Zab “Super” Judah was a questionable no-show during today's media conference call to promote his upcoming mega-fight with pound-for-pound king, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. With the undeniable sounds of a gym-in-action competing with the voices on the phone, you'd think Judah would take moments away from the rope-skipping and the bag pounding to answer certain deserving questions. But that wasn't the case as Yoel Judah, the keeper of the Judah clan and trainer to his son in the biggest fight of his life, answered all the questions and left little doubt as to what their camp thinks of the opponent at-hand.
“Floyd's got a real big mouth, we'll find out April 8 how much he can talk. We're gonna close his big a** mouth,” said Yoel Judah.
What was supposed to be a conference call for Judah the fighter to answer questions about rebounding off the most lackluster performance in his career to challenge the greatest fighter of his generation turned into an angry outburst by Judah the father who was unrelenting in his attack on Mayweather. If we didn't know before then we clearly know now that Yoel and company's buttons have been sufficiently pushed by the great trash-talking of Mayweather and now they're calling for his blood.
“When you push our buttons you got problems. This is going to make history for the next 100 years. It's like Katrina, it's coming, just watch.”
Whether Mayweather will have to face a devastating storm in Zab Judah and wipe away any blood at all come April 8 is a matter of debate, but it does seem evident that this time when Judah steps in the ring, he won't lack any motivation as he seemingly did against Carlos Baldomir.
Still, after thirty-plus minutes of Mayweather bashing today, I still wasn't sold on the Zab Judah show. Yoel made it seem that having a big mouth will inhibit Floyd from landing his punches.
When asked what advantage his son has over Mayweather Jr., Yoel Judah responded coldly, “When we step into the ring we have the advantage.”
And so went today's press conference. More curious questions from the media about Judah the fighter and more angry answers about Mayweather's antics by Judah the father.
Seemingly bothered by every question, Yoel continued in his aggressive tone, “He's focused, he's training hard. The big fight he gets up for. He's up for Floyd because he's got a big mouth. We're from Brooklyn, we take and that's what we're coming to do.”
Don King, who was unfairly blamed by Judah after his last loss for causing him to distract from training by making him take time to hype the fight, was supportive of his fighter's decision to skip today's interview in favor of honing his ring skills for April 8.
“He's got to revenge himself and that's what he's going to do to Mayweather. He doesn't want to talk because he's so upset and focused,” King said.
Now this isn't just a battle between two fighters who are “old friends” and who've been at the top of their sport for years, it's also about those two promoters who've been at the top of their “sport” seemingly ever since the extinction of the dinosaur. King and Arum are at it again, this time with the pound-for-pound title at stake and all the bragging rights to go along with it.
“A winner never quits and a quitter never wins so I'm going to keep on doing this against Bob,” King replied in response to how he feels about teaming up with his longtime adversary to promote this fight. As the great orator himself has said, “If it don't make dollars it don't make sense” and since this $44.95 HBO PPV fight should make “sense,” King and his counterpart should be all smiles. Yet, despite the co-promotion, don't think King isn't chomping at the bit to topple Arum in the baddest way. No matter how much money is made, these two men are destined to remain fierce competitors until the final deal is made and the final battle is fought.
“I'd be surprised if he doesn't destroy Floyd,” King predicted. “This fight will win fight of the year honors without a doubt.”
Judah is training in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is King's backyard, and thus the promoter has had a bird’s eye view of his fighter's physical and mental condition. Since Zab wasn't available and Yoel was too busy hating on Mayweather, it was King who ironically answered with most clarity exactly how Judah's preparation is going as if he himself was the man doing the training.
“Judah's got the will to win, and the mind can achieve what the body can't achieve. He's got that desire, that unbelievable commitment to take this guy out.”
Let's hope for Zab Judah's sake that his promoter's assessment is accurate and not mere hype to sell tickets, which we know he's a master at. The closest we got to Judah was listening to the pop-pop of his gloves hitting the bag and imagining what he might be thinking as April 8 closes in on him.
So we are left to speculate as to whether or not he will live up to the bold predictions of his father and promoter or wilt under the tremendous pressure of a career-defining fight against boxing's superman.