Kostya Tszyu vs. Zab Judah

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Kostya Tszyu vs. Zab Judah.jpg

Kostya Tszyu 140 lbs beat Zab Judah 140 lbs by TKO at 2:59 in round 2 of 12

Judah protests ref's decision to stop fight
Associated Press, November 3, 2001

LAS VEGAS -- Zab Judah started the night throwing punches at Kostya Tszyu. He ended it throwing a stool and trying to hit the referee after a shocking and quick end to his 140-pound title unification fight.

Tszyu won the undisputed 140-pound title Saturday night with a right hand at the end of the second round that wasn't disputed. What was in dispute was referee Jay Nady's decision to end the fight with Judah still willing to fight on.

Judah had to be held back as he tried to punch Nady and threw a stool at him after losing both his IBF junior welterweight title and the first fight of his career.

"Why did he stop the fight? He didn't even give me a count," Judah said. "This was wrong."

Tszyu, a 2½-1 underdog despite coming into the fight with both the WBA and WBC titles, caught Judah with a crushing right hand across the jaw with one second left in the second round that put him on the canvas.

Just as quickly as he went down, however, Judah got back up. He was motioning to Nady as he did, but then stumbled across the ring and fell to the canvas again near his corner.

Nady waved the fight to a close as Judah argued with him to let him continue, without ever counting him out.

"The man was hurt," Nady said. "I had to protect the fighter."

Gary Shaw, Judah's promoter, said he would protest the ending of the fight to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the three sanctioning organizations.

"It was incompetence on the part of the referee for not following the rules of the Nevada Commission and allowing Zab to fight the next round," Shaw said.

Tszyu had lost the first round but came back to fight well in the second before landing the big punch that put his younger and flashier fellow champion down.

"I really believe this was my destiny," Tszyu said. "I'm part of history now."

Nevada boxing officials said they would review tapes to see whether to take any action against Judah, who had to be restrained by his father, Yoel, and handlers several minutes after the fight ended from going after Nady.

"Everything was so confusing in the ring," said Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "We'll look at it and have a determination very soon."

It was a sudden end to a promising fight featuring the flashy Judah, a two-time national amateur champion who was 27-0 with 21 knockouts against Tszyu, a 32-year-old Russian turned Australian who is 28-1-1.

Tszyu lost the first round but was winning the second when he hit Judah with a right hand late in the round that sent him toward a neutral corner.

Tszyu followed him and landed a crunching right hand that put Judah on his rear end on the canvas. Judah got up right away and was talking to Nady, but staggered across the ring and fell to the canvas again.

"I did not hit him with my power punch," Tszyu said. "It was good accuracy at exactly the right time."

When he got up, Nady was waving the fight to a close at 2:59 of the second round. The referee never started a count.

"I was concerned he might get hurt after getting hit with a very powerful punch that appeared to render him momentarily unconscious," Nady said.

Tszyu, 140, earned $1.5 million, the biggest purse of his career. Judah, 139½, was paid $1 million.

There was no question about Judah's talent before the fight, but there was some about the quality of his opponents. Moving up to fight Tszyu, a seasoned champion, was a big step in his career and hopes of becoming a big name champion.

Judah had plenty of big-name help around him at ringside, with Mike Tyson escorting him into the ring and heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman among his supporters at ringside.

Tyson walked in at Judah's side on his way to the ring, with one hand on his shoulder and whispering things in his ear.

After his friend was stopped, though, the former heavyweight champion could only watch from ringside in disbelief as Judah vigorously protested the decision to stop it.

"I could have fought on," said Judah, of Brooklyn, N.Y. "I'm in a world title fight and I got hit with a good shot. I'm pretty sure I was up. I felt I was never given a chance for the count."

On the undercard, unbeaten Francisco Bojado scored his ninth straight knockout by stopping Mauro Lucero in the first round of a scheduled 10-round fight.

Bojado, 142, a member of the 2000 Mexican Olympic boxing team, improved to 9-0 when Lucero (34-9-1) went down after what appeared to be a glancing left hook and was counted out at 2:14 of the first.

"I was a little disappointed he didn't get up," Bojado said. "Next time, we'll pick a tougher opponent." [1]

Judah Fined $75,000 And Suspended
The New York Times, December 1, 2001

Zab Judah, the former junior welterweight champion, was fined $75,000 and suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission yesterday for throwing a stool and putting a glove to a referee's chin after losing a match last month.

"It's fair," Judah said after pleading his case before the commission, which approved the sanctions, 5-0. "It cost me a couple bucks, but in six months, I'll be back in the title hunt."

Judah, a 24-year-old Brooklyn native, apologized for charging Referee Jay Nady and throwing a stool in anger after Nady stopped his fight with Kostya Tszyu at the end of the second round on Nov. 3 in Las Vegas.

"We're letting the world know we're not going to stand for violations that take place in the ring," Commissioner Glenn Carano said.

The loss was the first for Judah, who had been the International Boxing Federation's 140-pound champion. He was fighting a unification bout with Tszyu, the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council champion. "It was more or less the biggest fight of my life," Judah said. "Emotions took over."

Tszyu said after the fight that Judah should be fined and stripped of his ranking.

"Boxing is the victim here," Nady said yesterday at the hearing. "Our sport is diminished by this action."

The $75,000 fine will be deducted from Judah's $885,000 paycheck, which had been held up pending action by the commission. [2]