Sunday, October 25, 2009

Open letter to Jermaine Taylor

Dear Mr. Taylor:

I begin this letter with Mr. Taylor out of respect, not because I think you're old and washed up. I state that as blatantly as possible because that's what most people seem to think and though your record could definitely make a case for this, I want to hold on to hope, because at one time, I really did think you were a hell of a fighter until you ran into Pavlik.

Oh there they go again, Pavlik this, Pavlik that. True, this might sound like a broken record, but since your losses to Pavlik, quite simply, you haven't been the same fighter. Is it mental, is it physical, is it spiritual? I really don't know but I am seeing a once prized fighter taking a ridiculous amount of punishment and I don't want to see him get hurt.

Wait, but didn't I say I wasn't writing you off? Well, I'm not. I'm just going to say that there is little or no reason to be fighting over your rightful weight division. Your fighting weight is 160 pounds and please let there be no doubt that THAT is your rightful weight. Regarding conditioning, and fading in fights, which unfortunately has happened, there are two options to this: working on your cardio, which definitely seems to not be working or going for broke early in a fight and gamble on a knockout. The first one as I said, hasn't worked and both Froch and Abraham scored very late stoppages. In both instances you were having trouble with their right hand punches and though you can't forget that a hook can knock you out, getting knocked out the same way twice, is something that shouldn't happen to any boxer that is as skilled as we've thought you are.

What used to be a crisp thudding jab has become a pecking range finder and the slingshot action we saw from your one two combination has been often times absent. Also, holding your hands low and making your opponent pay when they think they can tag you works for Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather, but clearly, this isn't an option for you so either modify your defense or get ready to take another bad knockout in your next outting.

As it stands, you are still in the Super Six Tournament and you will be facing people who will want to cash in on three points for a knockout. I urge you, stand your ground and let them know you are a participant and not a sacrificial lamb, or seriouslys consider pulling out of the tournament in benefit of your health and your professional record.

Here's hoping for a selective memory that learns from mistakes and forgets knockout losses and that the Jermaine of old shows up for the next fight and lands 30% of his right hands and remembers to punish with his jab.


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