“No mas! No mas!” pleaded Roberto Duran.
“My balls! My balls!” protested Zab Judah.
Their excuses may have differed, Judah blaming an illegal shot to the groin and Duran blaming cramps, but the reasoning was the same. Neither man had the stomach to continue fighting under heavy assault but in the macho world of boxing, admitting that your bottle has gone just isn’t an option.
Amir Khan racked up his most impressive conquest so far in beating a Zab Judah who many thought would be too fast and too strong for the chinny Brit…as long as he wasn’t over-the-hill of course. When it came to the fight it may be a little too harsh on Judah to say he’s over-the-hill, this defeat may have been a result of his famed inconsistency or possibly even the assumption that, as his camp would have been telling him ad nauseum, he was indeed too quick and too strong to lose.
The reality was that Khan was too good for him. Judah may not be as good as he once was but even at his best a win here would have been no certainty. And he knew as much as he kneeled on the canvas hoping the referee would buy into his ruse and grant him some much needed recovery time. Much needed because he’d been shipping heavy shots for four and a half rounds and was struggling to keep away from the lightning-quick Khan, not because he’d taken a shot to the groin.
He simply wasn’t hit below the belt. On the belt yes but that’s completely legal. Replays from all angles exonerate the Bolton fighter. Some of the rhetoric used to explain this “incident” in the US media suggested that Khan had gotten away with something by the skin of his teeth. He landed a legal blow which hurt his opponent. That should be the end of it. That Judah either chose not to rise or was unable to rise makes no difference, at least not to Khan. If anyone was trying to cheat in this fight it was Judah.
Like Duran, Judah wanted out of a fight he knew he wasn’t going to win, a fight where he was already hurting after less than five rounds and it wasn’t going to get any easier. He wanted to cry out “No mas!” but his pride wouldn’t allow it. Instead he stayed down, held his unharmed groin and called his conqueror a cheat. Khan has had to defend himself out of the ring because Judah no longer wanted to do it inside of it. Balls to that my friends.