Jermain, you're back. Now just focus on staying there
Welcome back to relevancy,
It's a little shocking that it took him a one-sided pounding of former super middleweight champion
But I digress.
Without question, Taylor's win vaults him back onto the national scene. After back-to-back losses to Pavlik -- once as a middleweight and a second time at a catch weight of 166 pounds -- Taylor looked comfortable fighting for the first time at the 168-pound, super-middleweight limit. His jab looked crisp and his power shots (which inexplicably vanished from his repertoire after the second round of his first fight with Pavlik) were both potent and on target.
"This was my comeback fight," Taylor told reporters after the fight. "This is my announcement that I'm back. I'm on my way back to the top."
Taylor's correct. With the win, the former middleweight champion has earned a shot at the vacant WBC super middleweight title. But that's not the fight Taylor is interested in. He's after
Clearly, a matchup with Calzaghe would be more lucrative than one with either
But it's never going to happen. What's more, Taylor shouldn't want it to happen.
Calzaghe told me before his fight with
I don't blame him. Calzaghe knows there isn't a light heavyweight out there with the power to knock him out, and with his super middleweight speed, he is capable of carving them up without significant risk. Taylor has never fought at 175 pounds and would be seriously overmatched.
Besides, what is Taylor's rush? He just reclaimed his career and has a chance to establish himself as the world's elite super middleweight. Who's going to stop him? IBF champ
Taylor shouldn't get too greedy. He should fight for the WBC title early next year and go after a unification fight with Bute or Inkin later in 2009. He should help set up a marketable, super middleweight mega-fight with Kessler by getting him a fight on American soil with a
Focus on your new division, Jermain. You're back. Try and stay there.
I agree with you that Calzaghe would be a much bigger star if he had fought Jones or Hopkins earlier in their careers. And after watching Lacy self-destruct Saturday night, I wonder more and more just how good he was when Joe beat him. But you can't pin all the blame on Calzaghe. Certainly, Calzaghe could have been more vocal in wanting to fight either Jones or Calzaghe (he told me last week that he wanted to fight both of them much earlier than he did). But Jones and Hopkins both seemed satisfied to take the mandatory (and usually inferior) challenger to their respective titles throughout their careers and they have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
In the end, Nate, it doesn't matter. It's not them who suffer. It's the boxing fans like us.
Ah, the Jones Kool-Aid is flowing today. Look, I'm not going to say Calzaghe would have beaten Jones 10 years ago. Jones doesn't possess a fraction of the speed or power he once did and Calzaghe will readily admit he is a much better fighter today than he was in the '90s.
But destroy him? Please. Calzaghe's hand speed alone would win him a few rounds and at super middleweight (which is the weight the fight probably would have been at 10 years ago) he would be able to absorb Jones' power shots.
And you have to consider the technique. When he wants to be, Calzaghe is a flawless fighter. Jones has never been. He has gotten by on raw speed and athleticism. Don't get me wrong, his accomplishments are laudable. But at worst, a Jones-Calzaghe matchup 10 years ago would be a tough, competitive fight.