At a press conference to promote Saturday's WBC super middleweight title fight, a table at the front of the room was tightly packed with promoters, trainers, managers and various network and hotel executives. And, of course, there were the fighters. Well, at least one fighter for sure.
With his expensive suit and 1,000-watt smile,
The same couldn't be said for his opponent and the WBC titleholder,
Despite their superficial differences, Froch and Taylor share a common goal, and it has little the do with the title on the line Saturday night at the MGM Grand at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino (Showtime, 9 p.m.). It's bigger than that. It's a quest for boxing relevancy. Froch wants to prove he is relevant. Taylor is desperate to show he
Taylor's fall from grace has been as swift as it has been stunning. After back-to-back victories over
Interestingly enough, Taylor agrees with his critics.
"I lost my hunger," said Taylor. "After the Hopkins fights, I had reached all of my goals. I had nothing to look forward to."
As a 168-pound super middleweight, however, Taylor finds himself in a more comfortable position as a challenger trying to scrap his way to the top. He says he regained a measure of his confidence in his November decision win over
"I'm motivated to get the belts in this division," he said. "That's what it took to get my hunger back. It took me losing my belts to realize that, but I do. I want [Froch's] belt. That's what I have to look forward to."
He's even found a little bit of cockiness, too. When asked what he knew about Froch before the fight was set, Taylor response was succinct.
"Nothing," he said. "The first I heard of him was when I was going to fight him. When my friends asked me who I was fighting, and I said Carl Froch, they asked 'Carl who?' I hate to sound like I'm underestimating him, but nobody knows him. Most people think he is a nobody. That's the way it is."
The current boxing landscape is littered with reclamation projects (see
"I'm not necessarily done at middleweight," said Taylor. "It would take a big fight to bring me back. But I think my nutrition and conditioning are good enough that I could go back to 160. I was having a little bit of trouble making that weight for a while, but another fight with Pavlik is definitely something I would be interested in."
But before he was able to get too far ahead of himself, Taylor paused and gazed around the room.
I, too, thought the locale for Saturday's title fight seemed a bit off at first. Afterall, Foxwoods hasn't held many high-profile fights; Taylor-Froch will be its biggest. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.
By putting the fight in Connecticut, which is equidistant from Boston and New York, two major markets are tapped, while fight fans in Hartford and Providence are also included. Ticket sales at the 4,000-seat MGM Grand Arena have been strong (most of the expensive seats have sold out) and Taylor's promoter
Ugh. Yes. Malignaggi hasn't fought since
The only guarantees in this fight are Malignaggi a) will box circles around Fernandez, and b) has no shot of knocking him out. If you're watching at home, don't worry, Showtime isn't airing it. If you're headed to Foxwoods, well, you know when to take your bathroom break.
Yes indeed! Sturm, the WBA middleweight champion and unofficial winner of the Roy Jones "I-only-take-mandatory-fights-because-I'm-afraid-to-lose-my-paper-title" award, will fight
But Sturm makes me sick. He has fattened his record by taking on a parade of nobodies, and he continues to duck Pavlik and