A big day Saturday, lead off by the Zab Judah fight in New York City. Zab is one of the potential stars of the fight game, a man in need of a huge win to rise in the ranks of the pound for pound rankings. He was close to getting that fight with the best of the best, Floyd Mayweather Jr., but needed to win a tune-up last night.
As they say, that's why they play the game. Carlos Baldomir won a unanimous decision, dealing a serious blow to Judah's future. He came at Judah from the beginning of the fight, in the tradition of the great Argentinian fighters, relentlessly pursuing Judah and never allowing Judah to use his speed and power. I can't really say much, other than that this is a shocking loss and ruins the potential Mayweather-Judah fight that many people have been clamoring for. Judah looked past this "tune-up", and now is left to pick up the pieces of his career for his unprofessional atttitude toward the fight.
While it's disappointing for future fights, it's always nice to see an underdog win, especially in front of a hostile crowd. In all honesty, it's hard to root for a guy as cocky and arrogant as Judah, the only fighter repping NYC. Baldomir claims to want a Mayweather fight, but I really hope that Floyd chooses this Judah loss as a chance to go up in weight class and find some competition.
Lots of great blog reaction, as I have been sleeping on way too many great sites dealing with the greatest sport ever. The folks at Sweet Science have a nice roundup of the fight and the reaction to Judah's loss and whining. East Coast Boxing sums it up succinctly with their post, Zab "Losah." Let Your Hands Go enjoyed seeing the arrogant Judah lose, and even came up with a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" analogy. Gemini 38 feels shame for the entire borough of Brooklyn as a result of Zab's performance. TG's Blog comes to love boxing more after this card. hitthemagain has some sage advice for all fighters after watching Judah look ahead to his next fight.
-In the unadulterated great defeats category, Tom Delay has officially stepped down as the House majority leader. It appears that his indictment, his future trouble from the Abramoff case and his pariah status in an election year sunk the Bugman. It really couldn't happen to a better guy, as Delay has been at the forefront of the modern Republican party and its culture war, tax cuts, greed, corruption and McCarthyite attacks on the opposition. (Update: As a nice final piece, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Delay's request to have his appeal thrown out. Nine Republican judges do not agree with his belief that this is a meritless, partisan attack. [Via Talking Points Memo])
-There was a fatal shark attack in Australia this weekend, and our thoughts are with the victim's family. As MC knows all too well now, I am fascinated by sharks and would spend hours every weekend watching shark documentaries on The Discovery Channel if the network's programmers indulged me. This one is stunning, because it appears to involve three bull sharks, with one of the sharks chasing the victim and rescuers to the shore. It must be remembered that man has never been able to tame this animal; it is the only one on Earth about which that can be said, and for that it deserves our respect and fear.
-For anyone in Philly Saturday night, there was just no need for fighting, as The Pop-Off Shack brought dancing, good music, drunkeness and fun to the Metro Lounge for a night. I will have more to say about this party, but for now, know that this is going to be the party of the year anywhere. For real, greatness is predicted.
-To make it up to NYC for Zab's tank, we're going to focus on one of your other native sons doing big things tomorrow as we wrap up our look at the best mixtapes of the past year.