November 4, 2001
Las Vegas, Nevada MGM Grand
The southpaw Judah (27-1-1nc, 21 KO's) came out strong in the first round and drilled Tszyu (28-1-1, 23) with a number of solid shots that jolted the WBA/ WBC champion. At the 2:06 mark of the 1st, Judah (139 Â½) tagged Tszyu (140) with a stiff right jab to the head. Moments later, Judah, Brooklyn, NY, staggered Tszyu with a whistling left uppercut that caught the former Soviet amateur star just under the chin. Tszyu, Sydney, Australia, via Siberia, staggered straight back and Judah scored again with a clubbing left hand to the head. Tszyu was forced to give ground and careen back against the ropes as Judah connected with a quick combination to the face. Tszyu was forced to hold on and Nady separated the fighters.
With 56-seconds remaining in the opening round, Judah, 23, scored again with another quick salvo to the face. Judah continued to fire shots and caught Tszyu leaning back with yet another laser-like left to the head. Judah's hand speed seemingly overwhelmed Tszyu, 32, and Russian native was forced to give ground. Tszyu rallied slightly in the last few seconds of the first round and connected with a right hand to the head but he missed with a left hook to the body.
Zab Judah's night ended with the taste of ashes and leather. WBA/WBC king Kostya Tszyu scored a stunning second round TKO over the Judah to win the unified 140-pound world championship at the 2:59 mark.
With one-second remaining the round, Tszyu nailed Judah with a clean right hand to the chin. The IBF champ Judah hit the deck flat on his back but popped back on his feet only to stagger sideways and then collapse to the canvas for the second time. Veteran referee Jay Nady waved off the world title bout at count of four despite Judah's vigorous protest.
Within moments of the conclusion of the fight, seconds, handlers, and security personnel filled the ring. Nevertheless, despite being held back by his cornermen, Judah managed to force his way back across the ring and stick his left glove under the referee's throat. In the ensuing chaos as officials attempted to clear the ring, Judah threw his stool at the referee.
" I got hit with a shot pulling back. I went down, maybe I got up too fast," Judah said after the defeat. "Why did he stop the fight? He didn't even give me a count. This was wrong." "The reason I stopped the fight was because he was almost unconscious when he went down the first time, and his equilibrium was so bad the second time, I was concerned about the second concussion syndrome," Nady explained after the conclusion of the fight. "And I thought if he got hit again he might have some real damage."
"I did not hit him with my power punch," the three to one underdog Tszyu said after the victory. "It was good accuracy at exactly the right time."
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