To give you an idea of how far boxing has fallen off the radar of most sports fans, the Zab Judah-Lucas Matthysse fight on Saturday night in Newark was the first fight I watched since Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley fought in May. The bout between the two men was a display of opposing gameplans: Judah went head hunting and kept peppering Matthysse with jabs to the left eye while Matthysse attacked Zab’s body relentlessly.
Judah seemed to be doing the most damage during the middle rounds, landing a good amount of punches and out-pointing Matthysse. The fight-changing moment occurred in the 10th round when Matthysse dropped Judah, recording the fight’s only knockdown. Matthysse hit him squarely in the face with a right, and after standing for about a second, the stunned Zab went down. The knockdown happened towards the end of the round, so Zab was able to fight his way through it until the bell sounded.
In the 11th and 12th, Matthysse proved to be the better fighter, doing more damage to an already injured Judah. The problem is Zab won enough rounds early to give him the lead on the cards prior to the beating he took the final three rounds. Zab easily won rounds 5-9 before getting hammered in the 10th. Two judges had the fight 114-113 in favor of Zab while the other judge had it 114-113 Matthysse.
Many folks were understandably upset over the result, but the problem is Judah did enough the first nine rounds to give him the win. Matthysse’s knockdown made it seem like he got the best of Zab by the end, but he didn’t do enough the first nine rounds. The most satisfying and deserving outcome to the fight would have been a draw.