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Taylor vs. Truax & Lara vs. Hearns this Friday

Image: Taylor vs. Truax & Lara vs. Hearns this FridayBy Jason Kim: This Friday night, former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO’s) will be taking a slight step up in competition against Caleb Truax (18-0-1, 10 KO’s) in a 10 round bout at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi. On the undercard, Ronald Hearns and Erislandy Lara will be fighting in a 10 round bout.

Taylor, 33, made a comeback last December against Jessie Nicklow after two years out of the ring resting after suffering back to back KO defeats at the hands of Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. Taylor didn’t show any signs of having a weak chin in the Nicklow fight, but then again he was facing a guy with little power and not much size.

The 28-year-old Truax also doesn’t have much in the way of power, but does have decent size at 6’0″. However, Truax has never fought anyone nearly as good as Taylor. The best guy on Truax’s resume is perhaps Andy Kolle, and that’s not good enough to get Truax ready for a fight against an excellent fighter like Taylor.

Taylor showed in his last fight that he still has fast hand speed, a great jab and good power. However, he injured his right hand in the 2nd round after hitting Nicklow on the top of his head. Taylor was forced to use his left hand only for the remainder of the fight. It was more than enough, as he really shined against Nicklow.

I expect Taylor to do a number on Truax on Friday and will likely need little more than his left hand again because Truax isn’t in his class.

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Erislandy Lara (15-1-1, 10 KO’s) has had some really bad luck as of late with him losing a controversial 12 round majority decision to Paul Williams last July in a fight that he seemed to do more than enough to win. That fight was one-sided from start to finish with Lara giving Williams a beating. In Lara’s fight before that, he was held to a controversial 10 round draw against Carlos Molina last year in March. In that fight too, Lara appeared to do enough to get the win. He didn’t dominate the action, though, because Molina did a good job of smothering his offense, but Lara still landed the cleaner shots and deserved to get the win.

Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KO’s) was beaten by WBA World middleweight champion Felix Sturm by a 7th round TKO last year in February. Hearns fought a good fight, but he ended up getting overwhelmed with punches in the 7th and stopped.

Lara should have little problems beating Hearns as long as he’s got a good enough chin to take some of Hearns big shots he likes to throw from time to time. The best way to beat Hearns is to attack with an all out flurry. Hearns, being a long-armed fighter, isn’t able to respond quickly enough to flurries throw in close and he tends to wilt when that happens, as we saw in his losses to Sturm and Harry Joe Yorgey.

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