Jermain Taylor doesn’t want his fight with Carl Froch to even go the maximum 12 rounds — he wants to knock out Froch much earlier. Still, for Taylor, it’s nice to know he can go 16 rounds if necessary. Taylor is in the tapering-down stage of training camp now, less than 12 days before his WBC Super Middleweight title bout with Froch on April 25 at the MGM Grand Theater at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The fight card is being promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Hennessy Sports. Tickets are on sale and priced at $200, $100, $75 and $50. Tickets are available at www.mgmatfoxwoods.com your local Ticket Master and MGM Grand Box Office 866-646-0609. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will telecast live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
But before trainer Ozell Nelson would let Taylor start to wind the camp down, Nelson made sure Taylor was in the type of physical shape necessary for a fight of this caliber. Late last week Taylor went 10 rounds with multiple sparring partners and then, without interruption, did another six rounds of intense handpad work with Nelson. It was the longest workout of the training camp.
“He did 16 rounds with ease,” Nelson said. “Jermain is going to be in excellent shape. He’s peaking just right. He finished real strong on the mitts, real strong. There was good snap on his punches. This camp is very confident about victory.”
“Every fighter knows when he’s ready to do battle. I’m ready. My conditioning, stamina and mental preparation is on schedule. I’m peaking at just the right time. When you match his skill-sets with mine, I don’t see how Carl Froch can win this fight.”
Home Sweet Miami:
Jermain Taylor returned to Miami to train for his last fight, against Jeff Lacy, for the first time since 2005, when he won the middleweight champion over Bernard Hopkins. Things went extremely well, and Taylor beat Lacy in a lopsided decision, so it was back to Miami for the Carl Froch training camp. With this camp going just as well, Taylor gives plenty of credit to Miami.
“I always love being in Miami for training camp, it’s where I started my professional career,” Taylor said. “My environment has a lot to do with my training and preparation for a fight. Everything always
goes smooth in Miami. I like the weather conditions when I do my morning run. I know where everything is. I like the training facilities where I do my gym workouts. It’s a comfort feeling for me and that’s important.”
New Motivation, New Taylor:
Jermain Taylor is notorious for being hard on his sparring partners, and not just in the ring. To Taylor, every minute in the gym is work time, and he approaches each sparring session as if it were a prizefight. That normally means no talking to sparring partners, and certainly no joking around in or out of the ring. Taylor is also well-known for having a more serious, and downright cranky disposition the closer he gets to his fights. This training camp has been different. Taylor has been more talkative and more jovial with everyone in camp, even the sparring partners.
“It’s been amazing ,” said trainer Ozell Nelson. “He gets down to the gym and is talking, very active. When he steps in the ring he’s all serious, but afterward he’s still talking to the sparring partners, telling them he’s happy they came to work and stepped it up. He’s more relaxed, and I know he’s ready to go. He has a good outlook. And he’s thinking more in the ring instead of just whaling away with punches.”
Taylor said he’s more focused than ever, and it allows him to relax and mingle more with people in the camp.
“We’ve had a great camp, as far as the sparring partners go,” Taylor said. “I usually don’t talk or interact very much with my sparring partners because I approach the sparring sessions as though it’s fight night. It keeps me focus with an edge to my attitude, but this camp I opened up just a little with my sparring partners and it’s brought the best out of them. They really have pushed me with some serious and intense workouts.”
More chatter in the gym isn’t the only new side of Taylor to come out this camp, and not the only thing that has pleased Nelson. Taylor has also shown much more interest in watching video of his opponent than before recent fights.
“Jermain has really done his homework on Carl Froch, he wants that belt” said Nelson. “It shows me his focus is where it should be. We have a good feel on how Carl will fight Jermain and we are prepared to make any adjustments in the ring if needed.”
Training With A Purpose:
Jermain Taylor has been a professional boxer for more than nine years now, but he still learns something new from every training camp, present camp included. And while Taylor said he went through a stretch of his career when he didn’t enjoy his training camps as much as he should, the Carl Froch camp has been the perfect combination of hard work to keep him excited and focused on winning another title.
“This was the prefect fight for me,” said Taylor. “I couldn’t wait to get in camp and start training for this match. I’m excited again like I was when I started my career. I have a purpose, I’m fighting for a title, something lost and I want it back.”
In this training camp Taylor has been working on some of the same skills that allowed him to rise to the ranks of the boxing elite, namely a lightening-quick jab. But Taylor said he is also working on some new feints and countering techniques that he expects to use effectively against Froch.
“It’s about skill-sets,” said Taylor. “Carl can’t match me skills-for-skills, all I have to do is apply and execute my talents and I’ll come away with the victory.”