Jermain Taylor: Give The Man Some Respect
13.10.06 - By Ryan Laming: Over the past year, Iíve had the urge to write an article on Jermain Taylor. After his second fight with Bernard Hopkins, where he still really wasnít getting the recognition he most rightly deserved, it became clear that someone should step up and say something. I think weíre morally obligated as fight fans. Here we have a young gun who steps up to the plate against a legend and holds his own. It doesnít even matter which way you score the fights, Taylor stood up and showed grit when he needed to. Needless to say, I was impressed with his performance in both fights for the fact that in the second fight, he didnít try to overextend or force matters. He didnít offer The Executioner as many countering opportunities as most expected. He learned and improved on the first fight. His sheer talent or ability in the ring isnít what I am trying to point out, though.
Article posted on 14.10.2006
After the Hopkins bouts, Taylorís team was saying he would be looking for an easy fight in his own backyard of Arkansas. To me, this would have been the greatest disappointment of all. It would have been another respectable man looking for easy title defenses and trying to prolong his career and title reign for the dollars and cents. It would have dropped Taylorís worth in my books. I knew he wouldnít. True to form, Taylor took the next biggest challenger around in Ronald "Winky" Wright. I picked Taylor prefight to win, and on my scorecard, he did. However, controversy again strikes him and the public is once again divided regarding who was the real winner. Yet again, Taylorís performance and willingness to fight into the Championship Rounds, where heart is shown, becomes obvious to me. Winky tried to take the twelfth round off and it cost him on the judgeís scorecards. Again, Taylor isnít raised up, and attention is drawn from the fact that he just took on one of the top pound for pound fighters (yet again) and pushed it to the end.
Now we have word that Taylor will be taking on Kassim "The Dream" Ouma. Ouma is a top ranked fighter and certainly no slouch. Taylor still hasnít taken any easy title defenses and continues to produce on the highest platform.
The idea Iím trying to convey here is that Taylor is a throwback fighter with a heart of gold and a fist of granite. He doesnít trash talk like a street thug and he always gives credit where itís due. He admits he has a lot to learn, still, and he goes to the gym to do it. He always comes to fight. He doesnít try to run purse bids up to duck any of his challengers. He doesnít complain. Heís representing the Middleweight Division, historically one of the strongest divisions, with class and style.
Lets start giving the man his respect.
You can reach me at Marnoff@hotmail.com.
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