Former welterweight and junior welterweight titleholder Zab Judah will be trained by his uncle, James Harvey, for Saturday night’s clash with unbeaten Vernon Paris of Detrot, rather than former champion, Pernell Whitaker, who was with Judah for his past two fights.
“He is being trained by James Harvey,” wrote Kathy Duva, president of Judah’s promoter, Main Events, in an e-mail to RingTV.com. “Harvey is Zab’s uncle, and he has been in Zab’s corner as assistant trainer for Zab’s entire career.”
Whitaker, like the 34-year-old Judah, is a southpaw. With Whitaker in his corner, Judah (41-7, 28 knockouts) regained the IBF junior welterweight belt by beating Kaizer Mabuza ln March of last year, but lost it by fifth-round knockout against Amir Khan in July.
The loss to Khan ended a streak of five straight wins, three of them by knockout, since a ninth-round technical decision loss to Joshua Clottey in August of 2008.
A former RING welterweight champion, as well as ex-holder of the WBA, WBC and IBF welterweight and WBO junior welterweight titles, Judah will face Paris (26-0, 15 KOs) in an IBF eliminator on the NBC Sports Network’s “Fight Night” from the Aviator Sports Complex in Judah’s native Brooklyn, N.Y.
TOMASZ ADAMEK IS “READY TO FIGHT” AGAIN
Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek will face the Domincan Republic’s Nagy Aguilera on the Judah-Paris undercard with plans to return to the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., where he is immensly popular, on June 16.
In his quest to rebound from against Aguilera (17-6, 12 knockouts) from a 10th-round stoppage loss to WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko that ended his run of 13 straight victories in September, Adamek (44-2, 28 KOs) said that he is simply attempting to turn in a solid performance.
“When I go into the ring, it’s to win fights. I don’t know when or how. Only God knows. But I’m happy and I’m ready to fight. I’m training very hard. I’m ready to fight. Vitali’s a different fighter than Nagy Aguilera, who is more my size,” said the 6-foot-2 Adamek, who was out-weighed, 243-to-216 by the 6-7 Klitschko.
“But every fight is different. There’s always something, you know. We’ll see what’s going to happen on March 24. I think that I’ll win on March 24. Against Vitali, I was very slow. I was not the true Tomasz Adamek.”
Aguilera is coming off a third-round knockout of Stacy Frazier that ended a three-fight losing streak, capped by Aguilera’s third-round stoppage loss to Chris Arreola in May of last year. Adamek vanquished Arreola by majority decision in April of 2010.
“I’m 35 years old. I’m still a hungry fighter,” said Adamek, whose only other loss was by decision to Chad Dawson as a light heavyweight in 2007. “I want to come back and show everybody that I can win this fight and again get into future title fights.”
Also on the card is heavyweight Sergei Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KOs), who will meet Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings (12-0, 5 KOs).
PARIS ENDURED TROUBLED PAST
Six years ago, Paris was shot three times in his native Detroit: Once each in the back of the head, groin and back. Two of the bullets still are lodged in his groin and back, the latter being so close to his spinal cord that doctors are wary of removing it.
“The first thing that popped into my head was, ‘Pops just told me not to hang with these people.’ He had just told me, and then I let them get me,” said Paris, referring to his father in a report by Yahoo!Sports. “I let them get me. I was hit in the back of the head, and I thought I was done, and I said to myself, ‘I should have listened to Pops.’”
Nicknamed, “The Iceman,” Paris has won two of his past four fights by knockout, including one in the seventh round over Tim Coleman in August that ended a five-fight winning streak for the previously once-beaten fighter.
“The details of this kid’s life are horrible, and when you hear about him being shot in the head and stabbed all over his body, those are only two incidents,” said Carlos Llinas, who signed Paris to a promotional contract when the boxer was 18. “There are so many things that have happened, we’d be here talking forever. I could tell you things that would curdle your blood, trust me.”
JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ SAYS SUSPENSION WOULD “ADVANCE MY RETIREMENT”
Former WBO titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez (31-2, 28 KOs) is facing suspensions by the Professional Boxing Commission of Puerto Rico and the WBO in relation to disparaging comments he made following his 10th-round TKO loss to Orlando Salido (38-11-2, 26 KOs) on March 10 about referee Roberto Ramirez Sr.
Lopez faces a temporary suspension pending a March 26 hearing with the Puerto Rican commission, according to Peter Rivera, Lopez’s Puerto Rico-based co-promoter along with Top Rank. Lopez has been suspended for one year by the WBO pending his hearing with that organization on a date that was to be determined this week, Rivera said.
But during a press conference in his native Puerto Rico where he issued a second apology on Wednesday, Lopez said that he would likely retire in the event of a year-long suspension.
“It would advance my retirement,” said Lopez. “Boxing is my job, I couldn’t go a year without fight.”
Lopez was originally dethroned by Salido via eighth-round stoppage in April on Showtime in a bout that was officiated by Roberto Ramirez Jr. Salido-Lopez II was televised by Showtime and refereed by Roberto Ramirez Sr. Both fights took place in Lopez’s native Puerto Rico.
“I want to apologize again, now in public, to Roberto Ramirez for the comments I made after the fight against Salido. I’m embarrassed for all what happened and I want that Ramirez forgive me,” said Lopez on Wednesday.
“I don’t remember what I said. I’m ashamed. I saw the fight and, really, I was hurt. Roberto [did] a good job in stopping the fight. I apologize again to Ramirez and to all the fans in Puerto Rico and around the world.”
Lopez publicly apologized to Ramirez on March 11 in a statement.
“I want to apologize to Roberto for the comments I made after the fight against Salido. Roberto is one of the best referees in the world, he did a great job and I appreciate him for protecting me because I was definitely hurt. Everyone knows how much I trained for this fight and all the sacrifices I made because I wanted to give a great victory to Puerto Rico. Maybe, in my frustration for failing my country, I said things that right now I don’t remember,” said Lopez.
:And I want to delete. And again, I want to thank Roberto for his work. Also, I want to give the credit to Salido for his victory and thank to him for coming to my country to give me the rematch. There was a great fight as all of the fans could watch and I want to thank all the fans for their support. I want the fans to know that I have some things to (accomplish) in boxing and I’ll be back soon.”
VYACHESLAV SENCHENKO-PAULIE MALIGNAGGI TO BE TELEVISED ON INTEGRATED SPORTS
Integrated Sports Media has announced that it will televise the WBA welterweight bout between titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko and former IBF junior welterweight beltholder Paulie Malignaggi on April 29 on pay per view on April 29 from the Donbass Arena, Donetsk in Senchenko’s native Ukraine.
Nicknamed “The Magic Man,” Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) is coming off a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision over Orlando Lora on Oct. 1 that was his third straight welterweight victory since being stopped in the 11th round by Amir Khan as a junior welterweight in May of last year.
Senchenko (32-0, 21 KOs) is returning to the site of his last victory, a sixth-round knockout over Marco Antonio Avendano last August.