By Arne K. Lang
Zab Judah and promoter Roy Englebrecht appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission this morning (Wednesday, March 23) for a preliminary hearing on their suspended licenses. Judah, a former world champion in the 140 and 147 pound weight classes, was to headline a card promoted by Englebrecht at the outdoor Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on March 12. The entire show was cancelled with little advance warning when it was determined that Judah provided false information on his license application form. Englebrecht, a longtime fixture on the Southern California boxing scene, signed Judah’s name to the document, a well-established practice in boxing, notwithstanding the fact that it constitutes an act of forgery.
On the form, Judah/Englebrecht answered “no” to the question of whether there were any liens against the fighter. To the contrary, there are at least three separate court orders against Judah for back child support. According to information provided at today’s hearing, the total amount that is currently owed is $240,000.
Zab Judah did not speak at the hearing, other than answering “yes” or “no” to perfunctory questions. Attorney Jay Brown was his spokesman.
Brown noted that Judah is in a catch-22. To satisfy the courts, he must have a way to earn money and boxing is the only “job” that he has ever held. Noting that Judah is now 38 years old, Brown said “the clock is ticking here” and that if Judah’s license isn’t reinstated in a reasonable amount of time “that would further narrow his narrowing time frame.” Brown asserted that Judah paid $249,712 in child support payments between July 2010 and July 2013 and mentioned that he has performed volunteer work mentoring at-risk youth at Nevada’s Spring Mountain Youth Center.
Roy Englebrecht appeared without counsel and spoke eloquently without the benefit of notes. “I made a mistake,” said Englebrecht. “I used poor judgment…I damaged the trust you placed in me…I accept full responsibility….I’m sorry.”
Englebrecht noted that he is now 70 years old, that his career as a boxing promoter spans 31 years, that he has never bounced a check despite promoting mostly club shows without TV or casino money, that he is licensed in five states, and that this is the first occasion of its kind for him. “I would hope that the commission takes into consideration my full body of work,” he said.
The licenses of Judah and Englebrecht remain suspended. No resolution was made at today’s hearing other than extending the suspensions until the matter is adjudicated. A vote is expected at the May meeting of the commission. At that time, Judah and Englebrecht will be able to provide additional information. Speaking to reporters, Englebrecht alluded to facts that haven’t yet been made public, facts that he will bring to light at his next hearing.