Zab Judah has not boxed since a decision loss to Paulie Malignaggi in their December 2013 battle for Brooklyn bragging rights, his second defeat in a row. He also lost a decision challenging then-unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia eight months earlier.
But Judah, a former three-time junior welterweight titleholder and the former undisputed welterweight world champion, said he never contemplated retirement.
Now he is set to end his long layoff, announcing on Monday that he has signed with promoter Greg Cohen, who will work with Judah's Super Judah Promotions to put on his fights.
"I never thought about retirement," Judah told ESPN on Monday. "I always knew I could be better. I just need to put in 110 percent effort, and things will come out great."
Judah said he will return in September on one of Cohen's CBS Sports Network-televised cards. He said they are looking for an opponent, although he added that two have already dropped out on him.
"I am overjoyed to be adding a superstar of Zab's caliber to my promotional roster," Cohen said. "Zab has been in with every great fighter of this era and beaten many of them. He is a Brooklyn boxing legend and still a force to be reckoned with at 140 pounds. He still has the speed and reflexes of a top fighter, and after a few comeback appearances, he will be ready for another assault on the current kings of the division."
Judah (42-9, 29 KOs) said that even though he has not fought for a while, he has trained. In fact, he was one of Floyd Mayweather's sparring partners as Mayweather was preparing for his May 2 showdown with Manny Pacquiao. It was during that camp that Judah said he felt like he could still fight at a high level, and that is what pushed him to line up a comeback.
"After the Mayweather camp for Pacquiao, I got my body in great condition and in great shape," Judah said. "I found a new love for the sport. My last fight with Paulie, I didn't show up how I was supposed to show up, and you saw what happened.
"Sept. 20 will mark my [19th] anniversary as a pro. I'm still here, still have my faculties, still quick, still can go at a high level. I'm only 37. Mayweather is older than me. You just got to put in the hard work and dedication. After training with Floyd, I felt excellent. I left out of that camp in top-notch shape. I was ready to go, and I will be ready to go for my fight."
Judah will continue his career at junior welterweight, where he has fought most of his career other than a few years at welterweight.
"My goal is to win a championship and retire," Judah said.