Biloxi, Mississippi (October 9th, 2014)– Former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, 36, pulled a small upset and defeated 40 year old, Sam Soliman. Last month Taylor was charged with 2 felonys for allegedly shooting his cousin at his home in Little Rock, AK. The trial is still pending.
He scored four knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision victory over Sam Soliman at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Taylor (33-4-1, 20 KOs) captured Soliman’s title with the scores of 116-111, 115-109 and 116-109.
“I heard it before,” said Taylor, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, in regard to hearing his name announced as a world titlist. “And I’m hearing it again.”
Taylor, who ended Bernard Hopkins’ historic middleweight title reign in 2005, fell on hard times following four defeats over a five-fight stretch from 2007 to 2009, including one in which he suffered a small brain bleed.
While Taylor’s journey back to a title fight was improbable, there’s little question he benefited from a knee injury suffered by Soliman in Round 7, which proved to be the turning point in a close fight.
“Soliman is a warrior. He did the same thing I would have done,” Taylor said. “You have to keep fighting in this sport.”
Soliman (44-12, 18 KOs), who won his first world title in May at the age of 40, refused to blame his injury.
“I injured myself a little bit in training and I nearly had to pull out of the fight,” Soliman said. “Absolutely no excuses because if he wasn’t as good of a fighter as he was — a former undisputed world champion — I would have been able to come away with the goods.
“Taylor’s performance — you can’t take that away from him. The knee was fresh and fine as I was fighting so it wasn’t an old injury that came back because of bad luck.”
This was the fifth straight for Taylor, who began a comeback in 2011 after more than two years away from the sport.
The first half of the fight was pretty event until Soliman hurt his knee.
Soliman was knocked down again the following round as his leg gave out after Taylor landed a right hand in close. Taylor scored his third knockdown in Round 9 by catching Soliman flush with a right hand as he was backpedaling, which caused referee Bill Clancy to have the ringside doctor examine Soliman’s knee.
By Round 11, Soliman was in survival mode. He was ruled down a fourth time after a right hand appeared to land on the back of his head, disrupting his balance again.
Hassan N’dam or Peter Quillin look to be the next opponent for Taylor
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