Shannan Taylor Fights For WBF Title

8.12.04 - By Tony Nobbs: Shannan Taylor received an early Christmas present yesterday when his December 17 fight at the Royal Pines on Queenslandís Gold Coast was sanctioned for the vacant WBF super middleweight title. With an IBF light middleweight title shot expected early in the new year the 32 year old fighter said from his Wollongong home this morning that fighting for the WBF belt wonít jeopardise his mooted challenge to Kasim Ouma and that he is looking forward to spending the holiday period as a world champion.

ďThe IBF have been great, they have said itís ok to fight for the WBF. Ray Wheatley from the IBF is a good man, he has done everything he said he would. Iím keen, Iím grateful to have permission and itíll give me a tasteof what it is like to be world champion. Even though Iím fighting in the higher division, Iíll still come in around 73 kg (162lb). A title is a title and itíll be nice to have a world title belt around my waist. By the time I get to Kasim Ouma Iíll be flyingĒ.

A professional since 1992, Taylorís only attempts at world championships came in 2001 when he suffered stoppage defeats to Shane Mosley (WBC welterweight) and Richard Williams (IBO lt middleweight). He hasnít lost since and heís picked up the PABA, WBA Fedelatin and IBF Pan Pacific 154 pound titles and the Australian 168 lb crown.

ďShannan Taylor should have been a world champion ages agoĒ he said, pointing out the fact ďWilly Wise went on to win the IBO title after I knocked him out (in two rounds, 1995)Ē.

Last in action in September scoring a nine round TKO over Sergio Acuna, Taylor featured in the first card at the Royal Pines registering a twelve round near shutout of Walter Crucce. ďMy last few fights I havenít really cared. Iíve trained hard but when Iíve fought Iíve just been going through the motions. This fight I have to make a statementĒ.

With the IBF shot already in the pipeline Shannan has been doing his conditioning with Lee Carr and he has obtained the services of dietician Susie Burrell, who works for the Illawarra Hawks Basketball team. ďJason Ryles who plays for St George Illawara and Australia (rugby league) took me to her and she is great. Lee has been pushing me, Iíve been running up the mountains and treadmills. Iíve been running times I was doing back when I knocked out guys like Jake Rodriguez and Willy Wise. I donít really need skill training, I just need to be fit. When Iím fit I fight my natural fightĒ.

Next Friday night he will have a new chief corner man in Angelo Hyder. ďHe is a very good corner man. He has helped in the corner (with Frankie John Gatt) and I feel comfortable with him in chargeĒ.

ďIíve had about sixty rounds sparring already. Iíll probably do another ten this week and thatíll do me. For the last fight I did 104 which was too much. Iíve been working with Sam Soliman and Lawrence Tuasa. The other day with Sam, I was a bit flat early and for the first four rounds I couldnít get near him. I tell you, he would be a good chance to frustrate Bernard and upset himĒ.

World Boxing Foundation head Mick Croucher said last night that his organisation was beginning to gain momentum and that it was great for boxing in the southern hemisphere.

ďThis is the first time an Australian has been in charge of a world sanctioning body. We are going to be a fighters sanctioning body, we will cater for the fighters. Already we are making inroads throughout the world and itís going to get bigger. In the last year Iíve flown 100,000 miles getting things up and running. In the past we suffered from bad management and as in anything, whether it be the local fish and chip shop or a major corporation, if you donít manage properly you are going to go down the drain. As you know, we had to start off again fresh. We now have good, proven boxing people involved and itís booming. Right now, we might be considered a B-grade title but by the end of next year we will be up there with them. We intend to put back into boxingĒ.

Article posted on 08.12.2004

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