Jermain Taylor Vs. Jeff Lacy: Round By Round

November 16, 2008

by Nick Tylwalk… Between the rounds of the Calzaghe-Jones replay, Larry Merchant interviews Jeff Lacy. Lacy says that he learned some of Jermain’s techniques from watching his fights with Pavlik, mainly that he throws two or three jabs before his hard right hand.
Merchant asks him if he wants to beat up Taylor, his old Olympic partner. Lacy says that this fight is business and they have to put their past to the side for now.

Merchant now sits down with Taylor. Taylor says that after his losses to Pavlik, he was able to take some time off and get his love for boxing back. He says he had mixed feelings seeing Hopkins beat Pavlik the way he did. Taylor says that it showed that styles make fights.

He adds that he will have to beat Lacy and look good doing it to get his career back where he wants it.

After a long wait, the fighters enter the ring. Tonight’s fight between Taylor and Lacy is at 168 pounds. Lacy is 24-1 with 17 KOs and Taylor is 27-2 with 17 KOs. Lacy comes out to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, while Taylor enters to “Put On” by Young Jeezy.

The intros are finished and it’s time for the fight.

Round One:
Taylor throws the first punch and it’s a jab that Lacy blocks. Not much action for the first 30 seconds. Lacy throws a jab and follows with a straight right. Taylor blocks them. Taylor lands two solid shots upstairs and Lacy backs slightly. Taylor counter-punches and lands with a right hook. Taylor is landing the cleaner shots so far. Taylor is tagging Lacy as soon as he comes in.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Two:
Both fighters are using a lot of movement, lots of toe bouncing. Lacy stays active and throws two head shots; one lands. Lacy lands a double jab and a hard right. Both trade hard haymakers but most get blocked by both fighters. Lacy is taking the majority of clean punches in this round as well. Lacy comes forward and throws a hard straight right but Taylor blocks it. Taylor lands a good jab. Taylor lands a great right hook before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Three:
Lacy starts to work the body, forcing Taylor to back up. Lacy blocks two hooks from Taylor. Lacy backs Taylor in the corner but Taylor gets away.
Lacy chases Taylor around the ring trying to land power shots but Taylor gets away again. Taylor lands a solid uppercut. Taylor is using good footwork. Taylor lands a huge left jab and right cross that wobble Lacy. Lacy grapples to stay alive, but he still doesn’t have his legs back. Lacy uses enough defense to make it out of the round.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Four:
Lacy looks OK now and throws a left and right to the head of Taylor. Taylor blocks both of them. Taylor unleashes a six-punch combo to the head and body, though Lacy blocks most of it. Taylor has Lacy on the defensive.
Lacy now comes in leading with the jab. Despite being wobbled in the last round, Lacy is not backing off. Taylor lands a huge left and right combo that brings the crowd to its feet. Lacy grapples to stay on his feet. Lacy doesn’t stop throwing but Taylor blocks everything coming in.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Five:
Neither fighter does much in the first 30 seconds. Lacy puts the pressure on Taylor and lands a good right hook. Lacy lands a right hand counter and Taylor goes down. Taylor shakes his head and the ref calls it a slip, but it looked like a clear knockdown to me.
Taylor is clinching now. Lacy keeps the punch output high and lands solid shots while Taylor is against the ropes. Taylor fights back and lands a good left and right combo. Lots of clinching going on now. Lacy fights back and lands a huge right hand that sends Taylor backpedaling across the ring. The bell stops the action.
Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Six:
Taylor lands a jab at the start of the round. Taylor starts to clinch again. Taylor goes back to the jab. Lacy lands a nice left hook. The fight is now less technical and gets closer to a brawl. Even more clinching now.
Taylor comes in with a wide right hook that misses. Lacy comes into a left straight by Taylor. The fighters go back to clinching but they now do a better job of fighting out of it.

Spartan117: 10-9 Lacy
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Seven:
Lacy isn’t throwing a lot of combinations. He’s coming in with the jab and follows with the straight right every time. Taylor is still throwing combinations and good counter-punches.
Lacy comes into a huge Taylor uppercut and the crowd reacts. Lacy fights through it. Lacy comes into another straight. Lacy lands a good right. Lacy continues to get hit while coming forward.
Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Eight:
Lacy has been fighting with the same style the whole fight now: come forward with the jab and follow with a straight right. Taylor is doing well by hitting Lacy with hard shots every time he comes forward.
Taylor throws and lands a great combination to the head of his opponent. Lacy loads up a left hook but misses. Taylor’s defense looks very good as he blocks Lacy’s shots. Taylor lands a big right-left combo right before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round Nine:
Taylor sticks to his game plan of landing while Lacy is open as he comes forward. Lacy’s mouthpiece comes out but it looked like it fell out after a clinch. Lacy is getting peppered with flurries as his defense looks like it is worsening.
Lacy lands a hard right hook as they fight out of a clinch. Taylor snaps the head of Lacy around with a great combo right before the bell.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 10:
Lacy remains active after taking most of the punishment in the fight. Taylor lands a stiff jab and follows with another big hook. Lacy has no answers for Taylor’s tactics. Taylor continues to clinch. Lacy’s head keeps taking more and more abuse. I’m surprised he’s still staying in there.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 11:
The ref stops the action to cut extra tape off of Lacy’s gloves. Lacy comes back into the fight throwing big, lunging haymakers. Taylor blocks and moves. Taylor lands a strong left hook.
Lacy fires back but his punches are getting more wild and desperate. Taylor snaps the neck of Lacy with a great right hand. Lacy fights on but still has no defense.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Round 12:
Lacy knows that he needs a KO to win and comes out in the 12th throwing bombs. Taylor backs up and doesn’t want to get KO’ed. Taylor now lands a left hook. Both fighters are swinging away halfway through the round. Taylor lands another left-right combo.
Taylor shows that he is the more technical boxer in this fight. The fans come to their feet for the last 10 seconds of the fight as the fighters give it their all and try for the knockout. Both fighters land some big shots right before the bell rings.

Spartan117: 10-9 Taylor
Uatu: 10-9 Taylor

Spartan117 scores it 118-110 and Uatu scores it 119-109, both for Taylor.

The judges score it 119-109, 118-110 and 119-109, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor.
Originally presented live at

The Future Of Boxing: Top Boxers Under 27

November 12, 2008 by Nick Tylwalk… There’s been something of a mini-renaissance for older boxers during the last few months. At age 43, Bernard Hopkins took apart the much younger Kelly Pavlik. Roy Jones Jr. nearly had one final big moment at 39 with his first round knockdown of Joe Calzaghe–no spring chicken himself at 36.

Clearly though, while the 35-and-over crowd can still put on a show and sell tickets, its time is coming to a close. Calzaghe’s win could spell the end for him, Jones and Hopkins too. Oscar De La Hoya has been increasingly noncommittal, but he may call it a career after he fights Manny Pacquiao.

A loss to Antonio Margarito in January might mean it’s the last time we see Shane Mosley in the ring. Even fighters on the good side of 35 like Floyd Mayweather Jr. (already retired, at least for now) and Ricky Hatton (who’s spoken of fighting just a few more times) are wrapping up their careers.

Thinking about the departure of the old guard is enough to send a boxing fan into depression…except that there’s quite a wave of young talent that will be ready to take the proverbial torch when it’s passed. Even better, it’s spread throughout almost the entire range of weight classes.

To prove it to myself, and you if necessary, I compiled a list of boxers who I think represent the immediate future of the sport. These are young guys I fully expect we’ll be watching in title fights well into the 2010’s.

What is young? It’s an arbitrary line no matter where you draw it, but I wanted to make sure no one on the list would turn 30 until the next decade is at least a few years old. Thus, everyone here is currently under 27.

I’m going by the weight classes the boxers are most associated with at the present time since it’s too hard to forecast who might move up or down going forward. I started at super featherweight since my knowledge of the lower divisions is spotty at best.

And you’ll notice the glaring omission of heavyweights, because despite the fact that it’s trendy to bash the big guys, the truth is that there really is a lack of talented young fighters over 200 pounds. The only heavyweight under 27 ranked in the top 20 on is Eddie Chambers, so nothing more really needs to be said.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the best of boxing’s next wave:

130 pounds: Robert Guerrero–He shares a nickname with Kelly Pavlik, and like the other Ghost, he’s more likely to hunt you down and knock you out than elude you. Unhappiness with his promotion has led to nine months of inactivity, but the powerful lefty should be a handful once he resumes his career.

Honorable Mention: The record of Edwin Valero is the stuff internet legends are made of: 24 fights, 24 KO victories. Oh yeah, and 19 of those knockouts came in the first round. Unfortunately, Valero still has problems getting cleared to fight in most U.S. states as the result of health concerns stemming from a 2001 motorcycle accident. That means the unofficial son of’s Dougie Fischer may never get a true chance at stardom, which would be a shame.

135 pounds: Juan Diaz–The Baby Bull fights in a crowd-pleasing though possibly career-shortening style. His loss to Nate Campbell earlier this year showed how he could be beaten, but it took a combination of skill and guts most fighters don’t have to pull it off. With 34 pro wins under his belt, it’s hard to believe Diaz is only 25.

Honorable Mention: Hard-hitting Colombian Breidis Prescott stole the thunder from Amir Khan in September with a thrilling first-round KO. His competition thus far has been underwhelming, but he’s someone to watch. Undefeated American Anthony Peterson gets props here too.

140 pounds: Timothy Bradley–Desert Storm had an impressive year, defeating tricky Brit Junior Witter in his home country, then unexpectedly headlining a Showtime card and beating Edner Cherry. He’s built like a tank but actually is more boxer than brawler.

147 pounds: Andre Berto–The Reggie Bush look-alike is already a world champion at 25 and is fun to watch because he can punish opponents as the aggressor or the counter-puncher. Unless you count Steve Forbes - and I don’t - he hasn’t faced anyone yet who’s truly made him dig down deep.

154 pounds: James Kirkland–Golden Boy believes in Kirkland, as they signed the undefeated southpaw to a deal last month. The Texas native has been running through opponents with four consecutive fights that did not make it out of the second round.

Honorable Mention: It’s hard to pick just one since there are several good choices in this division. That being the case, I’ll give some love to Alfredo Angulo, Joel Julio and Joe Greene.

160 pounds: Kelly Pavlik–Don’t forget he’s only 26. Yes, Hopkins exposed some holes in his game. No, I don’t think anyone he’ll be facing at middleweight in the near future will be able to take advantage of them the way The Executioner did.

Honorable Mention: Though he was knocked out in March by Brian Vera, Ireland’s Andy Lee has already bounced back with a win. Emanuel Steward still thinks he has a bright future.

168 pounds: Andre Dirrell–My brother thinks his nickname could already be stale, but Dirrell deserves to be called The Matrix because he tries things that need to be seen to be believed. Even though he only has 17 pro fights on his record, he looks ready for top competition as soon as his next fight. Seeing him in against the Jermain Taylor-Jeff Lacy winner would be dynamite.

175 pounds: Chad Dawson–At 26, Bad Chad is already soaring up pound-for-pound lists, and the top contenders in his division are aging rapidly. He’s got pretty much every offensive weapon a boxer could want except for one-punch KO power. If my name was Joe Calzaghe, I’d be thinking retirement looks a lot more pleasant than fighting Dawson.

Honorable Mention: If I had to name one boxer who fought like a force of nature, Tavoris Cloud would be my pick. The undefeated Floridian is raw, but he tries to take your head off with every power shot. No one who’s been scheduled for more than four rounds with Cloud has made it the distance yet.

200 pounds: Johnathon Banks–The pickings get a little slim at cruiserweight, but it’s still not as bad as it is at heavyweight. We’ll know a little bit more about the 20-0 Banks soon, as he’s slated to face Enzo Maccarinelli for two of the alphabet belts in early December.

originally presented at

Joe Calzaghe Vs. Roy Jones Jr: Round by Round

November 9, 2008

by Nick Tylwalk… The under-card is over and Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr. are getting ready to head to the ring. The tale of the tape has them basically even in height, weight and reach. Calzaghe is three years younger than Jones.

Jones comes to the ring first. He promised to come out to a song he recorded himself, but it is hard to hear over the crowd. Calzaghe is up second. His current period of inactivity is the longest of his career.

We’ve got two national anthems to do, of course. Michelle Cleary handles the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Michael Buffer is handling the introductions. Jones is in black and orange, Calzaghe is wearing blue and white.

And we’re ready to go!

Round One

Calzaghe tries a quick jab and a lunging left. Both men jabbing but not landing. Joe backs Roy into the corner, Jones covers up. Jones finally tries a power shot but has to back away. Joe throws a flurry to the body and head in the corner. Counter right to the body by Roy. Jones ducks some shots in the center of the ring.

Jones lands a right hand and Calzaghe goes down! The announcers think he’s hurt but he’s standing in there.

Franchise: 10-8 Jones
Spartan117: 9-9

Round Two

Blood is coming from Joe’s nose. Calzaghe tries some rough-housing as they tie up. Joe goes back to the jab. Both men swinging and missing right now. Calzaghe flurries to the body but Roy shakes his head. Joe still attempting to push the pace. Sharp right by Jones as he backs up. Another big flurry by Joe in the corner; only a few landed.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Jones

Round Three
Calzaghe backs up Jones and lands a left upstairs that is quickly answered. Back in the corner, Jones laughs but he is getting hit. Nice straight right by Jones. Joe landing some clean shots to the body, Jones acts like they don’t hurt. Roy is doing a lot of covering up and not throwing too many punches. Both men showboat as the round ends.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Four

Joe goes right back to the body to begin this frame. Both men land jabs. Good right by Calzaghe. Big flurry by Joe in the corner. Quick snapping right hand by Jones. They tie up with nothing landing. Body-head combo by Calzaghe. Roy landing some counters but eating a lot more coming back. Right-left combo to the head by Roy but Joe shakes it off.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Five

Lots of dancing to start this frame. Roy looks a little more active. A straight left sets up a flurry by Calzaghe. Thudding body shot by Joe answered upstairs by Roy. Hard right by Jones, Calzaghe slips away from the follow-up. Nice exchange along the ropes and Jones’ left eye is starting to swell. An entertaining round; Calzaghe landing quantity, Jones answering with power.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Six

Left hands back up Jones. He covers up and picks his spots. Roy flicks a jab as they tie up. Calzaghe resumes his body attack. Good counter right by Jones. Shots land both ways in the corner. They work out into center ring, where Roy has more success. Jones still trys to counter, Calzaghe’s not giving him much. Nice uppercut by Roy is the punch of the round.

Franchise: 10-9 Jones
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Seven

Roy digs in and stand his ground in the opening seconds. They wrestle in the corner to no avail. Good jabs by Roy. Calzaghe hasn’t done much so far this round. Now he scores with a left and flurries away. The announcers think Roy is hurt as he backs into the corner. Jones’ left eye is bloody and his counters aren’t bothering Calzaghe as much. Joe mocks Roy’s dancing as the round ends.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Eight

It didn’t look like Roy’s corner could get the cut completely stopped. Both men want to showboat again. Joe whacks a right upstairs. Calzaghe stalking as Jones backs away. Joe flurries in the corner, Roy’s eye is a mess. Nice shots in close by Jones. The final 30 seconds see more flashy combos by Joe while Roy looks for one big shot that isn’t coming right now.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round Nine

There’s an extended look at Jones’ eye but they are letting him continue. Jones gets aggressive as he almost needs a KO because of the cut. Roy digs to the body as they wrestle. The grappling continues in the corner and Roy is having trouble with the volume flying at him. Joe is taking part of this round off though. Nice exchange with both men landing. They both shake their heads at each other as the bell rings.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 10

Calzaghe throws an immediate combo to the body as the announcers criticize Jones’ corner for their handling of his cut. Roy still has some snap on his short shots but they aren’t coming frequently. Joe does enough to win the round. Roy covers up, he’s having trouble seeing the punches coming.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 11

More dancing than boxing right now. Calzaghe attacks the body and head effectively. Jabs keep coming at Roy’s left eye. Not sure it’s smart for Joe to taunt Roy so much, but it’s not hurting him. Calzaghe lands to the body and ducks away. The crowd is booing a little as that round sort of petered out.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

Round 12

Unless the ringside judges saw a different fight, Jones needs a KO. He’s looking for the home run shot. Calzaghe’s not taking risks, he lands the occasional punch. Roy covers and Calzaghe flurries; the crowd tries to spur Jones on. Calzaghe dances and Jones tries to load up the right. Body shots both ways. Nothing big lands at the bell and we’ll head to the cards.

Franchise: 10-9 Calzaghe
Spartan117: 10-9 Calzaghe

The judges score the fight 118-109, 118-109 and 118-109, all for the winner… and still undefeated Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion of the world… Joe Calzaghe.

Max Kellerman asks Calzaghe about the first-round knockdown, and Joe admits he was stunned by a good shot. He says he always comes back harder when he’s on the canvas, and he says it was an honor to fight Jones.

Calzaghe thanks his fans for their support too. Kellerman asks why he’d fight with his hands down, but Joe says he can fight many styles and it’s hard for his opponents to deal with that.

What’s the future? Calzaghe says he’ll have to sit down and think about it instead of making a final decision tonight. Kellerman asks about Chad Dawson, but Joe kind of deflects the question.

Now it’s Roy’s turn. He says he could have gone two different ways after the knockdown, and by throwing big punches, he got out of his game a bit. Jones says it was a good right hand that caused the cut over his eye.

Roy sneaks in a shout-out to Obama and claims he was game to the end of the fight. He’s not ready to say this is his last fight, as he’ll regroup and talk to his team.

Originally presented live at