By Jake Donovan
Zab Judah scored his biggest win in years on Monday—receiving a clean bill of health upon being released from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. New York.
The former two-division champ was admitted over the weekend after suffering a brain bleed following his 11th round stoppage loss to Cletus Seldin in their super lightweight bout Friday evening at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Details were greatly exaggerated as to his health status, although it was serious enough to where he required medical attention throughout the weekend.
An early prognosis suggested he would be held for further observation until at least Tuesday, but responded to treatment quicker than expected.
“Star Boxing is pleased to announce that today, 6-time world champion Zab “Super” Judah was released from the hospital after being admitted after Friday night's fight at Turning Stone Resort Casino,” Star Boxing said in a press statement. “While he will need rest, the prognosis looks promising.
“Thank you to all of those that sent your well wishes to Zab and his family during this pressing time.”
The bout topped an annual show which takes place as part of the Hall of Fame weekend—with the Hall of Fame itself located one exit away in Canastota, New York. Seldin—nine years younger than the 41-year old Judah—set an aggressive pace from the opening bell and won virtually every round. Judah’s fighting heart was evident, but the aged southpaw could no longer pull the trigger, save for moments of success.
Judah was badly rocked in round ten before Seldin forced the stoppage one round later. Ever the fighter, Judah vehemently protested the stoppage ruling by referee Charlie Fitch, whom absolutely made the right call on the spot as a knockout seemed imminent.
Not only was it the correct call, but one which potentially saved the boxer’s life.
The signs weren’t immediate, as Judah even posed for photos with Seldin in the hotel lobby after the bout, before joining his family for a late dinner. It was then when he felt off—as described by his loved ones—and was urged to admit himself into the hospital.
Judah was taking to Upstate University Hospital on the SUNY-Upstate campus in Syracuse—roughly 40 minutes from Verona—where it was discovered that there was bleeding on the brain for which he was immediately treated. False reports suggested he had slipped into a coma, but the boxer was alert and in relatively good spirits during his entire stay.
Of course, the injury—coupled with his advanced age and eroded skills—clearly signals the end of a respectable career. Brooklyn’s Judah (44-10, 30KOs) enjoyed three separate super lightweight title reigns, the last of which came years after having knocked out Cory Spinks in their Feb. 2005 rematch to win the World welterweight championship.
The bout with Seldin (24-1, 20KOs)—who was born and raised in Eastern Long Island but now lives and trains in Brooklyn—marked his third fight since returning to the ring in 2017 following more than three years on the other side of the ropes.
He showed up at Thursday’s weigh-in at an incredibly light 138.25 pounds, slightly lighter than his weight 19 years prior in his first career title win.
Seldin has now won three straight following a Dec. 2017 loss to Yves Ulysse Jr.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox