Zab Judah vs Micky Ward – Highlights (Underrated Fight)


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June 7th, 1998. 20 year old Zab “Super” Judah takes on veteran “Irish” Micky Ward for the USBA Interim Light Welterweight Title. Going into the fight, Ward was already a 13 year veteran of the sport and have fought 12 round fights many times while Judah had only fought past the 8th round once in his young career. This fight was seen as a test for the young, upcoming Judah who had a good amateur career with a record of 110-5. This is also Judah’s first ever title fight.

Going into the fight Judah was 15(11)-0 since making his professional debut back in September 1996, a month short of his 19th birthday. On the other hand, Micky Ward had a record of 31(22)-8 with notable wins over Alfonso Sanchez, Louis Veader (2x), Tony Martin and Frankie Warren.

For the most part of the fight, Judah outboxes the veteran with his hand speed, defensive skills and combination punching. However, the incredibly tough Irishman continues to push the fight relentlessly and able to land good shots from time to time despite being outboxed for the most part. While this appears to be a one sided fight, it is in no way boring as it was action packed and Ward’s persistence in pushing the action despite the clear disparity in speed and boxing skills.

“It’s the closest lopsided fight I think you will find.”
– Bob Pappa

In Round 1, Judah was warned for a hard low blow with referee Jorge Alonso giving Ward the 5 minute recovery time. Then in Round 9, Ward returned the favor. However, neither were penalized for the fouls. Throughout the fight, both fighters exchanged taunts in the ring.

Note that neither of these two mentioned fouls are featured in the highlights.

Interestingly, Ward was fighting with the southpaw stance in most rounds despite being more effective fighting in the orthodox stance as Al Bernstein noted. Going into the 9th round, Bernstein’s unofficial scorecard was 89-82 in favor of Zab Judah.

In a 2013 interview, Zab Judah have stated Micky Ward to be his toughest opponent.

Enjoy the highlights of this underrated Junior Welterweight bout and be sure to comment, rate and subscribe! Muchos gracias and never stop punching!



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