Is Spinks A Credible Opponent For Taylor?

cory spinks19.05.07 - by Nick Mathur: Tonight, Jermain Taylor will defend his middleweight crown against Cory Spinks, former undisputed welterweight champion and current IBF junior middleweight belt holder. While there are a few analysts who believe that Cory may be fast and elusive enough to create problems for Taylor, the majority believe that a Taylor victory is almost guaranteed, and perhaps even a win inside the distance. While Spinks is certainly a high caliber fighter, one has to wonder if he is in any way a threat to dethrone Taylor.

The probable outcome on Saturday night is that Jermain will win the fight easily, being able to impose his size and reach advantages on the smaller, feather fisted Spinks. In fact, I anticipate that Jermain will win almost every round of the fight leading up to a late round stoppage, even if he chooses to be patient in the early rounds in order to figure out Spinks’ slick southpaw style. It won’t even be close..

Spinks has notoriously had trouble making weight when fighting at welterweight, and may benefit from moving up one more time from 154 to 160. However, Taylor has been criticized for fighting blown up welterweights and junior middleweights during his career, and this does nothing to alleviate any criticism that he receives for this reason. The fact that this fight was made was a bad move by the management teams of both fighters. Spinks, a very good boxer, will be in the ring with someone who he probably has no chance of beating. And Taylor’s marketability will be unnecessarily hurt as he fights yet another naturally smaller fighter.

The primary attraction on this card is the fantastic undercard matchup between Kelly Pavlik and Edison Miranda. Jermain is talented enough to beat good fighters who are genuine middleweights, and I think that he matches up favorably against the best that the middleweight division currently has to offer. But the reason why the Pavlik-Miranda bout is so intriguing is that the fight could end at any time. Both fighters are incredibly hard punching middleweights, and it is exciting to know that they each have the willingness to take on a dangerous opponent. On the other hand, Cory Spinks, and Taylor’s previous opponent Kassim Ouma, are both relatively light punchers and heavy underdogs against him going in to the fight.

Few can deny that Jermain Taylor is extremely talented, and that his personality and high level of integrity make him a good ambassador for boxing. However, it is evident that his resume is almost devoid of any real risks, a barrier that prevents him from elevating into a higher echelon of the sport that cannot be attained by continually beating up on lesser fighters. If he continues to face off against undersized opponents, even Taylor fans may begin to question whether or not he has been doing enough lately to warrant a lofty ranking on the pound for pound list. I, myself, am beginning to have doubts.

Article posted on 19.05.2007

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