By Mike Indri
Retired Boxers Foundation
The stage was set. The Theater at Madison Square Garden would play host to Zab Judah’s mandatory WBC welterweight title defense against light hitting Carlos Baldomir, almost a 15-1 betting underdog. It was supposssed to be a fight that would amount to presumably nothing more than a mere prelude to the undisputed welterweight champion’s tentatively scheduled mega-fight against boxing’s pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The problem was no one told this to Carlos Baldomir.
The message delivered to Baldomir, by many; including manager Javier Zapata and revered trainer Amilcar Brusa, that this was his opportunity for greatness.
Carlos Baldomir listened, and came prepared and ready. Zab Judah did not.
Judah, along with the 4,735 fans that were rooting for their local Brooklyn bred fighter, expected a quick and flashy knockout. All were shocked and dismayed as Baldomir outworked and outpointed the heavily favored Judah en route to a unanimous twelve round decision victory.
The early rounds saw Judah flicking jabs and moving, yet never exhibiting the type of razor precision punching and blistering combinations that enabled the speedy southpaw to lay claim to all the welterweight division’s title belts last year in resounding fashion against former undisputed champ Cory Spinks (TKO 9: 2/2/05).
Baldomir never stopped pressing the fight and, while his style not pretty, it was effective. With the boos cascading throughout the arena since round three, Judah relegated his dissipating offense to a sparse amount of jabs and even fewer meaningful power punches. Baldomir, to his credit, never took a backwards step and continued to fight; earning the crowd’s respect… and more importantly, that of the three judges.
After landing his best punch of the fight in the sixth round Judah never proposed any further threat.
Judah, virtual “no-show” for the rest of the fight, as attested by the judges scorecards: Melvina Lathan (115-112), Guido Cavallieri (115-113) and Julie Lederman (114-113) which all declared Bald-omir as the winner and new champion.
While not the most talented WBC champion (Judah’s WBA & IBF titles are now vacant) Baldomir has to be one of the proudest. Fighting on guts and heart, the new champion faced insurmountable odds to even get his fight for the title, let alone beat the superiorly gifted and skilled Judah in his hometown.
“This is beautiful, a dream come true,” stated an elated Baldomir (now 42-9-6), who now joins fellow countrymen and boyhood hero, the late great Carlos Monzon, as a world champion.
Reprinted from the BoxingScene.com The Source for Online Boxing.