Taylor Wins Middleweight Title

By Robert Ecksel on October 9, 2014
Taylor Wins Middleweight Title
Taylor was happy if not jubilant, as jubilation seems elusive these days, unlike gratitude.

Kudos to Jermain Taylor, who did what he needed to do to win; and kudos to Sam Soliman for not throwing in the towel…

Former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor has returned from the dead.

Wednesday night at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, the 36-year-old Taylor (33-4-1, 20 KOs), from Little Rock, Arkansas, decisioned reigning and defending IBF middleweight champion, 40-year-old Sam Soliman (44-12, 18 KOs) from Melbourne, Australia, by scores of 116-111, 115-109 and 116-109.

Some thought that Taylor, whose troubling medical history was reason enough for him to stop fighting altogether, hadn’t earned a shot at Soliman. But Taylor and his manager, the all-powerful Al Haymon, thought otherwise, and so the fight was made, while everyone crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.

Taylor won the fight fair and square over a lame—lame in that he could neither move nor stand due a slip followed by a punch in the seventh round—opponent, scoring four knockdowns in the process. But what was on display on ESPN2 was not boxing at its best, although it may have been Jermain Taylor at his best.

“I [suffered the knee injury] in training,” said Soliman after the fight, “and I nearly had to pull out of the fight. Absolutely no excuses because if he wasn’t as good of a fighter as he was—a former undisputed world champion—I would have been able to come away with the goods.” Then he added, somewhat contradictorily, “The knee was fresh and fine as I was fighting so it wasn’t an old injury that came back because of bad luck.”

Before the reinjuring his knee in round seven, the fight was close if not quite appetizing.  Soliman’s herky-jerky style is not to everyone’s taste, and Taylor, the new middleweight champion, is a diminished fighter electing to play with fire.

But Kudos to Taylor, who did what he needed to do to win; and kudos to Soliman for not throwing in the towel.

Praising his opponent, Taylor said, “He is a warrior. He did the same thing I would have done. You have to keep fighting in this sport.”

Sitting ringside were two prospective opponents for the new champ, IBF mandatory Hassan N’Dam and former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin, both of whom would like a shot.

Taylor was happy if not jubilant, as jubilation seems elusive these days, unlike, say, gratitude.

“I just thank God and Al Haymon,” Taylor said, keeping his priorities straight. “Thank you Al Haymon! We did it, baby! We coming home with the belt. Who is next? Whoever Al Haymon says, that’s who I am going for.”

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Jermain Taylor vs. Sam Soliman

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  1. raxman 03:10pm, 10/14/2014

    Beaujack - I think you’re being a bit tough on soliman there mate. granted his style is not the best to watch but its not his fault the alphabet title system is a joke - he can only work within the system as it is and he won his title on foreign soil, fair and square, defended it away from home also - and on one leg, unable to defend himself, he refused to quit - if that doesn’t show the heart of a champion I don’t know what does.

  2. beaujack 07:46am, 10/13/2014

    Clarence, you are correct. Soliman was a poor excuse for a middleweight
    “champion”, and Taylor should, for his own health pack it in. What has boxing come to ?. Thank fate, for a Gennady Golovkin who I believe is a
    valid throwback to the old day’s though through no fault of his own, he
    is avoided…

  3. AKT 04:28am, 10/11/2014

    Ohh if only Jermain Taylor would duff his hat and bow out in retirement, what a story that’d be .. just like it would have been had Roy Jones stayed a Heavyweight Champion and retired. But wishes, last I checked, still aren’t horses ..

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:46pm, 10/10/2014

    Tommy Karpency over Chad Dawson much more impressive including his honest take on the fight and Dawson’s shoulder/wrist injury or whatever it was in the post fight interview..

  5. Clarence George 09:57am, 10/09/2014

    Godawful fight.  Soliman’s style is about as aesthetically pleasing as a Basquiat painting.  But worst performance by a boxer has to go to Jean Javier Sotelo.

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