Former two-division world titleholder Zab Judah remained hospitalized at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, on Sunday after suffering bleeding on his brain during an 11th-round knockout loss to Cletus Seldin on Friday night.
“[Judah is] awake, communicating with his family and doctors and making progress,” Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia told ESPN. “Beyond that his family is requesting privacy at this time about his medical condition.”
DeGuardia promoted a boxing card on Friday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, as part of the 30th annual International Hall of Fame induction weekend, which culminated on Sunday with the new class being inducted at the museum in nearby Canastota, New York.
In his first bout in 17 months, Judah (44-10, 30 KOs), 41, who won six world titles in stints at welterweight and junior welterweight, took on fellow Brooklyn, New York, native Cletus Seldin (24-1, 20 KOs), 32, in the junior welterweight main event.
They set a torrid pace and engaged in a very physical fight. Seldin landed a powerful right hand that had Judah very unsteady in the third round, but he managed to survive. But Seldin was in command and after an onslaught of shots on Judah, referee Charlie Fitch to stop the fight at 1 minute, 41 seconds of the 11th round.
DeGuardia said because it had been such a brutal fight “we had Zab go the hospital to get checked. It was a high-volume fight, not a minute to breath kind of fight. Cletus was all over Zab for almost the entire fight. Zab really dug down and showed his champion’s heart.”
DeGuardia said Judah was examined and released from the hospital and returned to the hotel with no issues.
“I saw him at about 2:30 in the morning. He was with his family having food at the diner in the hotel and I was with my staff there. I talked to Zab for about 10 or 15 minutes. We talked about the fight, how he had a great career and how it’s time [to retire]. He agreed. He said he had a good career and accomplished a lot and that he was proud of the fight he fought against Cletus. He seemed fine. I went upstairs, but later at the diner he wasn’t good and went back to the hospital.
“We’re all pulling for him. In boxing it’s all a fraternity but with Judah and his father (and trainer Yoel Judah) I go back 30 years with them so it hits home.”
During a professional career that began in 1996, Judah has faced numerous top fighters, including Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, Cory Spinks, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Paulie Malignaggi. But he has been very inactive in recent years.
The fight against Seldin was only Judah’s third since a decision loss to Malignaggi in 2013, after which he did not fight again until 2017.