Middleweight champion Jermaine Taylor is looking likely to move up in weight to the Super-Middleweight division, and dependent on opportunities one could assume he could yet jump straight to the Light-Heavyweight division where a host of beatable veterans presently reside. The most obvious outcome of the move is, of course, the much discussed clash with Joe Calzaghe. Calzaghe destroys him if the fight comes off. There I said it.
Weight problems at 160 pounds are little surprise given the enormity of Taylor’s frame, and recent performances certainly had all the hallmarks of a fighter drained of his intent and zest for combat. USA Today report Taylor dropped 9 pounds in the final three days to make the weight for the Cory Spinks contest. That news is a travesty in itself. Why? Well the fact Spinks was offered the opportunity despite the huge natural size disparity is enough in isolation. On the back of Light-Middleweight Kasim Ouma’s challenge that preceded it, the fight represented one too many cherry picked contests. The news Taylor is, in truth, a starving Super-Middleweight only deepens the mistrust of Taylor’s motives in fighting these diminutive opponents.
One could excuse the Arkansas native a softer defence following a run of Hopkins, Hopkins and Wright but like so many champions Taylor has abused the latitude that trio of fights afforded him.
That isn’t to say he wont be a welcome opponent for Calzaghe, a fighter who needs the competition, but Kelly Pavlik’s shot at the champion in late September looks threatened with muted noises about ‘catchweights’ coming from the Taylor camp. It would be a shame for Pavlik if he is forced by circumstances to tackle Taylor without the Middleweight belts at stake or, by paradox, inherit one of the belts once Taylor departs. The feeling will be equally hollow.
Taylor’s trainer told the Arkansas Democratic-Gazette; “We just can’t make this weight anymore. We’re not going to kill ourselves to make 160. This weight has been a problem for a long time. We’ve hired a nutritionist, done everything we can. I’m not going to make him do this anymore. It’s time to move up.”
Read the USA Today article by clicking here.