August 16, 2001 – By Paul Upham: The long-awaited grudge match between WBC No.6 Shannan Taylor and WBA No.11 Julian Holland, Australia’s two finest welterweights, will finally happen on Friday night after both weighed in successfully for their clash for Holland’s Australian belt and the vacant Commonwealth title.
“I’ve made weight easy and it shows the respect I’ve got for him,” said Taylor as he hopped off the scales after weighing in at 147lbs.
Holland was on the scales first as the defending Australian welterweight champion and, after weighing in marginally over, had to get back on the scales without his clothes to make the limit.
Both fighters looked in great condition for the Kieran O’Connor promotion at the Octagon at the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, with Holland only marginally shorter than Taylor in what should be a very interesting contest.
“I’m ready to fight now,” said Taylor, 29-1-1 (19).
“You are going to see Shannan Taylor at his best tomorrow night. I’ve been in with Sugar Shane Mosley, I’ve been in with the best the world has to offer. I want to take what I’ve been doing in the gym into the fight. You’ve all seen me spar Glenn Kelly and Nader Hamdan, I want to take that form with me into the fight.
“I’m going to tear him apart,” he added.
While Taylor was very vocal, Holland was very focused and looking forward to the opportunity he has been given to defeat Taylor and move his career onto the world stage.
“I feel good and have been training well. This is a great opportunity for me and I’m confident of putting on my best performance,” said Holland, 25-2-1 (15).
O’Connor Sports boxing co-ordinator Jeff “Hitman” Harding believes that Taylor has an edge for the fight in his mental toughness.
“After you have had a loss, it is easier to improve yourself and deal with the mental pressures that affect you at the highest level. I have been spending some time with Shannan lately and he really seems to have that mental toughness that is needed to become world champion,” said the two-time WBC light-heavyweight champion.
“I haven’t seen too much of Julian lately, but I know he is a worthy Australian champion and the fans are really in for a treat on Friday night.”
Fans can expect Taylor to attack Holland early on in the fight and try to bulldoze his way to a win. Holland’s strategy will be to take the fight into the later stages and use his boxing skills and underrated body punches to slow Taylor down.
Due to popular demand, the Octagon venue has been expanded and there has been an extra release of 1,000 tickets for the evening, which can be purchased through The Spectacular Group on Friday morning from 9am by telephone on (02) 9212 6639 or at the venue from 4pm with doors opening at 6pm. The promotion will be telecast live around Australia on Fox Sports from 7.30pm