Dear Zab, Congratulations! You lived up to your nickname, “Super,” knocking out Cory Spinks and I have tremendous respect for you and your team. I know how hard you’ve worked to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. You earned your title shot and took advantage of your opportunity. Now it’s my turn. I am your mandatory challenger. The IBF wouldn’t have allowed Spinks-Judah II to happen if both you and Spinks hadn’t signed an agreement that the winner would defend the title against me within 90 days of your February 5 fight. I was the No. 1 contender; you were No. 3 (No. 2 not rated).
I am sure you received the same letter from the IBF as I did, reminding you of your commitment, mandated by the IBF, to fight me by May 6. You deserve everything you have and I know you don’t want to relinquish your IBF belt without fighting me.
Before you start dreaming about a rematch against Kostya Tszyu, or big money fights against Oscar De La Hoya or Shane Mosley, you have to get past this hungry, 147-pound Mexican who is stronger than anybody you’ve ever stepped in the ring against. I’m riding a seven-fight win streak, including the last four by knockout, and at 28 I haven’t even reached my prime.
Going into Spinks’ backyard and knocking him out was amazing, I know. When I fought (Dec. 4, 2003) unbeaten (28-0-1) contender James Hare, I had to go halfway around the world to his hometown in England, and I stopped him in the 10th.
Zab, you’re wearing my belt, and I’m ready to fight you for it. I heard that your promoter, Don King, is talking about you fighting your mandatory defense April 2. Let’s get it done. Just have your people call my promoter, Guilty Boxing. IBF No. 1 Contender,