After Jermain Taylor was knocked out cold by an undefeated Arthur Abraham with only seconds remaining in the 12th round of their October 17th fight in Berlin, he spent the night in the hospital under observation because of a concussion.
This brutal KO, a stunning end to Taylor’s fourth loss in his last 5 fights, should convince Jermain that his days of headlining world-class boxing matches are over.
Taylor’s list of weaknesses is increasing
Opponents seem to have figured out Taylor’s front-footed counterpunching style. They walk him down, peppering him with double-jab/straight right combos until he puts on his earmuffs. Then, they unload.
Despite the standard pre-fight disavowals, Taylor’s conditioning problems are everpresent. He gassed against Pavlik during their surprise-filled first fight, looked wasted against an outclassed Jeff Lacy, and was outworked by both Carl Froch and Abraham before being KOed in the 12th.
The biggest indictment of Taylor’s flagging skills was his inability to crack Arthur Abraham’s bulletproof defense. Despite throwing everything but the kitchen sink, he was unable to hit Abraham except below the belt. Taylor’s game plan seemed to be to hope for Abraham to weaken. It never happened.
Taylor’s trainer, Ozell Nelson (who is as much a father figure as a boxing coach) doesn’t offer up innovative game plans. It was Emmanual Steward who taught Taylor how to avoid a second KO loss to Kelly Pavlik. Mr. Nelson simply settles for the status quo.
Jermain Taylor should retire because he is not getting better; he’s getting worse.
- His conditioning is never sufficient, even against a fighter like Abraham who rarely presses the action.
- His flawed looping right hand attack, though potent, will get picked apart by a slick counterpuncher like Andre Dirrell.
- His unwillingness to change trainers and try something new dooms him to repeated failure against better-conditioned fighters who have figured out his style.
- His last KO was a scary, brutal affair. Taylor should retire while he is still healthy.
Go out in style
There are few boxers with as much “likeability” as Jermain Taylor. He’s the sort of guy you’d be happy to have as a neighbor or friend. If he retired now, he would leave nothing but good memories for boxing fans and Jermain Taylor supporters alike.
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