Jermain Taylor Wins IBF Middleweight Title
Fighting in his first world title fight since 2009, Jermain Taylor made the most out of his latest opportunity.
Hearing it again
Jermain Taylor knocked down champion Sam Soliman four times en route to a unanimous decision win to capture the IBF middleweight championship. The judges awarded the bout to the Arkansas native with the scores of 116-109,115-109 and 116-111. After his name was announced as the new world champion at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Mississippi, Taylor said that “he’s heard it before and he’s hearing it again.”
An Unfortunate injury
Sam Soliman was making the first defense of the world title which he won from Felix Sturm last May. But the 40 year old Australian suffered an unfortunate knee injury in Round 7 which proved to be the game changer in this close fight.
Unable to maintain good balance due to the injury, Soliman got knocked down four times from Round 7 onwards, and repeatedly fell to the canvass in the final five rounds of the fight. His balance was bad that referee Bill Clancy had Soliman’s knee checked in Round 9. The bout was allowed to continue, but Soliman was definitely done.
After the bout, Taylor praised his opponent’s “warrior spirit” and said that Soliman “did what he would have done”. Taylor added that “you have to keep fighting in this sport”
Keep on fighting
While Taylor might have referred to the bout as the one Soliman had to “keep on fighting”, he was talking about his boxing journey.
Taylor was boxing’s undisputed middleweight champion from 2005-2007. He became the boxer who stopped Bernard Hopkins’ incredible 24 fight winning streak and dominance of the middleweight division when he beat Hopkins twice in 2005. But after losing his belts to Kelly Pavlik in September 2007, Taylor lost three of his next four bouts and suffered a small brain bleed in the last of those losses.
Taylor took a 26 month layoff to recover before launching a comeback. A personal tragedy in August looked to derail his bid to be world champion, as he was charged with two felonies for allegedly shooting his cousin at is home during a domestic dispute. But Taylor pursued his improbable run at another world title and got rewarded in the end.
One last hurrah
While it was obvious that Taylor was nowhere his old dominant “Bad Intentions” form, his victory could have earned him one last big payday against two big names who were at ringside to witness Taylor’s return to glory.
Hassan N’Dam earned the right as Taylor’s mandatory challenger when he defeated Curtis Stevens last October 1. The other fighter who was at fight night was former WBO middleweight king Peter Quillin who recently vacated his crown. Among the two, Quillin represents the big money fight. However, like Taylor, Quillin is managed by boxing adviser Al Haymon.It’s unclear if Haymon would pit two of his top boxers against each other for a title which already belongs to their team.
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