Although WBC junior welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would love to fight Ricky Hatton next, he doubts the world champion, who was ringside for Gatti-Mayweather last month, would want to risk his world championship, and IBF belt, in a unification match so quickly. If Mayweather can’t get Hatton in the ring for November, he’s willing to step up yet another weight class and face Zab Judah, for Judah’s world welterweight championship. Judah, who called Mayweather out not long after his win over Gatti, spent most his career at 140 pounds before knocking out Cory Spinks earlier this year to become the 147-pound king, while Mayweather began his career at 130 pounds and just left the 135-pound class last year. The powerful Judah, like Arturo Gatti and Diego “Chico” Corrales before him, would be the naturally bigger man against Mayweather, but the difference between Judah and Gatti and Corrales is that Judah has tremendous hand and foot speed.
A Judah-Mayweather showdown would pit speed versus speed, with Judah likely having the edge in the power department. No matter. Mayweather’s people, especially strength and conditioning coach Leonard Ellerbe, are confident that if the fight can ever be arranged, “Pretty Boy” will emerge victorious against the 147-pound champ without testing the welterweight waters against anyone else beforehand.
“Floyd can become undisputed champion at 147 as early as November,” said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s strength and conditioning coach. “We would fight Zab in our very next fight. It’s no disrespect to none of the other fighters out there, but Floyd Mayweather is not these other fighters, you know what I’m saying? It’s just that Floyd’s on a different level. Zab is not Floyd Mayweather. He’s a great fighter, but he’s not Floyd.”
Ellerbe added it doesn’t matter if Mayweather had to fight Judah at 154 pounds.
“Zab Judah cannot beat Floyd at no damn weight.”
Ellerbe said if both Hatton and Judah find a way to avoid Mayweather, “Pretty Boy” would love to fight Sugar Shane Mosley, who holds two decision victories over Oscar de la Hoya. However, he said the problem is “these guys, they’re not looking to fight Floyd,” adding, “They want to take tune-ups and look the other way.”
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