By Paul Upham: It wasn’t a world title fight win but for Jermain Taylor
, but at this stage of his boxing career, it may have been more important than that. A unanimous twelve round points win over his former Olympic team mate and former world champion Jeff Lacy has got Taylor’s career back on track, after back to back losses to Kelly Pavlik.
Their Saturday night clash at the McGugin Center, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee had been titled “All Or Nothing”, televised in the USA on HBO World Championship Boxing. Both boxers were trying to re-establish themselves on the world boxing scene after disappointing world title losses and poor recent form.
After Lacy 24-2 (17), the former IBF super middleweight world champion, had started fast in the opening seconds of round 1, Taylor 28-2-1 (17) took control, utilising a strong jab.
That jab set up everything for 30 year-old Taylor, the former undisputed middleweight world champion and he was in a smooth boxing groove, mixed with heavy right hands.
Round after round looked the same as Taylor controlled the action, all except the 5th, which will now be hard to explain in hindsight.
31 year-old Lacy attacked early in round 5 and hurt Taylor as he landed strong hard right hands. Taylor’s jab disappeared and for the only time in the fight, he looked vulnerable. It looked as though Lacy had changed the flow of the fight, but in round 6 Taylor rediscovered his jab and proceeded to take control again.