BOXING legend Zab Judah named famed body puncher Micky Ward as his toughest ever opponent.
Judah held titles in two weights during his career and faced the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto.
But it was Ward – who inspired the Oscar-winning film The Fighter – who Judah rated as the most gruelling.
And the American's trademark body shots still live long in the memory for Judah, who won the fight on points.
He told OLBG: “Micky Ward was my toughest opponent because I was 15-0, fighting a legend, and he had a body punch that would stop a donkey.
"He was no joke. I never had to use my mind capacity the way I had to use it in the Ward fight.
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"That was hard. I’ve been fighting my whole life, there’s nothing physically hard for me.
"But I never had to use my brain and mind capacity as I did in the Micky Ward fight.”
Judah, now retired, was beaten by boxing icon Mayweather in their 2006 IBF title fight.
The bout will forever be remembered for the all-out brawl during round ten following a low-blow from Judah.
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Mayweather's uncle and coach Roger – who sadly died in 2020 – stormed into the ring sparking the mass melee.
Judah went on to lose on the cards but what is not as well remembered is the phantom knockdown he scored in fight.
As Mayweather leaped in with a lead right hand, he was met with a check hook and his glove touched the canvas.
It should have been ruled a knockdown but instead the referee deemed it a slip.
Judah, 45, later patched things up with Mayweather, 46, and they became training partners and friends, as he let the knockdown go.
He said: “It was a knockdown, but it doesn’t bother me because people know what they saw.
"I don’t care what the scoreboard or stats say, you cannot fool people’s eyes.
"The world knew what they saw. Floyd was tremendous and is in a great situation in life right now.
"He can take that perfect Mayweather unbeaten record and run it up with celebrity fights. He’s doing a brilliant job with it.
“Floyd is one of the top guys I’ve had the opportunity of sharing the ring with; fast, great defence, ring smart and it was a great night, but we showed up that night. Team Judah.”
It was a body shot from Khan that crippled Judah in 2011, but the New Yorker still protests that it was low.
And despite losing all four of the rounds on the official scorecards before the KO, Judah believes he was in control.
He said: “I feel like the fight was a cheat, I got hit in the balls and I went down. I was winning the fight. I think I was cheated out of that fight.
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"Amir Khan acted like a swell gentleman after the fight, he did nothing wrong and performed and behaved as he should. He won the fight and moved on.
"To this day me and Khan are friends and when we see each other there’s good energy, from time to time we shout each other out on a call on WhatsApp, there’s nobody I fought who I have a problem with.”
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