ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights
Newark, New Jersey
Former Welterweight Champion, Zab “Super” Judah, 38-6, 26 KO’s, returns to the ring, taking on the very capable Jose Armando Santa Cruz, 28-4, 17 KO’s. Judah has always been on the verge of superstardom, but has never been able to get that signature win. He gave Floyd Mayweather, JR., hell for six rounds before losing his focus and the decision. He shook up Miguel Cotto a few times before losing by late TKO. He lost his first big showdown to Kostya Tszyu in 2001 when he dominated the first round but got careless in the second and paid dearly for it. Focus or lack thereof has been the biggest enemy to the Judah career.
At 32 years of age, and power in both hands, Judah hopes to rejuvenate his career against the smaller Armando Cruz. Armando Cruz made his name for himself when he beat Joel Casamayor in 2007 but got totally robbed on the decision loss. He pushed hard for a rematch that was never to be. He’s gone 3-1 in his last four, but the only winner out of his last four opponents, stopped him in 6 rounds. He may be damaged goods and an easy early knockout for Judah, but there is a chance that he could make it interesting. It should be a fun fight no matter what.
On the undercard, welterweight Alex Perez, 11-0, 7 KO’s, takes on Edvan Dos Santos Barros, 10-9-1, 7 KO’s, in an eight round bout.
Middleweight southpaw, Fernando Guerrero, 18-0, 15 KO’s, takes on his toughest opponent to date with former Contender star, Ishe Smith, 21-4, 9 KO’s. Smith is playing the role of spoiler coming into Friday’s fight and he has done it before. In 2008, he upset Pawel Wolak, an undefeated fighter with a record of 21-0. He has never been stopped and Guerrero with 15 of his 18 fights ending before the final bell, he would make quite the statement by stopping Smith.
Also on the card is light middleweight, Shawn Porter, 15-0, 12 KO’s. He will be taking on Ray Robinson, 11-1, 4 KO’s.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
The return of the “TuaMan,” will be shown on Pay Per View, as David Tua, 51-3-1, 43 KO’s, is returning to the rankings and hopes to capitalize on the lack of star power in the division by making his way back. He is taking on former title challenger, Monte Barrett, 34-9, 20 KO’s.
Tua has never lived up to his potential. He knocked out men like John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman, and Oleg Maskaev, all of which would go on to win world titles after their losses to Tua, but David could never capture the gold. His one chance came against Lennox Lewis in 2000 and a fat 245 pound Tua struggled, losing a wide decision. It was very disappointing for him and his fan base that he came into this fight so apparently unprepared.
Tua has weighed in the 240 range for his last couple of fights, but it looks like a tighter 240. Most would agree that he sacrifices the speed he has while 220, his best weight, but he still has that monster punch and a great chin…two things that may give the Klitschko brothers big trouble if he ever gets the chance.
Up first is Monte Barrett, a loser by KO in two of his three last fights. He’s lost six of his last nine fights and after watching Odlanier Solis beat him around the ring for two rounds, it may be safe to say that he doesn’t have much left. Barrett has always been a warrior and has been through many wars and it has taken much out of him. Tua knows this and will pounce early…hoping for another spectacular knockout in the early rounds.
Rancho Mirage, California
Timothy Bradley, 25-0, 11 KO’s, returns to the ring Saturday night in a 12 round welterweight bout against Luis Carlos Abregu, 29-0, 23 KO’s. Bradley has been slowly establishing himself as one of the best in the game with wins over Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt. He will be facing the relatively untested power-puncher, Abregu on HBO. Abregu’s biggest name on his record was the veteran David Estrada. He eked by with a split decision. He will have his hands full with the busy Bradley Saturday night.
In a WBC Light Middleweight Eliminator, the exciting Alfredo Angulo, 18-1, 15 KO’s, will be taking on former WBA champ, Joachim Alcine, 32-1, 19 KO’s. Angulo was a bit rushed when he had his first defeat to the seasoned former champion, Kermit Cintron, but he has rebounded nicely and plans to stop Alcine as Daniel Santos was able to do in 2008. Alcine surprised a lot of people when he defeated Travis Simms to take the WBA title and he does have a big heart. His chin is the question and Angulo and his people believe they have an answer that will send the former champion into dreamland.
This is a very good double header…guaranteed excitement for the boxing fans.