36-year-old former IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KOs) will be challenging IBF middleweight champion Sam Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs) this Wednesday, on October 8th on ESPN2 from the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA.
This is a really tough test for Taylor, and perhaps the toughest fight for him since his knockout loss to Arthur Abraham in 2009. Soliman doesn’t have major power, but his high work rate, and the odd angles he likes to punch from makes him a really tough fighter for the likes of Abraham to deal with. It’s difficult fight for Taylor to be taking at this stage of his career after 5 years away from fighting top level opposition.
Taylor has a 4-fight winning streak dating back from 2011. He’s beaten Juan Carlos Candelo, Raul Munoz, Caleb Truax and Jessie Nicklow. There’s a big difference between those guys and a fighter like SOliman.
Taylor also hasn’t fought since last year in December, so we’re talking about a fighter who has been out of the ring for the past 10 months. That’s a long time for any fighter to be out of the ring, but especially for a guy as old as the 36-year-old Taylor.
This is perhaps the last shot for the #15 IBF Taylor, because if he loses the fight then it’s highly unlikely that he’s going to be able to get another title shot in a voluntary defense. Taylor was picked out this time by the 40-year-old Soliman, who clearly was looking for a name that the boxing public would recognize, but the chances are slim that Taylor will get picked out again in the future in the same manner.
If Taylor can’t beat Soliman on Wednesday night then his likely only hope of getting another world title shot is if he fights his way to the No.1 mandatory spot by earning it the hard way.
On the undercard, Andre Dirrell will be facing Nick Brinson in light heavyweight action rather than at super middleweight.
Cruiserweight BJ Flores will be facing Kevin Engel.