By Derek Bonnett: Cruiserweight prospect Andres Taylor plans to get more treats than tricks this Halloween. On October 31, in Johnstown, PA, USA, Taylor will meet Leo Bercier in a rematch with the intention of avenging his lone career stumbling block. Taylor dropped an action packed six round decision to Bercier, 8-10-1 (4), this past June.
Taylor, 30, knows boxing is a hard sport and that it demands a lot. The 200 pounder drives four hours a day round trip to train in the environment he feels will help him reach the next level as a professional. Taylor has put aside a potentially lucrative business in construction to focus on his dream of becoming a world champion. His training also takes him away from his strongest support system -- his wife and five children -- for a significant part of each day.
"The Bercier loss was mainly all my fault. I looked at him like he was just an opponent because of his record," Taylor surmised. "My motto is that if I can take you out, I’m going to take you out, but I didn’t do that this time. I let him back in the fight and tried to put on a show. It was an exciting fight and I wanted to please the crowd and give them their money’s worth."
Taylor’s not the first fighter to get caught up in the energy of a supportive crowd, but sometimes winning and pleasing the crowd do not go hand in hand. The almighty win is the most important commodity in the business of boxing. If the fans have to go home early one night, it will only encourage them to come out the next time.
"I feel great for this week’s fight. Hell, I wanted to fight him last week," Taylor admitted. "Having a couple of wins since my first loss has helped me a lot. I’m in the best shape of my life. My mind is focused. I should come in around my usual 200 pounds. I’m going to keep my guard up and box him out."
Taylor, 10-1-1 (6), felt he gave Bercier too many windows of opportunity in their first contest. He knows he could have committed himself more to the body and that his defensive lapses allowed Bercier to score a knockdown.
A second loss to a fighter the caliber of Bercier could put Taylor’s career progress in serious jeopardy. The rising boxer is well aware of this fact and he is taking this rematch more serious than any other bout of his brief career.
"My end goal is to one day become the Heavyweight Champion," Taylor shared. "I know I have to get things done at cruiserweight first though. I’ve fought at heavyweight and those fights were easier. Cruiserweight is tough because the guys can still hit hard, but they move a lot more and are faster. There are some great heavyweights out there who train hard, but I don’t think they all take it as serious as the cruiserweights."
Any world championship at heavyweight or cruiserweight is a long way down the road for Taylor, but this cruiserweight knows a thing or two about putting miles behind him. Right now, Taylor is attempting to accomplish one of the most heroic feats a professional fighter can and that is to gain revenge over a fighter who already beaten them.
Taylor is painfully aware that records often mean little in the sport of boxing. After all, Bercier already owned a win over former world champion Kelvin Davis before Taylor met him in the ring. Bercier may be the more experienced veteran, but, on Halloween night, Taylor needs to be the one with all the tricks if he is going to redeem himself to make another step forward in his professional boxing career.
"I very well might take him out in the first round," Taylor stated. "If he makes it to the fifth, he’ll be lucky."
October 28, 2009