Miami Herald boxing article by Santos Perez on Jermain Taylor.
Taylor ponders return to middleweight
Posted on Mon, Nov. 03, 2008
BY SANTOS A. PEREZ
An ease in weight reduction under familiar surroundings suddenly has intrigued Jermain Taylor about a possible return to the middleweight division.
Taylor apparently was finished with the 160-pound class following his title-losing bout against Kelly Pavlik in September 2007. In their direct rematch six months later, Taylor and Pavlik fought in the super-middleweight class.
In fact, Taylor, who also lost to Pavlik in the second bout, will fight another super-middleweight fight against Jeff Lacy on Nov. 15 in Nashville.
But Taylor’s return to Miami for training camp and Pavlik’s recent loss against Bernard Hopkins is creating a captivating scenario for the former middleweight champion and 2000 U.S. Olympian.
”There is a possibility I might go back to 160 [pounds],” Taylor said. “Don’t count it out. As long as I can physically handle it — why not?”
Although Taylor lost twice against Pavlik, he scored consecutive victories against Hopkins in 2005. The 43-year-old Hopkins easily defeated Pavlik in a light-heavyweight bout Oct. 18.
With a victory over Lacy, a teammate of Taylor’s on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, Taylor could move to light-heavyweight or return to the middleweights for third bouts against Hopkins and Pavlik, respectively.
”I don’t know what I am going to do but here it is — the middleweight champion lost to the man I beat twice,” Taylor said.
That Taylor is thinking of a middleweight comeback centers on the advantages of training in Miami. Taylor trained locally during the first five years of his professional career but set up training camps elsewhere after the first of his two victories against Hopkins.
”I am at 5 or 6 pounds over the weight limit,” Taylor said. “I can thank Miami for that. The weight easily comes off here.”
Taylor’s Miami return comes after the longest layoff of his professional career.
”It was hard, I was down on myself,” Taylor said of the period following his second loss against Pavlik. “But I had a great summer with my wife and kids. It was well overdue.”
Late in the summer and rejuvenated by his layoff, Taylor (27-2-1, 17 KOs) informed longtime trainer Ozell Nelson he was ready to resume boxing.
”With the long layoff, he had time to think about it, sleep on it and think about it again,” Nelson said. “Now his mind is great and is focused on this fight.
“Jermain understands if he wins, he is back in the mix.”
JONES BOUT CRUCIAL
Taylor’s future fight schedule could depend on the outcome of Saturday night’s light-heavyweight match between Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr. in New York.
Hopkins likely will target Jones if the Pensacola native defeats Calzaghe. But if Calzaghe wins, Hopkins could pursue a third bout against Taylor at a higher weight than in their first two matches.
MIAMI RESIDENT LOSES
Ukraine’s Sergiy Dzinziruk retained his World Boxing Organization junior-middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Miami resident Joel Julio on Saturday in Germany.
Dzinziruk (36-0) won the bout on two judges’ scorecards 116-112 and 117-111 on the third. Julio, in his first bid at a world-title belt, fell to 34-2.