After an eight month layoff, Zab Judah (38-6 with 26 KOs) showed no signs of ring rust. On Friday, July 16, 2010, he put in quick work against Jose Armando Santa Cruz (28-4 with 17 KOs), finishing him with a third round TKO.
The former junior Welterweight and Welterweight champion from Brooklyn, New York, Judah out-classed his Mexican counterpart by using speed and power, all of which are attributes that made him a force early in his career.
Jose Armando Santa Cruz, a former Lightweight champion, never had a chance in the fight as his boxing skills were clearly inferior to Judah’s.
Judah won the first two rounds with ease by working his jab, using great footwork and providing clean power shots. In the third round, he would use that jab to set up Santa Cruz for a vicious uppercut to the head which floored him. When Santa Cruz got up, Judah delivered a crushing three-punch combination, sending the Mexican to the ropes. The onslaught forced referee Benjy Estevez Jr to stop the fight at 2:33, preventing further harm to the already battered fighter.
With the victory, Judah not only gave the fans in Newark NJ a show, but sent message to the Welterweight division that the former champ is back. Having drop down to his true weight class and continuing to fight like the Zab of old, he can be force in the division. The ultimate goal is a world title belt and current champions Devon Alexander (WBC/IBF), Timothy Bradley (WBO), and Amir Khan (WBA) are all in the way.
A bout with any of the aforementioned champions could easily result in a possible fight of the year when it’s all said and done. So buckle up boxing fans, it’s going to be a wild ride.
By Keith Madyun