On April 8, 2006, The Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and HBO pay-per-view, will host the biggest battle between two Hip-Hop-like individuals since the war between Jay-Z and Nas. This time the opponents have just as much at stake, and it ain’t going down on wax.
During their teenage years, former comrades turned “sworn enemies,”
undefeated “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., who recently turned 29,
and three-time world champion “Super” Zab Judah, 28, would often find
themselves joking about the day they’d square off in the ring- deep
down both knowing that one day it would become a reality. With the two
Welterweights having so much in common, it’s no wonder they once held
such a close bond. Both men were guided by their fathers. Floyd Mayweather Sr. was a former world Welterweight champion who once took on Sugar Ray Leonard. And Yoel Judah is a 6-time kick boxing champion and seventh degree black belt owner, who worked closely with Martial arts Guru Chuck Norris. Both Floyd and Zab were instilled with old-school discipline that would eventually lead them to the domination of the boxing world.
Mayweather, with 35 wins, 0 losses, and 24 KO’s, earned the name "Pretty Boy" early on as a result of his ability to always leave a fight unscathed. As an orthodox fighter, his lightning speed, defense, and punching power, has him ranked at number one on just about everybody around the world’s list of boxing’s best pound-for pound kings. Mayweather, ever the businessman, offers a Hip-Hop sensibility, but refuses to be pigeonholed. On the other hand, remains a fixture in New York’s Hip-Hop scene, but has also managed to handle business inside the ring. Judah has 34 wins, 3 losses, and 25 KO’s. He’s the southpaw underdog amongst the two, was once compared to his idol, Pernell Whitaker, because of his fancy footwork, speed, and relentless power. During the pre-fight promotions for his bout with Carlos Baldomir, Mayweather’s name was rolling off of Judah’s tongue more so than the present contender and the Brooklyn native eventually lost to the underdog. He had Mayweather on the mind as Team Judah rocked t-shirts during the Baldomir fight that read, "Pretty Girl, You’re Next!"
Will the Zab Judah hit Mayweather with a dose of Ether? Or Will Floyd
knock out Zab Judah, Roc-A- Wear’s first spokes/sports model, in front
of Jay Z as he promises he will? AllHipHop spoke to both warriors shortly before the media blitz that presently surrounds them. Read On.
MAYWEATHER ON BUSINESS AND HIP-HOP:
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about your record label &
Floyd Mayweather: It’s called Philthy Rich Records. We would have dropped the album a long time ago, but everything is a learning experience. Everybody knows that I was with James Prince [CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records] for a while, he’s the guy I brought into the boxing game. I helped his company blow big in the boxing game. He was supposed to help me in the music game, it never happened, things happen, so I moved on. One of my artists was Jumbo from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Then we got another artist, Dirt Bomb, from Chicago, we bring him out, we showed him a lot of things, he’s good but not good enough to be on a major level. Then we gotta another guy Earl Hayes, who’s coming out on Interscope, extremely talented artist. He’s under Dr. Dre’s schooling right now, and his album will be coming out in ’06 or ’07. Our main guy is H-Flow from Cleveland, Ohio. He’s unbelievable, he’s the total package and he’s going to blow huge.
AllHipHop.com: How has Hip-Hop influenced you? Were you a real Hip-Hop head growing up?
Floyd Mayweather: I love Hip-Hop, and I love R&B, and I love rap artists, but I’m a little different from Zab Judah. I got my fame from putting fighters on their back pocket, and putting them on their face, and racking up victory, that’s how I got my fame. He got his fame from being a video groupie. I like rap artists and they’re good, some of them even come over my house and hang out. But I ain’t into being in everybody’s video and all that.
AllHipHop.com: Raekwon was on Hot 97 FM with Miss Jones, and they asked him…
Floyd Mayweather: There’s a difference, there’s a difference. I was with J. Prince, and he had an artist Tela, so I was in a little clip for him. And I
did a little clip for Raekwon because he brought me out into the ring
one time, and I gave him a little exposure, a favor for a favor, two
times in ten years. Every time you see me, I ain’t tryin’ to light no
lighter and dance behind Lil’ Kim or chase Jay-Z, that ain’t my style! I
got my own fame, I’m my own man.
JUDAH ON BUSINESS AND HIP-HOP
AllHipHop.com: What’s you’re affiliation to Roc-A-Fella?
Zab Judah: I’m the first athlete to ever become a spokesperson for
Roc-A-Wear – not State Property, not Team Roc, but Roc-A-Wear.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about your record label &
Zab Judah: My record label is called Super Cartel. It started out about two
years ago, and it’s going pretty well. I got artists: Synthero, Young
Geo, Desperado, E-Money and I got young Zion, he’s 11 years old right
now, and he plays the piano and sings crazy!
AllHipHop.com: And you also previously mentioned that you have a deal under a major record label too?
Zab Judah: I got a deal not too long ago with Warner Music Group. I’m also
working on a distribution deal with Koch for a Zab Judah Compilation
album, which will feature the artist on Super Cartel and other artists
AllHipHop.com: What’s your relationship to Lil’ Kim?
Zab Judah: She’s a sister to me.
AllHipHop.com: How’s she doing?
Zab Judah: She’s doing really well in there, she got a job in there, she’s aight, she’s thuggin’ it BK style.
AllHipHop.com: I hear that she’s been running up all of the phone minutes [300 a month] that they give her.
Zab Judah: Yeah, we all know Kim, everybody that knows Kim knows that she loves the telephone, and she can talk a lot. Every month believe me, she runs up her minutes. But otherwise, health-wise, she’s okay. She’ll be in the streets real soon.
MAYWEATHER, THE BUSINESSMAN:
AllHipHop.com: This is the biggest fight between two Hip-Hop entrepreneurs since Jay-Z and Nas battled.
Floyd Mayweather: I’m not a Hip-Hop entrepreneur, I love all type of music and it’s more like I’m just a businessman. He’s more on the Hip-Hop level , I’m more all around. We’re two guys that are loved in the Hip-Hop world, I
would say. And come April 8th, I’ll be the last man standing.
AllHipHop.com: Any opening acts lined up for Saturday night?
Floyd Mayweather: We don’t know, we’ve been talking with a few people. The only deal I want to cut is this: Mobb Deep is a hell of a group, they’re great artists, they want to bring me out [to the ring] but I told them the only way
they can bring me out is by H-Flow becoming G-Unit. Me and 50 are going
to cut a deal, we’re going to put something together cause we’re real
AllHipHop.com: I spoke to Havoc and Prodigy recently and asked them their view on
the fight and they said that they’re cool with Zab, but they’re betting
their money on you. Actually, about 98% of the people I surveyed say
that you’re going to win.
Floyd Mayweather: Oh yeah! For some many years, I’ve been what you call that fo’ Sho’
money, I’ve been that fo’ sho’ money for over a decade now.
AllHipHop.com: Don King mentioned that the music industry has taken a big interest
in this fight, and I also heard you say “Jay-Z’s going to be there, and
I’m going to knock Zab out in front of Jay-Z.” Can you give me any
insight on the music industry participating in the fight?
Floyd Mayweather: There’s supposed to be music conference in Palm Springs, or somewhere
in California. They say everybody’s leaving [California] Saturday night,
and going back Sunday. They said it’s supposed to be crazy. I don’t
focus on that though. I always knew time would tell everybody and
they’d soon wake up and see that I’m truth.
JUDAH ON BOXING:
AllHipHop.com: When did you start boxing?
Zab Judah: I started boxing at the age of two. Most guys say they’ve been a
pimp since age two, I’ve been a boxer since two. I had had my first
competitive fight at the age of six in a tournament in New York City called the Kid
AllHipHop.com: What challenges do you think you will face with Mayweather,
considering that he has no loses out of the 34 fights with 23 KO’s?
Zab Judah: He ain’t fought nobody!
MAYWEATHER ON BOXING:
AllHipHop.com: What sets you and Zab apart?
Floyd Mayweather: Zab do what he do, I do what I do. I guess he only prepares for the
big fights. Small fights, he don’t care too much about. Me, I prepare for
all fights. All fights are big fights to me, and that’s the difference
between us. Our styles are totally different, my hair is clean cut, and
he’s bald headed, he got diamonds in his mouth, I got diamonds on my
AllHipHop.com: Floyd, you have an impressive record 35-0-24, what is it that drives you to
stay on top?
Floyd Mayweather: Victory, not money. If any athlete chases victory, then money comes
along with it – just like in the music game. If you make good music, money
is going to come. I’m always hungry for victory. It don’t
matter if you love me or hate me, God loves me &I’m always able to get
up for big fights no matter what. That’s why we work so hard. The
entertainment and sports business are the same it’s all about selling
tickets; it’s all about selling that arena out and having that
AllHipHop.com: At the press conference, you gave a lot of thanks to God what’s your relationship?
Floyd Mayweather: Out of everybody in the world he could’ve chosen anyone but he chose
AllHipHop.com: What’s you’re everyday lifestyle like?
Floyd Mayweather: I’m always preparing &when I chill I’m at the crib, riding around
in my cars, driving my son in the Ferrari. I’m driving in the Maybach
with the kids and the nanny – the kids get food everywhere, but you know.
JUDAH: ZAB FOUGHT A LOT:
AllHipHop.com: Zab, What is it that makes you strive to be the best?
Zab Judah: As long as there’s guys out there like Mayweather, it’s not even money. It’s just being the best, I love what I do. My idol, Pernell Whitaker, told me one time, "Once you start fighting for money, it’s over. When you lose the thrill and the drive to get up and want to go to the gym and spar or fight it’s a wrap." At the end of the day, when you’re a winner, money is gonna come but when you’re a loser, you can’t get money.
AllHipHop.com: The majority of boxing fans around the world have been waiting for the big day when Judah vs. Mayweather.
Zab Judah: Floyd got a good strategy going on; he knows what he’s doing. He’s a good fighter, but as far as him having notoriety within the hood, outside of boxing, he really can’t get it. The only other alternative for him is to go after a fighter that’s out there and more popular than him and say, I want to fight him and make a name for himself. It’s a smart campaign though. For people who don’t know who he is, they finally get a chance to learn about him. When they hear him shout my name out, people say, "Oh, this guy is fighting Zab." But he doesn’t even have to take it to that extreme. If he gives me a couple of hours, I’ll market him right. I’ll let the world know who he is. It’s going to be bad. He pops a lot of s**t, but I’m going to knock him the f**k out, man!
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned to me before that because of your status, growing up in
Brooklyn, people used to often test you in the streets. What was that like? And
does that pertain to the present?
Zab Judah: If you go up to Brownsville, and ask about me as a kid coming up, everybody will tell you, "Zab fought a lot." That’s all I would do is beat mothaf**kas up. I was known for that, I was a product of my environment. Once I got out of my environment, I moved on to bigger and better things. I adapted to a new mentality. More or less, if I’m in the city and I’m in a club that might consist of a couple wild out cats in there, sometimes you got to adapt to your environment. But most of time, when I’m out or even out of town people got love, so it really ain’t nothing.
"THREE FIGHTS AND I’M FINISHED!"
AllHipHop.com: What do you want to accomplish as a boxer before retirement?
Zab Judah: If things can go the way I want it to go, I want Mayweather first,
Mosley and go out with Delahoya. Three fights, and I’m finished, if I could
get it that way, with wins and knock-outs on those three guys, they’ll
be no way you can’t mention my name when you mention Muhammad Ali.