you believe he's going to defeat De La Hoya?

YJ: "Right now I have a few things figured out on De La Hoya. Bernard broke him down and Trinidad had him at the end. Mayorga has a great chin and he could punch and we're going to show the whole world that De La Hoya's not going to be able to deal with his power and keep him away for twelve rounds. He's going to be on Oscar all night and he's not going to be wild. His defense is going to be intact and he's going be throwing pinpoint shots, nothing wild. Trust me; you're going to see a different fighter when he gets in there with Oscar. From the first round, Oscar's going to know what he's in for. He's going to have to fight."

GL: As long as Zab delivers on Saturday night, you're going to have to deal with the challenge of training Zab for Floyd and Mayorga for Oscar at the same time. Are you looking forward to that?

YJ: "Yeah, but it's nothing. I have five fighters in the game at the same time sometimes. It's just how you do things. Everybody has different styles and Mayorga's and Zab's styles are completely different, but I'm going to have enough time for both of them to make sure that they kick ass when they get in the ring."

GL: Tell us about Joe the Gorilla?

YJ: "He's maturing and he's coming into his own. He's done well in some tough sparring sessions I've put him in and as long as he continues to learn and put things together, he's going to be a problem. He's been schooled and he knows a lot of tricks, it's just about him putting it together. On Saturday night he's going to surprise a lot of people, I promise you that."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

YJ: "Don't miss this fight. If you're a fan go out there and buy a ticket and if you can't make it there you better to in."

Judah-Baldomir and Mormeck-Bell will be aired live on Showtime Championship Boxing January 7 at 9PM EST


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