Boxing


Former Middleweight King Jermain Taylor To Make Comeback, August 13th Bout In The Works

By James Slater: In a breaking news article by Dan Rafael of Espn.com, it has been revealed how former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor is set to return to boxing after almost two years out. Reportedly, “Bad Intentions” will return as a 160-pounder, he and trainer Pat Burns deciding 168-pounds is too big for him.

Last seen being savagely KO’d by Arthur Abraham in the opening bout in the still-ongoing “Super Six” super-middleweight tournament, Taylor has been thoroughly checked out by a team of doctors and neurologists. The 32-year-old came through all tests fine and Rafael reports how Showtime T.V network is looking at televising his return - planned for his home town of Little Rock, Arkansas on August 13th (opponent TBA).

So, is Taylor’s return a good idea? Back with early trainer Burns, and seemingly hungry once again, Taylor may well be able to do something at middleweight; his best weight. It seems an eternity ago now, but back in 2005 Taylor managed two victories over the legend that is Bernard Hopkins. Who would have thought that, six years later, it would be B-Hop who would be still on top of his game, with Taylor an all-but forgotten ex-champ? But can Taylor, 28-4-1(17) possibly recapture the form that saw him twice out-point Hopkins and also pick up wins over the likes of Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks?

Even back then, when he was retaining his world middleweight championship, Taylor was known as something of a fan letdown. Unable or unwilling to provide exciting fights, Jermain was soundly criticised after his lacklustre points wins over Ouma and especially Spinks. Then, when he did decide to fight more aggressively (with ace trainer Emanuel Steward now guiding him), Taylor was KO’d by new middleweight star Kelly Pavlik.

A lot has happened to Taylor since his September 2007 loss to “The Ghost:” he moved up to 168 and was painfully stopped late by both Carl Froch and Abraham and was then thought to have walked away. But Taylor says he was never a 168-pounder anyway, and that he has had a good rest during which time his mind and body have been recharged.

Another knock on the 2007 to 2009 version of Taylor was the fact that he repeatedly ran out of gas late on in fights. It happened against Froch and it happened against Abraham. Now, at almost 33-years-of-age, can Taylor be expected to have better stamina? Maybe his heavy losses did come about primarily because he was fighting at the wrong weight, and maybe Taylor will be able to be effective against a couple of the current belt holders at 160. Sergio Martinez would almost certainly be too tall an order for Taylor (even the peak version would surely have struggled with the sizzling southpaw), but guys like WBA champ Felix Sturm and regular WBC champ Julio Cesar Chavez would possibly make very interesting opponents for Taylor.

Of course, we must wait and assess Taylor’s initial comeback fights before we imagine him in there with even a top-ten guy, let alone a belt-holder. And it must be remembered that Taylor began taking quite a lot of punishment in what looked like being the final fights of his career. It’s good news that he has been cleared by the doctors, but the odds will be against Taylor recapturing what he once had. But “Bad Intentions” deserves our respect for having the guts to try.

Article posted on 29.06.2011



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