NEW YORK – Zab Judah stopped Vernon Paris at 2:27 of the ninth round on Saturday night in an IBF Junior Welterweight elimination fight.
Judah dominated the fight with a methodical punching style. He finally finished off Paris (26-1) by getting him into a corner and unleashing about 15 unanswered punches.
"My team put in a great game plan for me," Judah said. "I just executed."
When the fight was stopped, Judah was winning on the judges' scorecards by scores of 80-72 and 79-73.
After finishing Paris off, Judah ran to each corner and climbed the ropes in triumph to face his adoring Brooklyn fans.
"I feel like I was fighting for my home turf again," Judah said. "My thing was to not go in there and get wild. I wanted to dictate the pace. He was looking to slip and throw some overhand wild shots to just try and catch me and that wasn't going to work."
Fighting in his native Brooklyn for the first time as a professional, Judah improved to 42-7 and recorded his 29th career knockout. Among those defeats is last July's disappointing fifth-round knockout against Amir Khan, with whom he may get a rematch against.
Khan will fight Lamont Peterson on May 19 and the winner of that light welterweight championship fight would likely battle Judah, who is a former five-time champion. One of those belts was a light welterweight, which was earned by beating Micky Ward in 1998.
Judah walked into the ring with a determined stare and paced from one corner to the other corner while waiting for the fight to begin. He then turned that determined look into an excellent performance, and showed he wasn't flustered by Paris' expletive-filled trash talking.
Paris' banter in the ring was a continuation from a news conference on Thursday when he said that Judah was washed up and merely fighting for paydays.
"He tried to talk me out of my game," Judah said. "That wasn't going to faze me. I didn't let none of that bother me."
He had Paris near the ropes several times, including one instance in the opening round that prompted the 24-year-old to briefly lose his mouthpiece. In the second round, Paris was rocked by a left hook.
After ending the fourth with a flurry, Judah dominated with his uppercut and hook in the next four rounds before ultimately finishing it.