Jermain Taylor found himself in a very familiar place late in his fight – the canvas – but unlike in the past, Taylor returned to his feet and took home the victory. Taylor controlled a large majority of the 10-round middleweight bout before Caleb Truax floored him with a right hand early in the ninth.
Taylor won the second straight fight of his comeback campaign via unanimous decision by the scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 97-94 in the main event of tonight’s ShoBox: The New Generation doubleheader. In the SHOWTIME®-televised co-feature, Erislandy Lara demolished Ronald Hearns via TKO at 1:34 of round one in a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss.
Fighting for only the second time in the last thirty months, Taylor (30-4-1, 18 KO’s), of Little Rock, Ark., started slowly, using his signature jab to dictate an effective tempo and put rounds in the bank early. Truax (18-1-1, 10 KO’s), of Osseo, Minn., fought tentatively throughout the fight before gaining some confidence by engaging Taylor on the inside in the eighth round. The two met in the middle of the ring to start the ninth and, after Taylor lazily returned his left after throwing a jab, Truax landed a perfect right hand to Taylor’s chin that sent him to the floor.
Instead of suffering another knockout loss, a well-conditioned, resilient Taylor returned to his feet and kept the fight – and his career – alive through rounds nine and 10 with heart, hope and holding. The defeat was Truax’ first as a professional.
Following the bout, an ecstatic Taylor was unfazed by the knockdown. “I got back up and did my thing,” said the former undisputed middleweight world champ. “I’ve been knocked out a few times. This is what I’ve been thinking about. This is what I’ve worked for. This is what I planned. Now I’m in shape so I can get back up from a knockdown.”
The co-feature ended almost as quickly as it began when Lara (16-1-1, 11 KO’s), of Houston by way of Cuba, steamrolled through Hearns inside the first round. Hearns (26-3, 20 KO’s), of Detroit, Mich., attempted to use his long jab to keep away his shorter opponent but Lara’s lefts shattered Hearns in short order.
After a clean left to the head sent Hearns flat on the canvas, Hearns was able to rise off the floor – if not to the occasion. Following the knockdown, the 29-year-old Lara had Hearns in trouble with an attack against the ropes. Referee Keith Hughes gave Hearns a standing eight count but allowed the bout continue. Lara had other plans. The former Cuban amateur standout landed two more flush lefts to Hearns’ head before Hughes halted the bout.
CompuBox recorded that Lara connected on 10 of 13 power punches compared to Hearns’ performance of 0 for 9.