Joseph Judah Interview: "I'm taking my career into my own hands" By JD Camacho (Jan 13, 2010) DoghouseBoxing
DoghouseBoxing recently caught up with Joseph Judah of the fighting Judah Bros. and asked him about his burgeoning career.
JD: I’ve heard that you’ve described your style as “whatever a prime Zab Judah’s is.” That’s where you’re starting at.
JJ: I don’t describe my style as Zab’s. I have my own style. It’s just that I’ve learned a lot from him just as Zab learned a lot from Pernell Whitaker.
JD: Can you describe that further?
JJ: Well, basically, when Zab first started out boxing, that’s when I was a baby, a little toddler. He was training with Pernell Whitaker and Mike Tyson and all the other great champions out there. And when I started gettin’ older, I started training with Zab more, and I guess I learned my style, my slick southpaw style from Zab. But I have my own style. I’m (inaudible) than Zab and I weigh more than Zab, so, I kinda have my own little rhythm. But I kinda have a little picture of Zab’s style as well, of Pernell’s style, and my own. I’m learnin’ my own style as well.
JD: I’ve actually seen you fight on the Calzaghe-Jones undercard. However, you’ve had only one fight since then. Why do you feel that is?
JJ: Why I’ve only had one fight since Joe Calzaghe?
JD: Since November 2008.
JJ: Well, I fought on November the 8th, 2008 and then I just fought again on November the 6th [last year]. The reason about that break period, I can’t really tell ya. Honestly, I was lookin’ for the right promoters and just waitin’ around to see what was gonna come my way, but I see that nothing’s comin’ my way. So I just had to do my own thing now.
JD: Do you feel you’re progressing in the gym in the time off?
JJ: Yes. Well, right now I am. At that time, I honestly didn’t like it, you know, because I was trying to get on cards, get signed with some promoters, or anything, and there was nobody reachin’ out and at the same time I didn’t think nobody was interested in my career.
JD: I’ve heard the Judah Bros. describe themselves as a very close-knit group. Zab Judah has said that the Judah Bros. are forever. Do you feel the same way?
JJ: Yeah, definitely.
JD: Where do you think that comes from? Do you think it’s just family? Is it boxing? Or is it both?
JJ: Oh, it’s both man. It’s boxing, but first of all it’s family. We family before we come to the boxing ring. We brothers. I am my brothers’ keeper, and that’s just how it is. We both got each other’s back 110%, in anything we do.
JD: According to your record, you’re 5-0 but you have a single knockout. Do you feel that you’re using these rounds to get experience in the ring, or do you just wait for the KO to come?
JJ: You could say both. Those five fights I had were only four-round fights. Technically, after my first fight in September 2007 I had a long layoff and then I fought again on July the 5th. So as long as I stay in the ring and I stay fightin’, knockouts will eventually come. It’s just that I can’t take that long layoff and expect to go in there and think I’m gonna get a knockout. It’s not gonna work like that, ya know? I have to stay focused.
JD: Of course. Are still trained by your father Yoel Judah?
JJ: Currently, right now, no, I’m not training with him.
JD: Who are you training with right now?
JJ: I’m lookin’ for some good trainers out there right now. I’m lookin’ for a trainer that’s gonna enhance my style, other than try and change it.
JD: Do you have anything you’re specifically looking for, other than that?
JJ: No, not necessarily, no. If a good trainer come my way, and he’s 110% into Joseph Judah, and also into Joseph Judah Promotions, then we can go ahead (inaudible). But if he comes and he has other things on his mind, then it’s not gonna work.
JD: Is that one of the reasons why you’re no longer trained by your father? Or are there other reasons?
JJ: Ya, that’s one of the main reasons. He has a lot goin’ on. My father is an excellent trainer. Everybody wants him to train them. And I kinda think, bein’ that I only got five fights, I don’t know if he’s pushin’ my career, or if he’s not. I don’t know if it’s on his mind or not. But I’m a grown man, so now I’m taking my career into my own hands.
JD: Who were your boxing heroes growing up?
JJ: Boxing heroes? I gotta start out with Marvin Hagler. I got Tommy Hearns. I gotta lot of boxing heroes. My brother as well. Daniel Judah. Josiah Judah. All my brothers. Mike Tyson. Muhammad Ali, of course. I have a lot of boxing heroes. All the ones that had the potential to make it. Put it like this: my boxing heroes are everybody who has the potential to make a champion. Floyd Mayweather, all of them.
JD: For your recent fights, you’ve fought in the junior middleweight division. But in your last fight, you weighed in at 148. Do you feel that junior middleweight is a good fit, or as your career progresses do you feel you can fight at welterweight?
JJ: I want everybody to know: I am a welterweight. I walk around at 152, 153. I fight at ‘47. They put me at junior middleweight because at that time, I had a lot of weight on me. Like I said, I was fighting periodically, so as you sit around eatin’, not training, you’re eventually gonna gain weight. Now, I stay in shape. I walk around no higher than ’53, ’54. So, I am a welterweight. I fight at 147.
JD: Your alias is Christopher Crosby. What’s behind that?
JJ: That’s my first name. My first name is Christopher. My middle name is Joseph. I have my mother’s last name of Crosby. As a ring name, Joseph Judah follows under my brother and my father as well. Joseph Judah, Zab Judah, Judah Bros. We’ve been Judah since the amateur days, when the Judah Bros. were a group of us back in the 90s, when Zab was an amateur, Daniel was an amateur. I’m just taking the tradition now and runnin’ with it. Keep the spark goin’.
JD: I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Pacquiao Mayweather fight has fallen apart. In your opinion, who do you believe is right?
JJ: I have to say it’s 50-50. I agree with Floyd. I mean, I lost money on the Cotto fight with Pacquiao. I thought Cotto was gonna beat him. Cotto fought a lot bigger people and bigger names than Pacquiao did. And Pacquiao just came up from 130, 135, 140, and he’s demolishin’ guys, and you’re like, what happened? Like I said, I agree with Floyd. If he is taken steroids, then you take the test. But I also agree with Pacquiao. I’m not about to take no Olympic physical exam. I’ll take the regular boxing exam. I never asked you. You have an undefeated record. No one ever asked Floyd to take it. But at the same time, I agree with Floyd, and I agree with Pacquiao. I can’t really pick sides. I think they both have valid explanations.
JD: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the boxing community out there?
JJ: You can look out for Joseph Judah Promotions, and look out for Joseph Judah in 2010 and forever on. And I want to give a big thanks to Macke Roberts. He’s the president of Joseph Judah Promotions. And I want to give a big thanks to Carlos from Clip Boxing. I’ll be performing on his card on January 29th in Detroit, MI.
JD: Thank you. You’ve been an excellent interview.