This time, Jermain Taylor is training for one thing, and one thing only. He wants a championship belt again. Taylor, who held the middleweight championship from 2005 through 2007, will get his shot at the WBC super middleweight belt when he faces current WBC titleholder Carl Froch on Saturday, April 25, on Showtime Championship Boxing from MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. The telecast will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Taylor (28-2-1, 17KO”s) said the knowledge that he could be champion again is the only incentive he needs to train like he never has before for this fight. He has a new perspective and appreciation for boxing after more than nine years as a professional fighter. “Every time I get up in the morning, I say to myself, let’s go get that belt back,” Taylor said. “Every fighter wants to be world champion and have a belt. I have a sense of purpose and motivation to be a world champion again.”
It will be Taylor’s first action in the ring since a unanimous victory over Jeff Lacy on Nov. 15, 2008, a near-flawless performance that rejuvenated Taylor’s career and vaulted him back to boxing’s elite. Taylor first won a title on July 16, 2005, when he beat Bernard Hopkins. He held the title until Sept. 29, 2007, when current titleholder Kelly Pavlik took the belt away.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I had until I lost it”, Taylor said. And now I want it back. I’ll do the hard work that it takes to get it back. I know now what it takes. I know if you get comfortable, you’ll lose. There’s nothing comfortable about this camp. I’m very focus on what I have to do for victory. I’m bringing a lot of fire power and explosives with me when I enter the ring on April 25th.”
Taylor is training in his familiar locale of Miami, Florida where he has worked out of and on since turning professional in 2001. Taylor said this camp has a renewed sense of energy from all of Team Taylor. They know what is on the line, and everyone is working to get Taylor back to the top of the boxing world.
“This camp is a lot more focus and intense because there is a championship title on the line,” Taylor said. “It’s a totally different camp. I can see it in everyone’s faces. They want the title back as much as I do.”
Taylor is once again working with his longtime mentor and head trainer, Ozell Nelson. Both said the pairing is working as well as it ever has.
“Ever since we started training camp, we’ve talked about it,” Nelson said of the quest for the super middleweight crown. “It means a lot to Jermain to become world champion again and we plan to take full advantage of the opportunity. Jermain knows what he has to do and he’s hungry for the title. It’s about putting the work in, staying focus and executing the game plan. This is a camp full of confidence.”
“I’m confident that a re-focused, dedicated Jermain Taylor will take the belt from Carl Froch’s waist,” said Taylor’s promoter, Lou DiBella.
Taylor has said that he took Kelly Pavlik lightly when he first lost his title in 2007. But it is a new Taylor fighting Froch (24-0, 19 KOs) now, one that is hungry for a title like he never has been before. Taylor is going into April 25 with a sense of urgency unseen in his career before now.
“Here’s why,” Taylor said. “I’m the one wanting the title not him. He’s trying to keep the title and make a name for himself by fighting me. He has never fought on this level or anyone like me before. I’m going to take him in deep water and I hope he can swim.”
Taylor has never been a boxer to trash talk. Froch doesn’t seem to have a problem opening his mouth, and it is making for an exciting buildup to the highly-anticipated fight.
“I’ve been hearing he’s talking a lot of trash,” Taylor said of the Englishman Froch. “If that’s what he feels he has to do for this fight, so be it. I don’t expect him to be talking nice.”
Taylor certainly isn’t about to be nice when he enters the ring on April 25th.
The fight card is being promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Hennessy Sports. Tickets are on sale now and priced at $200, $100, $75 and $50. Tickets are available at www.mgmatfoxwoods.com your local Ticket Master and MGM Grand Box Office 866-646-0649.