Taylor vs. Abraham: Breakdown and Prediction
By Ted Sares - Jermain is going to come out and shock the people of Germany when he beats their hometown hero…I know most people in the boxing world have written Jermain off. We're going back to the basics that got us here. It would be a huge mistake to think Jermain doesn't have anything left in the tank. --Ozell Nelson, Taylor's trainer
Article posted on 10.09.2009
The Taylor-Abraham fight on October 17 is the start of the historic Super Six World Boxing Classic round-robin six fighter tournament, featuring the class of the Super Middleweight division from home and abroad. And like the Arreola-Klitschko fight, this one is relatively easy to breakdown.
“King Arthur” - Avetik Abraham A.K.A. “King Arthur” Abraham (30-0) is a strong, heavy handed fighter who starts his fights slowly as he figures out his opponent’s style, strengths and weaknesses. Around the third or fourth stanza, he begins to open up with monster body shots and explosive combos that seem to come from out of no where. He also uses a peek-a-boo defense reminiscent of Cus D’Amato’s teachings. While he appears ponderous at times, that is a deceptive persona, as he lures his opponents into exchanges where he punishes then with brutal counter punching. As well, he can take someone out with either hand (a left hook against Miranda and a straight right against the surprisingly game Oral)..
I was first impressed by the granite-chinned King Arthur when he destroyed Elvin Ayala in March 2008 in Germany. I was impressed because nobody does that to Ayala. Of course, the courage he showed in his first fight with Edison Miranda was uncommon and affirms the fact there is no quit in this Armenian strongman‘s DNA.
A review of his opposition discloses that it has been surprisingly stiff with such notables as Kingsley Ikeke, Harold Eastman, Aussie Shannon Taylor, Miranda (twice), fellow Armenian Khoren Gevor, and Ghanaian Kofi Jantuah. Indeed, Abraham has been an equal opportunity destroyer. And during the methodical destruction process, his modus operandi often is to back his opponents up with hard right jabs before backing off himself behind a high and tight defensive posture. After his thudding and brutal body work, his opponents begin to buckle and then break down, as they become ripe for King Arthur’s kill.
Now, at a more comfortable super middle weight, Abraham continues to be trained by the savvy Ulli Wegner in Berlin. He will be 100% fit and ready for Taylor.
Taylor (28-3-1) is the point counterpart to Abraham. With superior hand speed, he starts fast with a solid and well leveraged jab and heavy pop in his punches, but then he predictably tires as the fight progresses. His gassings against Pavlik and Froch have become almost legend, probably because he had both guys down early in the fight. Closing is not a Taylor strength.
As for level of opposition, few have fought stiffer competition than Jermain, but watching Ouma and Spinks back him up in the late rounds was almost comical.
One could even argue (with a bit of stretch) that the taller and older Taylor has not really looked good since his wins over Hopkins. The Wright fight was a draw. Ouma was competitive. Spinks lost a SD. Pavlik beat him twice. He looked sloppy against a sloppy Lacey. And he was iced by Froch after a fast start. He is 3-3-1 in his last seven outings.
The thing is, I wonder whether Jermain’s early success spoiled him as he seems to have lost that fire that links to his nickname.
Will "King Arthur” adapt well to his new weight class?
Will Taylor’s training camp in Houston help him with his late round stamina issues?
Is Taylor past his prime?
Will the home field advantage in Berlin work for Abraham (Taylor’s 3 defeats and one draw occurred outside of Arkansas)?
Taylor’s best and only good chance will come early. He is a fast starter who can knock just about anyone down, but if Abraham is able to hold him off, the fight should even out around the sixth stanza. With his deceptive cunning and his power, I see the Armenian beginning to break Taylor down by mixing thudding body work with punishing shots upstairs. As Taylor tires, Abraham will get stronger. At this point, Taylor’s stamina will again desert him and Arthur will discover that the stoppages at the hands of "The Ghost" and "The Cobra have left Taylor damaged and vulnerable for a brutal closure and that’s exactly what Abraham will perpetrate around the tenth or eleventh round.
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