Jermain Taylor – Caleb Truax on 4/20; Lara-Hearns, Russell Jr-Nguyen also on card
By Jim Dower: Jermain Taylor (29-4, 18 KO’s) will be fighting a 10 round bout against 2nd tier fighter Caleb Truax (18-0-1, 10 KO’s) on April 20th at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. This is the 33-year-old Taylor’s second fight of his comeback and he’s looking to impress so that he can keep moving forward to recapture one of the middleweight titles.
Taylor fought for the first time in over two years last December in stopping Jessie Nicklow by an 8th round TKO on December 30th. For a fighter that hadn’t seen action in ages, Taylor looked remarkably good, like he’d never been away. He injured his right hand early in the fight and as forced to dominate Nicklow using his left hand alone.
Taylor, #6 WBO, #9 WBC, could soon be knocking on the door for a title shot if he can pick up a win in this fight and perhaps two or three more decent wins. He’s not going to be put in with anyone too good until he gets a title shot because his people aren’t going to take any risks with him until there’s something significant on the line.
Taylor won’t have any problems beating the 28-year-old Truax, as he’s very slow, only uses his right hand and is easy to hit. Truax has a nice record but he’s never fought anyone even remotely as good as Taylor.
Also on the card will be junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara (15-1, 10 KO’s) looking to bounce back from a defeat at the hands of Paul Williams in his last fight last July. Lara will be facing middleweight contender Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KO’s) in a 10 round bout. This should be a fairly easy fight for the southpaw 28-year-old Lara, as he shouldn’t have lost to Williams because Lara dominated Williams in that fight. Lara, #4 WBA, #7 WBC, is one of the best fighters in the junior middleweight division with his speed, and power. He’s got the goods to win a title if he can get a title shot from someone. Lara is close but it could be another year or so before he’s able to force one of the champions to fight him. It’s doubtful that any of them will voluntarily fight him because of how good he is.
Undefeated featherweight contender Gary Russell Jr. (19-0, 11 KO’s) will be getting a decent test from Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6 KO’s) in an eight round bout. Russell Jr., 23, has been blowing guys out recently and he needs a good test like Nguyen to give him some rounds so that he can learn something. Russell, #13 IBF, blew out a tough Heriberto Ruiz by a 1st round knockout in his last fight last November.
Middleweight contender Fernando Guerrero (23-1, 18 KO’s) will be fighting an eight round bout against an opponent still to be determined. Guerrero was shockingly stopped by 40-year-old Grady Brewer last June in a huge upset. Since then, Guerrero, #11 WBC, has won his last two fights against 2nd tier fighters Robert Kliewer and Jason Naugler.
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- WBA orders Golovkin vs. Lara