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I can’t lie. As a fan, Jermain Taylor was one of my favorite fighters at one time. When he came out of the Sidney Olympics in 2000, I remember hyping him up to some friends during the Bernard Hopkins
vs. Felix Trinidad fight in September 2001. At the time, Hopkins was an underdog in that fight which he won by TKO and retained his unified middleweight championship for the 14th time.
Well, you know what came next. Being a fan of Taylor at the time, I was talking trash telling some buddies (not knowing of Taylor at the time) that Jermain Taylor would end up fighting Hopkins and tearing him up. Usually, those kinds of rants don’t hold any real merit and rarely if ever come true. This really didn’t either. Subsequently, On July 16, 2005, Taylor fought Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. At the time, Taylor was 23-0 in his professional career. He went on to win a controversial split decision to become the undisputed middleweight champ and would later win a unanimous decision over Hopkins in a rematch in December later that year.
Things were great for the pride of Arkansas until September 29, 2007 when Kelly Pavlik rolled the snowball down the hill for Taylor. Taylor would go on to lose by TKO to Pavlik, which was the first in a series of knockouts of Taylor. He would lose three of his next four fights, including a second loss to Pavlik by UD. He would then suffer two devastating knockouts, back to back to Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. The loss to Abraham in October 2009 forced him out of the Super Six Middleweight Tournament and a layoff from the sport for over two years due to a TBI (traumatic brain injury).
As fighters often do, Taylor is attempting a comeback similar to his former nemesis Kelly Pavlik. Although Pavlik’s comeback trail may have slim promise, Taylor’s regrettably seems for not. His first time back in the ring was against Jessie Nicklow on December 30, 2011, which he won by TKO in the 8th round, although not impressive. His last time out was on April 25, 2012 against Kaleb Traux. Just like the other, this had the feeling of nothing more than a club fight. Taylor survived a knockdown in the 8th round of that fight and went on to win by UD.
What’s next? On October 12, 2012, Taylor will be fighting on ShoBox. His fight is part of the untelevised undercard of a lightweight bout between Jose Pedraza (10-0, 6 KO) and Allan Benitez (6-1, 1 KO). If you tune in, you can see highlights from ShoBox telecast. Really!! Promoter Lou DiBella has indicated bigger fights for Taylor as early as December, but it appears they are going the wrong direction. Unfortunately, in my heart, I feel Taylor should hang up the gloves and save the memories of a once bright career. From bronze to rust. Stop while you can still talk man. The glory is gone for “Bad Intentions.”
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