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Jermain Taylor needs a top contender for his next fight

Jermain TaylorBy Scott Gilfoid: Former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO’s) looked nothing short of sensational in his comeback fight last Friday night against the very determined Jessie Nicklow in a very impressive 8th round knockout victory in Cabazon, California.

What made this win so much better was the fact that the 33-year-old Taylor did it with a hurt right, which he injured early in the fight in the 2nd round. Taylor for all practical purposes beat Nicklow with his left hand alone for much of the fight.

To be sure, there were some grumblings afterwards from some fans who felt that Taylor wasn’t as impressive as they would have liked because he didn’t steamroll over the smaller Nicklow. But when you take in the fact that Taylor had only one good hand to work with, I think he did an amazing job.

Taylor already looked good enough to beat every one of the current middleweight champions without a doubt. You put Taylor in with the champions Felix Sturm, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Daniel Geale and Dmitry Pirog and I have complete faith in Taylor that he would beat all four of them. As long he doesn’t experience another hand injury, I think he could clean out the current group of champions. Even with a hand injury, I see Taylor beating Geal eand Sturm.

Taylor needs a good contender for his next fight. He can’t afford to suck up the entire year facing 2nd tier opposition in stages. Taylor needs to hit the bottom of the division and then go for a mid-level contender and then a world title shot by the end of 2012. That’s the timeline that Taylor needs to be working with.

Here are some of the bottom dwellers I’d like to see Taylor pick from for his next tune-up fight:

Peter Quillin
Fernando Guerrero
Domenco Spada
Darren Barker
Sebastian Sylvester
Avandil Khurtsidze

For Taylor’s next after knocking off one the bottom feeders, here are the next level I’d like see him choose from before fighting for a title:

Andy Lee
Sebastian Zbik
Matthew Macklin
Martin Murray
Marco Antonio Rubio
Gzegorz Proksa

The main thing is that Taylor doesn’t waste time facing 2nd tier opposition and using up his career for fights that won’t help him improve any. Taylor doesn’t need fights against lower hanging fruit because it won’t get him ready for what he’ll be facing when he does challenge for a title against one of the champions. He’s clearly ready now to fight for a title but it’s better if he takes things kind of slowly due to his head damage from his fight against Arthur Abraham.

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