Monday, October 8, 2012

DJ Gatsby Bookclub Interview

Check out my latest interview... and all comments are encouraged afterwards...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

David L. Interviews... Zab Judah For Urban Grapevine Magazine

Interview with Zab Judah – Friday June 15th, 2012 Don’t Call It A Comeback! By: David L.


That might have been the classic line from the blockbuster smash hit, Friday starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, however, this may have very well been what has been going through the mind of Zab “Super” Judah since the time he began taking boxing seriously. Why? Because this man has been knocking out men throughout boxing rings across the globe for years… after years… after years (you get my point.) You say you don’t know who Zab Judah is? Then you’ve left me no choice but to come to one of two conclusions: 1) you’ve been living in a cave for the better part of the turn of the century or 2) you have the sports knowledge of a fruit fly with its wings cut off (yeah – I said it!) Either way, let me rectify the situation: Zab Judah (hereafter to be referred to as simply “Zab”) was born October 27TH and began boxing at the tender age of six years old. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, he is presently 34 years old (you figure out his year of birth) and has compiled an impressive amateur record of 110-5. His professional debut was on September 20th, 1996, defeating Michael Johnson by technical knock out (TKO) in the 2nd round. Since that time, Zab has won an astounding 5 world titles between the weight classes of Welterweight, Light Welterweight and Junior Middleweight divisions. Did I mention he is a former undisputed World Welterweight Champion OF THE WORLD?!?! He aptly secured this amazing feat by knocking out the formidable former champion Cory Spinks. That being said – it’s on this rare occasion that I was able to slow Zab down enough to secure this interview and share it with you - the fortunate readers and supporters that have held him down since his rise to fame, notoriety and quite possibly – a return to world domination..

Zab is presently in Vegas training for his next knockout win so catching up with him was a feat all in itself. For those that don’t yet comprehend the magnitude of what I just wrote – allow me to repeat myself: I was able to get the man slash iconic boxing legend, “Super” Judah on the phone to chop it up with me for several minutes, albeit his verrrrry busy schedule in order to secure the cover story for none other than the soon to be worldwide (drum roll please…) Grapevine Magazine! Real recognize real and being that Zab also represents the planet of Brooklyn much like myself, I knew I had to crank out a metaphorical “homerun” exclusive interview to the readers in order to land the cover story!

Prelude to the interview… Allow me to paint the proverbial picture of what almost never transpired:

Me: “So Ms. Davina Perez (Zab’s publicist of Venus Management Company), do you think Zab will allow me to interview him for this up-and-coming magazine? I think he would be the perfect individual to put it on the map. He is a stand up guy in the community and that is exactly what this magazine is looking for in its subject matter and overall storyline. I can promise you nothing but integrity and I won’t “sneak attack” him with any questions that will damage his rep or clown him in any type of way.”

Davina: “Lemme see. He’s got a fight coming up and he’s out in Vegas right now training for it.”

Me: “Well, I appreciate whatever you can make happen. See what you can do. If you could just give me about 10-15 minutes of his time… I promise the interview will be nothing but classy.”

Davina: “I won’t make any promises. I’ll get back to you.” Now most of the time when someone says, “I’ll get back to you”, you’re most often already doomed from the start. But I wasn’t talking to just anybody. From the initial conversation, I was able to detect the level of class that makes up the camp of Zab Judah. Ms. Perez reminded me that he was in the West Coast and to call him at exactly 4pm (EST). A couple of hours went by and I was again contacted by his publicist: “David, are you there.”

Me: “I’m here.” Ms. Perez again asked the question. But not to me.: “Zab – are you there?” JACKPOT! I immediately recognized his voice from several years ago (I reminded Zab that I previously met him at a celebrity sponsorship event that him and I was hosting at The Salvation Army in NYC). I immediately thanked him for taking the time to do this interview with me and promised that my line of questioning would not infringe on his privacy or go on for too long so that he could immediately get back to his upcoming fight. Instead, I subtly requested that we continue part 2 of this interview at a later date upon his return to Brooklyn which Zab graciously accepted.


(DL): Do you have a preference in your fighting weight?

Zab Judah (ZJ): Nahh, no preference. Hmmm… I guess if I did, it would be Junior Welterweight. I began my career at this weight and won the majority of my titles at this weight. But overall – it don’t really matter to me. Proper training takes precedence over everything so more than anything else, I stay on top of my training habits and how I take care of my body. I can fight comfortably at any weight.

DL: What is your most memorable fight? Why?

ZJ: Probably winning the undisputed Welterweight title in St. Louis when I beat Cory Spinks. That was a special moment for me. I mean I was young, raw, you know? Yeah – that was probably the fight that stands out most for me. Every fight is special in its own way, but that one got me to where I am today.

DL: Any pre-fight rituals? Superstitions? You know how some athletes might have to wear a pair of lucky socks or something? Or they may have a favorite pre-game meal? Wassup with you?

ZJ: No rituals. No superstitions. I just say my prayer to the Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ – that’s all. As long as I have Christ in my life, everything works itself out. I’ve never been a big believer in superstitions or any thing like that. I’m very confident before I walk into a boxing ring because I train my body so hard. I feel that as long as I train hard, everything will go in my direction. I’m focused. I go out there in the ring and let my hard work do the talking for me. That’s why I don’t get into the whole “superstitious” thing. For me – nothing but hard work and practice. That’s my ritual!

DL: What would the casual fan be surprised about you? Gimme something that you can give the reader into the private life of Zab Judah. Something most people have no idea about you.

ZJ: (Thinks for a moment…) I would say the casual fan would be surprised that I ride dirt bikes. Love them! Yeah that’s what I love doing during my off time. Right now it’s about my upcoming fight, but when I have that down time, I ride.

DL: With respect to Father’s Day, how do you spend time with your kids and family? And does your hectic training schedule get in the way?

ZJ: Well you know none of that even matters cause anyone that knows me knows that my family travels EVERYWHERE with me! I don’t travel without my family! They’re at EVERY fight! I’m big on education and I have a daughter graduating from High School so I have to be mindful of the fact that school is priority. Where ever I train and fight, they are all nearby.

DL: What is your favorite location to fight at? Why?

ZJ: I don’t really have a favorite location. I can fight anywhere. No pressure whatsoever! It doesn’t even matter at the end of the day. I can fight in St. Louis, matter of fact – that’s one of my favorite places just because I’m like a hometown hero there as well! I can fight in front of my own hometown in Brooklyn to Vegas to wherever. Matter of fact, they are soon doing something in Brooklyn (Barclay Center) so look for me there as well.

DL: Upcoming events? Final thoughts?

ZJ: I had an organization previously called Fight For Life, in which I sponsored several holiday events for kids and I mentored them about accomplishing their goals and staying out of trouble. I am very proud of a program I’m involved in presently through my foundation. It’s an anti-bullying program through my Zab Judah Cares foundation in which I educate the youth on bullying awareness and how to prevent bullying in the school system. This organization focuses on helping children see the dangers of bullying and my goal is to teach children to become friendlier with one another and improve their socialization skills. You know – bullying is a serious topic right now. We are doing a five city tour in the near future in Minnesota, Ft. Worth, TX, Dallas, TX and Detroit just to name some of the cities. My overall goal is to make kids know that there is someone out here that cares about them because I was bullied as a youngster and I understand how it feels to be bullied. Yeah – big things are happening right now.

Post Interview: Zab continues to use boxing as a tool for kids and young adults to stay out of trouble in the streets of Brooklyn as he himself did when he was younger. Zab back in the day would often go to the local gym with his mother and father, both former martial arts champions in their own right. Both parents continue to play pivotal roles in Zab’s career and even to this day, he looks to them for guidance and direction. The family believed that if they trained all of their children from a young age, they would become champions in the ring… and in life – and it paid off. Zab’s present foundation, Zab Judah Cares focus is to mentor young children and teach them that bullying is not a nice way to treat peers and that bullying can eventually lead to the bullied child to feeling helpless, intimidated, and possibly even leading to suicide.

Zab plans to set up a hotline for kids to contact him and his organization if they are feeling intimidated and helpless and needs someone to talk to and he will also be available to come out to different schools and organizations to discuss “bullying and its negative effects” on all young people. Zab recently visited Moscow, Russia and met with the President. He was treated very well and was impressed with what they had to offer and the great fighters that inhabit the country. Zab was told by the President of Russia he was welcomed back at any time as he continues to develop his international relationships in the boxing industry because he wants to acknowledge the skills of boxers in America and internationally abroad. This will undoubtedly bring him one step closer to becoming the global icon he looks forward to becoming down the stretch of his career. Presently, Zab will be making his acting debut in a movie called “The Obama Effect” because of its interesting premise (more on that at a later time). The movie features such prominent actors such as Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Emilio Rivera and Katt Williams.

You can log onto Youtube to check out the trailer of “The Obama Effect”. Also check out Judah Bros. Boxing gym in Brooklyn at 400 Liberty Avenue where Zab’s father, Yoel trains young men and women to become future champions and where Zab trains when he is in New York. I promised Zab I would keep our first interview (of a future part 2 series) short and informal so as to not put any damper on his present training regimen, but trust – I will put it down even that much more when we follow up in the near future. For now – enjoy the proverbial “appetizer” and get ready for the best to come… and remember: Men lie. Women lie. Great interviews speak 4 themselves! Nuff said.

Follow David L. on Twitter at: @almightydavidl

David L. is also the author of Over Your Dead Body, My Life Is A Movie, Chalk Outline Confessions: The Remix & Represent. All David L. titles can be purchased via his website at: All David L. titles are also available via Kindle & Nook