Photo by Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Photo by Tim Barry
Former two-time world title challenger Shannan “The Bulli Blaster” Taylor (50-8-3, 36 KOs) holds KO wins over several former world champions including WBA champion Livingstone Bramble and IBF champion Jake “The Snake” Rodriguez but was defeated in world title challenges against Shane Mosley and Arthur Abraham. Taylor talks to Fightnews and tells of his amateur bout with Kostya Tszyu, why Jeff Fenech did not want him to fight Mosley and that Arthur Abraham is the hardest puncher he has boxed.
Tell me about your amateur career.
I won three Australian amateur titles and also three Oceana titles. I boxed Kostya Tszyu as an amateur in Kings Cup. I defeated an American, a Japanese, and a Filipino but won a silver medal when I lost a disputed decision to Kostya Tszu. You can watch it on YouTube and judge for your self.
You challenged Shane Mosley for the WBC welterweight title in 2001. Tell me about that fight.
I had defeated several former world champions including IBF champion Jake Rodriguez and WBA champion Livingstone Bramble and was rated WBC number one contender. My trainer was Jeff Fenech and he told me to go after the WBO title. I slept on it for three days but I decided that i would rather fight the best. I was to proud to not go ahead with the fight. My conditioner was Les Mara and he helped me get in great shape. I was super fit but Mosley caught me with a right hand that had me in trouble and he was crowned the winner. Shane is a great boxer and I know it is no disgrace to lose to an all time great like him. He is the best I ever boxed.
You challenged Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight title in 2006 losing a twelve round decision. What do you rate this outstanding German boxer?
I took the fight with Abraham on five weeks notice. I had suffered a rib injury against Raymond Joval in an IBO title bout and I carried that injury into the ring the night I boxed for the IBF middleweight title. I rate Abraham the best puncher I have been in the ring with. He hits harder than IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green who I sparred many rounds with. But Abraham is not fast and I could see his punches and he could not break my defense.
WBA and IBF rated 168 pounder Les Sherrington stopped you in an upset in 2009. Were you in good fighting shape for this fight?
I was only half fit for that fight. The promoter offered me AUD $20,000 so I took the fight with Sherrington. I had several personal problems before that fight and had planned to take several months off from training but I needed the money. We clashed heads and I was cut and that was the first time I did not want to be in the ring. I thought, what am I doing in here with this young guy who is hungry and a good fighter. He was 27 years and I was 37 years.
You joined the leading Sydney gymnasium the Grange gym after the Sherrington bout training under Graham Shaw who trained Lovemore Ndou to a world title in 2007. Your thoughts?
The smartest thing I have ever done in boxing was to train under Graham Shaw at the Grange Gym. I respect him and train hard under his guidance. The manager of the Grange is Garrie Francisco and he lives only 700 meters from my house. Steve Paulley is also a trainer at the gym and he has helped me also.Bill Treacy is the boss of the Grange and he has helped Australian boxing get back on its feet by giving boxers in our country opportunities by bringing top class fighters . He gave Lovemore Ndou his chance to win a world title in 2007.
IBF rated middleweight Daniel Geale trains with you at the Grange gym. What do you rate him?
I have sparred and boxed the best fighters in Australia over twenty years including Kostya Tszyu, Anthony Mundine and Danny Green but without doubt Daniel Geale is the best by far. Danny Green is an IBO cruiserweight champion but I am 100% confident that Daniel Geale would beat him easy. That is one fight Danny will not take because he knows he cannot win against Geale
In your last fight you scored a knockout over Australian middleweight Ben Costello who was made favorite to defeat you. Are you ready for a rematch with Les Sherrington?
I certainly am. I will never go into a fight unfit again. I will beat Sherrington. I have no excuses now that I have the best sparring with Daniel Geale and Rob Medley. Both Medley and Geale will win world titles in my opinion. I had my first amateur fight in 1982 so I have been boxing twenty-eight years. I showed against Costello that I am not finished yet.