It’s a tad late for a holiday wish list, but what the heck. On my 2009 Boxing Wish List is a big, meaningful, juicy, lucrative bout for Glen Johnson later this year. “The Road Warrior” hasn’t been able to entice Chad Dawson to give him another crack, or Joe Calzaghe to put off retirement, or lure Bernard Hopkins into a fortysomething vs. fortysomething duel. So he chose to stay busy, and keep in shape, with a scrap against Daniel Judah at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Johnson put Judah down at the end of the first, and did what he wanted, when he wanted, enroute to a unanimous decision win over Zab’s younger brother. A tip of the TSS cap to Johnson for making the choice to keep the rust off, and give Friday Night Fights a taste of a world class hitter.
The two-time light heavyweight titlist Johnson (age 40; from Jamaica, living in Florida; 175 ¼ pounds) came in with a 48-12-2 record and the lefty Judah (age 31; from New York; 175 pounds) was 23-3-3 entering. The two men had fought to a draw in April 2003.
Johnson figured to be the busier man, as Judah has a tendency to pose too much. In the first, Johnson knocked down with a lead right. The New Yorker sagged into the ropes, and the ref determined that the ropes held him up. A throwaway jab to the body made Judah drop his hands, and set him up for the money shot. Johnson blasted away to the body in the second, and was truly dialed in. He looked like he was picturing Dawson or Hopkins in Judah’s place. Judah, with long arms and torso, does not, puzzlingly, utilize a potent jab. But he did some decent work outside in the middle rounds, though he still pushed too many punches, and didn’t snap them. Johnson stalked and banged, stalked and banged, and Judah was reduced to shaking his head to indicate that he wasn’t hurt.
Norberto Gonzalez (16-0 entering) met Antwone Smith (14-1-1 coming in) in a welterweight matchup. Gonzalez hit the deck in round two off a right hand. He also suffered a cut on his left eye lid in the third. The judges spoke after eight: they saw it 78-74 x3, for Smith.
In the show opener, lefty Danny O’Connor (3-0 coming) of Framingham, Mass., wearing trunks that he sewed himself, took on Jamar Saunders (2-1-1) in a junior welterweight scrap. It was a pretty even bout, but the Mass. man took it, 38-38, 40-36, 40-36.