With the Super Six Tournament kicking off Oct. 17th, Inside Fights will be previewing each of the fighters involved. In this profile, we will feature Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor. Taylor is a former middleweight champion with two victories over Bernard Hopkins.
Born: Little Rock, Arkansas
Reach: 74 ½″
Record: 28-3-1 (17 KOs)
Strengths: Jermain Taylor brings to the Super Six tournament far more experience on the big fight stage than any of his potential opponents. He’s fought some of the best fighters from 154 to 160 pounds over the last decade, including former undisputed Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins, former undisputed Junior Middleweight Champion Winky Wright and current Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik. He’s had mixed results, winning two, losing two and drawing once.
Weaknesses: Taylor is one of only two fighters in the tournament to have lost a fight. He’s actually lost three, and all were the result of fading badly. He had Pavlik in serious trouble but was instead knocked out himself and lost the rematch by fading in the championship rounds. He was also far ahead of Carl Froch but was knocked out with 14 seconds left in the fight. To say Taylor has trouble finishing an opponent – and a fight – is a huge understatement.
Why He Will Win: For the other five men in the Super Six, the tournament represents the opportunity to establish themselves as a major player in boxing. Taylor, on the other hand, has already been there. For him, the Super Six is a last shot at getting back to the top of the sport, and Taylor can’t afford to come up short. If he does, he might have to call it a career.
Why He Will Lose: Stamina has been Taylor’s Achilles’ heel ever since his first fight against Hopkins in 2005. It’s something he’s never been able to correct, and it will cost him against young lions hungry for the spotlight Taylor’s already enjoyed. By all accounts, all of Taylor’s potential opponents are well-conditioned and will be able to keep going when Taylor fades.
Best Matchup: No matchup in the Super Six will come easy for Taylor. But if there’s an opponent he holds a clear advantage over, it’s Andre Dirrell, who has never fought at a level anywhere close to that of Taylor. The Super Six will give Dirrell that experience, but if Taylor can catch him before his baptism by fire, then Jermain has a good chance of toppling Dirrell.
Worst Matchup: Mikkel Kessler should pose the most problems for Taylor based on his ability to keep fighting a technically sound fight into the later rounds. Taylor’s best weapon, his jab, would be offset by the strong jab of Kessler, who would press the attack and overwhelm Taylor with a variety of punches. Pavlik, who is much less fundamentally sound than Kessler, was able to take it to Jermain in the late rounds, so there’s no reason to think Kessler wouldn’t be able to do the same.
Tags: Jermain Taylor, Super middleweight tournament, Super Six