LAS VEGAS — A junior welterweight matchup between four-division titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez and former beltholder Zab Judah is being considered for July 14 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, according to Judah and the fighters’ respective promoters.
“I have been talking to [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum about it since late Thursday,” said Kathy Duva, president of Main Events, who promotes Judah. “However, Top Rank has not made an offer. They are merely considering possible opponents for Marquez at this point.”
Arum acknowledged that talks have begun, and that he expects to make a decision on Monday.
A 34-year-old southpaw and former welterweight and junior welterweight titleholder, Judah (42-7, 29 knockouts) is coming off a ninth-round stoppage win over previously undefeated Vernon Paris in March, his first fight since a fifth-round knockout loss to Amir Khan in July of last year.
In losing to Khan, Judah relinquished the IBF junior welterweight belt that he had earned with a seventh-round stoppage of Kaizer Mabuza in March of last year.
The loss also ended a streak of five straight wins for Judah, three of them by knockout, since a ninth-round technical decision loss to Joshua Clottey in August of 2008.
Judah earned his first belt — the IBF’s version — when he stopped Jan Piet Bergman in February of 2000. He defended that belt five times with four knockouts before losing it via second-round stoppage to Kostya Tszyu in November of 2001.
“Marquez is a fight that was brought to me on Thursday, and I think that it’s a fight that I would like to engage in. You know, July 14, if all of the negotiations go right, you should see Judah and Marquez,” said Judah.
“I’m ready. All that I do is campaign at a high level. I campaign with the best out here, you know. I only want to be known as fighting the best, competing with the best, and beating the best. When it’s all said and done, I want to be known as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) is coming off April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt. Prior to that, Marquez, 38, had lost his third match with WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao last November by a disputed majority decision.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org