Jermain Taylor, The Undisputed King Of The Middleweights

By Tom Donelson
Updated: December 11, 2006

NEW YORK — Jermain Taylor is one of those fighters who just win. Saturday night, Taylor won an easy decision over Uganda fighter Kassim Ouma. Ouma is a wound up doll, who loves to throw punches in a windmill fashion.

In most of his fights, Ouma averages 100 punches per round thrown at fast rapid machine gun pace and while he does not have overwhelming punching power, he simply wears his opponent out.

Saturday night, the wound up doll moved up from junior Middleweight to try his luck at Jermain Taylor. Taylor does not look like a classic fighter. Yes, he has a powerful right and a sledgehammer jab, but there are times that he still retains his amateur habits.

Occasionally wide rights and widely thrown punches accompany sharp accurate right hands and uppercuts. Taylor fights often in retreating fashion and his power, while substantial, is not all powerful one punch.

Part of Taylor’s problem is that he hasn’t been overwhelming, but over the past four fights, he has beaten the world’s best. He won two close battles over Bernard Hopkins and managed to draw with the tricky, defensive minded Winky Wright.

Ouma presented his own problems, a pressure fighter with quick hands. These are not fighters that it is easy to look good against but Taylor manages to find a way to persevere.

Let’s take his most recent affair with Ouma. Taylor took Ouma out of his game. When they stood in the center of the ring, Taylor’s power slowed Ouma down consistently. At no time did Ouma come close to throwing 100 punches per round and rarely did he connect on effective power punches.

The only way that he struck an effective blow in Taylor way was by accidental head butt. Beyond that, Ouma was reduced to ineffectual barrage that often interrupted by nasty power punches or occasional clinches.

Taylor never allowed Ouma to get into rhythm. Part of being a good or great fighter is imposing your will on the other guy or refusing to allow the other guy to fight his fight.

Against Winky Wright, Taylor forced Wright to be more aggressive and opening him up to his own power punches. Wright-Taylor fight was a close affair that ended up in a draw but the bottom line was that Taylor retained his title and no one should question the result.

It was a close affair that could have gone either way but no one really can dispute that Taylor earned his draw, if not a victory. Before that, he fought two close battles with Bernard Hopkins that was even in almost everyway.

After Hopkins lost his two battles with Taylor , he went on to embarrass Antonio Tarver; showing that Taylor defeated a still dangerous Hopkins .

Taylor accomplishment over the past year has been impressive. He twice beat a hall of fame fighter in Hopkins and he defeated Winky Wright, one of the best pound for pound. (And Wright may be joining Hopkins in the boxing Hall of Fame.)

In Kassim Ouma, he fought a tough determined foe with world class skills. Say what you want about Taylor, he has fought some of the best and he so far refuse to allow the sanctioning bodies dictate who to fight. And his desire to fight the very best has cost him the IBF and WBA title.

(For those who are interested, the WBA title is occupied by Mariano Natalio Carrera and the IBF is presently held by Arthur Abraham, who is recovering from the beating he received at the hands of Edison Miranda while defending his title.)

Taylor is the recognized Middleweight standard bearer for the simple reason that he has yet to lose and he has fought the superior quality of opponents over the past year. Now what is next for Taylor ? One option that everyone is talking about is a possible match with Joe Calzaghe.

This has big money written all over it and Taylor has the power and quickness to stand up to Calzaghe but Calzaghe superior skills may prove just too much for Taylor .

There is also Winky Wright II but this is as much dependent upon Wright, who is now talking Oscar De La Hoya. Of course, De La Hoya has to get past Floyd Mayweather before that is too happen. A Wright-Taylor is still on the horizon but it is not a certainty.

Other options could include a fight with Abraham, when Abraham recovers from the injuries suffered at the hand at Edison Miranda. Or it could be Miranda, the tough Columbian fighter. Miranda is preparing to fight Willie Gibbs this upcoming Saturday night and a spectacular impression could lay the ground work with a bout with Taylor .

Taylor has many options and the luxury that everyone recognized that he is the true Middleweight Champion. Taylor understands that true champions fight the best available fighters and legacies are based on winning the big fights.

Taylor may not be a classic fighter or may not even win his big fights with heroic knock outs. What he does is find a way to win. And that is the first sign of a champion.