The camps of IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson and mandatory challenger and ex-beltholder Zab Judah have been given until Oct. 2 to make a deal to face each other, according to IBF Championships Chairman Lindsay Tucker.
A bout between Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) and Judah (42-7, 29 KOs), an ex-welterweight champ and junior welterweight titleholder, could land in Peterson’s native Washington, D.C., if it happens, said the titleholder’s manager and trainer, Barry Hunter,
But the two sides have yet to reach an agreement, and as of Tuesday, were given until Oct. 2 to do so.
“We gave them the initial 30 days to negotiate, and they claimed that they couldn’t get it done. So we gave them an additional week, and then they came back last night and asked for some more time, but we told them ‘no.’ So the purse bid letter went out today,” said Tucker.
“The purse bid is scheduled for Oct. 2. But if they can reach an agreement before then, we can cancel the purse bid. Zab Judah is the mandatory challenger. So they have until Oct. 2 to either reach a deal or go to purse bid. The purse bid will be held at the IBF office on Tuesday at noon, Oct. 2.”
Judah is coming off a ninth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Vernon Paris in March that helped him to rebound from a fifth-round knockout loss to Khan in July of last year.
Judah had been promoted by Main Events, whose president is Kathy Duva..
“Zab has taken the position that our contract is up,” said Duva. “So we haven’t really had any talks with him, and we’re just as anxious as everyone else to see how this works out.”
Hunter said he has been dealing directly with the Judah.
“We’re trying to get to the table. I don’t think that the networks want that fight, so that’s what we’re up against. But we’ve made an offer from our side, and we’re just waiting on it. I would love to see it happen on Nov. 10,” said Hunter, who hopes to hold the bout at either the D.C. Amory or the Washington Convention Center.
“So we’re just waiting to hear back from Zab. In D.C., we know that we’ll get the numbers. I know that Zab has energy and juice left in him. He looked great in his last fight. The man can fight, he earned the right to be there, and he deserves the shot.”
Judah could not be reached for an immediate comment, but Hunter attributes the delay, in part, to a death in Judah’s family.
“I hope that all is well with Zab and his family during his time of grieving, and, hopefully, once he is beyond that, then we can get on with our business,” said Hunter.
“But I’m not trying to rush the man during this difficult time. It’s just that, unfortunately, we’re under a time frame within which to get this thing done. That’s where we’re at.”
Hunter also denied that he has attempted to negotiate a rematch with Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), whose controversial split-decision in June dethroned Manny Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
“Our whole thing right now is a focus on Zab mandatory, and to get this fight sealed up with Zab. If we can, eventually, get a fight with Bradley somewhere down the line, then I know that would be a fight that Lamont would be interested in,” said Hunter.
“That’s only natural, because Bradley is the only person to beat Lamont. But as it stands now, our whole deal is to try to get Zab in the ring. He told me that he wanted the fight. That’s what he told me, personally. That’s where we’re at now.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org