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Judah: 'I don't feel pressure when I fight'

Zab Judah, right, seeks to unify junior welterweight titles in Saturday's fight against Amir Khan. Marty Rosengarten/RingsidePhotos.com

The WBA considers Amir Khan its current "super" champion at 140 pounds, but on Saturday he will risk his title against a fighter for whom that very word doubles as a nom de guerre: Zab "Super" Judah, the former two-division champ who will make the first defense of his third reign as a 140-pound titlist (IBF). A unification bout in the junior welterweight division -- in a class by itself with names such as Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander and Lucas Matthysse -- carries significant weight, and the Khan-Judah fight [HBO, 10 p.m. ET] will have to compete in quality and intensity with the many excellent recent matchups between some of those aforementioned outstanding fighters. The clash between a younger, up-and-coming former Olympian and a battle-tested veteran only adds drama to a crossroads fight with all kinds of potential. The fighters' combined punching power combined with their excellent boxing skills makes for an intriguing matchup in which either could hit the canvas at any minute in a 12-round bout. Judah, who agreed to a chat during the last days of his training camp, had these thoughts to share with us ahead of Saturday's fight:

Tell us about your training for this fight.
Training has been going great. My preparation in this training camp has been phenomenal; we are very excited. I am bringing a new Zab Judah. I am coming in to have some fun. Team Judah has been a great inspiration to me. I prepared myself for a great showdown on [Saturday].

What has Pernell Whitaker brought to you as a trainer?
Pernell Whitaker was a great fighter; he was one of the greatest fighters in the game of boxing. He brought his defense and his masterful skills to Team Judah and Zab Judah, and is great to have and to be able to make him a part of our camp. I am very happy with this situation and with the things Pernell Whitaker has brought over at our training camp.

You are quite the trash-talker, but you're fighting a guy who seems to be immune to those tactics. Does this take something away from your game?
It is not my goal to get under his skin. My goal is to prepare myself to be the best Zab Judah that I can be. That's what I've been working on, and that's what I am trying to do. I don't want the media to misunderstand it, like I tried to get under his skin or something. I respect Amir Khan, I hardly ever said anything to him. As a fighter, when you get in shape and you are doing bigger things, the more things you do, the more confidence your body gets and the more you talk about what you want to do in the sport of boxing. But like I said, I hold no animosity and no harshness toward Amir Khan or anybody at Team Khan.

How do you evaluate Khan among the current crop of champions?
I don't know, but one thing I say is that Amir Khan -- from what I can watch in the videos -- is a young, up-and-coming guy, he is hungry, and he is in a good situation right now. He has quick hands and decent power. I know one thing: that on Saturday night he will come in to fight. He will bring everything he has to the table, and he is going to be in the best shape and [fighting to] the best of his ability. And he has a very respectable coach -- Freddie Roach -- in his corner, and I know that on [Saturday] he will be coming in trying to be at 150 percent, same as I will.

Each of you has had a problem with your chin lately, but you both have a lot of power. Is this going to be a boxing match or a punching-power fight?
I don't know how the fight is going to turn out. All I can do is prepare myself and hope that it turns out great, and that both fighters come into the fight in great health, and we both leave as healthy as we came in.

You said that there are different aspects to be considered in this fight: mental, physical, boxing IQ, experience, desire. Which will be the one that will define this fight and bring you the victory?
I would say that my mental toughness and my boxing skills are a little bit higher than Amir Khan's right now, but all these answers will be seen on Saturday night. But I am not looking past Amir Khan; I am looking directly at him, and I am hoping he is preparing himself well, and it's going to be a great exhibition of boxing skills on Saturday night.

Where do you see yourself in the 140-pound division, and who else do you believe you have to beat to regain a foothold in the division where you made your name?
Well, I am a champion right now in the 140-pound division, and I am a champion who is looking to get in there and grab another victory on Saturday night. I look forward to getting in there and becoming the WBA and the IBF champion of the world. I am getting closer and closer to my dream to become undisputed champion at 140, the same way I did it at 147 pounds.

Do you feel pressure to keep up the level of excitement and great talent currently on display at 140 pounds?
I don't feel pressure when I fight. I feel more uncomfortable when I am outside the ring. But when I am inside the ring, when I get into the square circle, I don't care which country I am in or who is in front of me. I am very comfortable and at ease. Come [Saturday], I will be 100 percent confident, ready and prepared to the best of my abilities and ready to go.

How do you envision the fight unfolding on Saturday night?
Like I said, I have no idea how the fight is going to go. All I know is that I am going to be up there, and I am going to dictate and win every round, and after that we're just going to keep moving forward and win round after round. If the knockout comes, then so be it. But if we have to go 12 rounds, then we're going to make it 12 for him.

Diego Morilla is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.