Flawed Jermain Taylor outpoints Caleb Truax but was dropped in the process

21 Apr

Denzil Stone – Atlantic City

For seven rounds, former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor was coasting to an uninspiring decision victory over Caleb Truax at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi on Friday, April 20, however, the comebacking 33-year-old was then dropped from a right hand that Truax had oft been scoring with. The knockdown changed the landscape of the bout, as Taylor then clinched throughout the rest of the bout in order to hear the final bell.

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Stone’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10 8 10

9 9 9
9 9 9 10 9 10 9

Official verdict: Taylor via unanimous decision (98-91, 97-92, 97-94).

While Truax largely restricted himself to a seldom-enforced jab, Taylor bragged a far more complete fistic arsenal that he showed to full effect in the opener. Truax was tagged with orthodox jabs that were doubled up, right hook punches from mid-range, left uppercuts and shots straight down the pipe. Truax’s timid attack did little to perturb Taylor from bringing action in round two. Jermain, dubbed Bad Intentions, did not live up to that moniker but, rather, broke Truax down in a methodical fashion from the outside.

Having shown vulnerability to receiving straight rights, there was a sense of irony that Taylor’s most damaging punch in round three was a straight right that momentarily rocked Truax, the middleweight State champion from Minnesota. Studying Truax on the Taylor performance alone it would be easy to criticise the 28-year-old for his low work-rate, however, in his professional career he rarely throws more than 30 shots per round which is around 50 percent of the division average. Against Taylor, who was throwing around 60 punches per round, Truax was getting overshadowed… so much so that his trainer implored him to find the fire going into the fourth.

In the fourth, Truax finally let his hands go and enjoyed good success as he caught Taylor with a well-worked combination. He also looked to employ a more exaggerated movement of the head as he attempted to duck under Taylor’s shots upstairs. Taylor, though, retained the role of ring general and consequently continued with his stubborn collection of all the ten scores.

In the fifth, Truax countered Taylor’s combinations. Compared to the Taylor who halted Jesse Nicklow, this Jermain was one who’s rhythm and timing was a little off and, as a result, his punch stats were worsening with every completed round. Winning the fight seemingly with the lead punch alone, Taylor was given something to think about in the seventh round as Truax cronked the Arkansas man with a stiff right hand.

With a punch that had been rehearsed repeatedly in the latter stages of the contest, at the beginning of the ninth, Truax cracked and dropped Taylor with a goodnight right hand. Taylor looked stunned on the deck but made it to his feet but had over two minutes to battle through before the minute’s break between rounds. Having regained his senses, Taylor fought back with guts, showing enough of his weaponry to dilute Truax’s attack, but was largely in survival mode.

Throughout the early stages of the tenth and final stanza, Taylor sought to simply tie Truax up so as to best limit any bad blood Caleb had intended for him. Midway through the round, Taylor stung Truax with a good three-punch combo landing either side of the skull but, following on from that, Taylor fought negatively, clinching and remaining so as often as he could get away with.

“I been knocked out four times man,” said Taylor, who rose to 30-4-1, 18ko with the win, to Showtime. “All the training I’m doing is paying off, it’s all about work now. This was a tune up. Let them [the fans/media] talk about the knockdown! It was a good punch [but] I was ready! I was a lil dazed but this is what I worked for. I been there before but I was in shape. I don’t care about getting knocked down, I don’t care! That’s what’s dangerous about me! I don’t care!”

On his immediate ambitions, he concluded by remarking: “I want a top ten middleweight – come and get it!”

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One Response to “Flawed Jermain Taylor outpoints Caleb Truax but was dropped in the process”

  1. EZ E April 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    I like Taylor, his attitude, respectful manner and his will to prove himself. On the other hand I consider him as Showtime ‘name’ fighter with ESPN talent. No, I don’t expect great things from Jermain and believe that he will taste defeat as soon as he steps it up a peg and faces the true estabished top fighters of the division. I do wish him luck but…

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