It’s ‘put up or shut up’ time for Jermain Taylor as Caleb Truax bout looms on Friday

18 Apr

Denzil Stone – Atlantic City

Former undisputed middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor, 33, continues his comeback quest on Friday, April 20 at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Caleb Truax, an undefeated Minnesota standout who narrowly beat Andy Kolle in his most recent fight, is his opponent. Taylor’s trainer, Pat Burns, is purring over his pugilist’s condition and, in the words of the prizefighter himself: “It’s time to put up or shut up“.

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Taylor (1-0-0, 1ko in his comeback) is raring to repeat his Nicklow victory by impressing against Truax. Credit: Team Taylor

“This has been another great camp and I am really looking forward to this fight,” said Taylor, who has been working predominantly on drills, training and fine-tuning skills during camp, rather than making weight as he began his first week’s training already in shape at 170lbs. “This is the new-old Jermain,” he added. “I am back to working really hard, and I am really focused… this fight is another step toward regaining my championship.

“My body feels great,” Taylor, who was once atop the 160lb division due to wins over Cory Spinks, Winky Wright and a brace over Bernard Hopkins, stated in the build-up to his first fight of the year. “I know what it takes and what I have to do to become champion again, but first I need to take this kid’s zero. I was praying the other day and God told me to go in there and kick this kid’s butt, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

“It is time to either put up or shut up.”

Taylor’s career began to decline in 2007, as he embarked on the first of two losses to an in-form Kelly Pavlik. A points victory over Jeff Lacy halted a winless run but he then suffered two successive knockouts to Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. A brief retirement period followed, prior to a late 2011 return versus Jessie Nicklow in a contest that saw a return to the division Taylor (29-4-1, 18ko) was most dominant in – middleweight.

At 160lbs, Burns believes he can plot a path back to supremacy for his fighter, however, he recently stressed the importance of first taking care of the Minnesota champion Truax (18-0-1, 10ko): “We are not underestimating this kid by any means. There is no sense in looking down the road until we take care of the challenge that is standing right in front of us. That being said, the things Jermain has been doing in this camp are absolutely unbelievable and I know he is going to impress a lot of people on April 20.”

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