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Daniel Judah 2" src="" alt="" width="300" height="240" srcset=" 300w, 450w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Growing up Judah! Interview with Daniel Judah- Part II

By Boxing Reporter and Writer Chris Cercola

In this part of this exclusive interview with Brooklyn’s own Daniel Judah, Judah speaks about turning pro against David McCluskey, fighting Glen Johnson, fighting powerhouse Julian Letterlough, and his beef with Lou Del Valle.

David McCluskey was my first opponent… I fought June 18, 1999. Getting my first win felt good. It felt good, but then again, it was like… I was kind of, a little mad at myself ‘cause I know I was supposed to had got them out of there, but my dad was like… I was kicking myself in the ass. I was like, “Fuck! I shoulda, got them out of there, I shoulda knocked ‘em out, whatever… My dad was like, “Don’t be like that, don’t beat yourself up, don’t get upset because the guy got like 30-something fights, and he’d been in there with some of the best people”… and you know, it went the distance or whatever, ‘cause the guy was a mover or whatever, and I wanted to definitely display my talent, and I definitely did. I got the tape of that fight and everything. Oh man! I did everything in the book right, except knock the guy out, you know… I threw combinations! You know, sometimes the Lord don’t give you like… what you really wanted… to make it happen, you know… I had to fall back… I had to go back to the gym and just work on some things, and work on my power… actually work on my power, you know…

Fighting in the Garden, my fifth pro fight, was stupid! It meant the world! The world!!! I fought a guy from overseas, but the guy I fought from overseas, he was training at my gym, and my gym was Gleason’s at that time. I didn’t know his background, it didn’t matter… I said “When I get in there with him, I’m gonna take it right to him and do what I gotta do, and try to get them out of there as fast, as quick as possible!”… and it wasn’t in the little Garden, it was in the big Garden! We fought on the undercard of Lennox Lewis, and I believe, Michael Grant… We fought at the big Garden… so it wasn’t like the Paramount, where you know… you come watch… small. We fought in the big Garden… it felt even more better! I’m like, “Wow!”, and thinking, I went in there with a guy who was like, 1-1 at the time, or 1-2… something like that, and you know, I knocked him out, first round. You know, it did feel good man… that, felt good man… it felt real, real good… it was something…

There was a lot of talking going on, from Craig Salamone, and that was the brother-in-law of punk ass… the guy from the Bronx… Lou Del Valle… I would love to fight Lou Del Valle right now! I would love that fight! I fight May 5th… my next fight, I would love it to be Lou Del Valle. When I fought his brother-in-law, there was so much talking going on at the time… so much of, “I’m gonna fuck you up!”, and, “You ain’t got no chance!”, name calling… and they would call me names you know, I was just sitting there… he wasn’t calling me a name in my face, he would be way across the ring, or he would be way across… but wherever I see him at… it would be far, and he just yell out, “Yo,you better hope my boy don’t get you!”… whatever, whatever, whatever…

From the giddy-up… from the jump, Lou don’t like me because I beat some of his fighters, and his brothers in the amateurs… that, coming to the pro ranks, now it’s something different… but I would like to get Lou Del Valle in the ring right now, give ‘em a spanking… He think he’s retired, or is trying to come back whatever, whatever. Yeah he’s trying to come back, please… get one fight, and please make the next fight against Daniel Judah, and let’s do this in New York… let’s do this for the Bronx… I’m from Brooklyn! Hey… let’s do this baby! Let’s do this!

First… winning the New York championship man… felt so good man. Ya know, it felt… I was real emotional, you know… I grabbed my dad and hugged him, I was crying a little bit you know what I’m saying… ‘cause where I come from, we came up with nothing really, you know what I’m saying… you know, we didn’t have money like that, even though we had a house or whatever, my dad was out there doing what he had a do… and regardless of what he was doing, we really didn’t have nothing, and I’m the type of person… I want more… so I am emotional, and I got emotional that night I won, and everything just sat in place.

I fought Glen Johnson… the first time, honestly, I fought Glen Johnson on probably a week, or two weeks… didn’t get no boxing and didn’t get no sparring… Bruce Silverglade came… He made the fight, and he asking me, “Hey Danny, you wanna fight Glen Johnson?”… I was like, “who that?’, ‘Well, he’s an older guy, and he’s got a couple of losses …”, this, that… the third thing they told me, his record, and who he fought, and then he was like, “They looking for a fighter, the fight is on ESPN2, and they gonna pay you XYZ… But if you lose, you ain’t gonna get no money…” whatever, but I said, “You know what, I ain’t fuckin’ losing… Make the fight!”… But you know… it went to a draw or whatever, so we both got paid… but it was a damn good learning experience from Glen Johnson, and I believe… at that time, if I was right, right, right…

If I stayed my ass in the gym like I was supposed to… I would have won the first fight, no if’s, and’s or but’s, you know… so I never really heard about him… the only thing I knew about him, was what Bruce was telling me, “Oh, he’s just an old crafty veteran”. My dad said if he got all of them fights, that mean he got experience, so my dad was like just hit ‘em with the jab, don’t stand there with ‘em, let him use his legs, and make ‘em pay when you make ‘em miss… make ‘em pay!”, and I was listening to my dad, and I thought I pulled it out, but they called it a draw, so they wanted to give both of us half-and-half, and you know, gave us the money, and we had a do it a second time…

The Fight with Letterlough is another fight I thought I won… I had Stacey McKinley, the one that trained Mike Tyson… he trained me… he got me ready for that fight man… Julian Letterlough… Rest in peace… a damn good guy… all around person… stand-up guy… That was probably one of my best fights right there… Me and Julian Letterlough was a good fight, and it was one of those fights that brought the best out of it… I thought I had won the fight but they called that a draw too. I got dropped… they said I got dropped… but I got clothes-lined… When he clothes-lined me, I got not knocked down… they called it a knockdown… They gave me a eight count, and other than that, I guess I was winning the fight…

After the fight, Julian was just like, “It was a good fight”… he never said if he thought he won, or I lost he said, “It was a good fight”… You know, I’m a stand-up person, a standup guy, and I came to fight, and I was in tip top shape for him, ‘cause I knew he had just fought for a couple of world titles, and he was definitely knocking out everybody! He was the KO King, and I was like, ”Yo… I’m going against him!?”… Man, I was a little nervous, but you know what… I’m like, I don’t think you got what it takes… as far as like with the speed, and just like, the counterpunching I was doing, and so, I took the fight… I was signed with Warrior’s at the time, and it was a good experience… Again, I truly believed I won the fight… but I got hit with an eight count, and that’s what called it a draw, you know… He’s probably one of the strongest guys I ever fought he was real, real strong… he was retarded strong! Julian letterlough was retarded strong! For real…

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