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Taylor happy to return a winner.

Jermain Taylor returned to the bread-and-butter style that put him on top of the middleweight division before he ran into hard-punching Kelly Pavlik. In his first fight in nine months, he jabbed Jeff Lacy relentlessly and dominated nearly every round of the 12-round fight in Nashville, Tenn., in an easy decision in a fight in the 168-pound weight class.

A few days after the fight, back home in Arkansas, Taylor recognized the bout as a must fight. "I saw how important this fight was and how I had to win," he said, noting the less-than-stellar surroundings of fighting, not in a casino town like Las Vegas but at Vanderbilt University's Memorial Gymnasium, with a weigh-in held in a classroom. "I knew that if I didn't win that fight, I'd be fighting in small places."

But, Taylor said, he planned to go on fighting regardless. And now, with his first win in nearly two years, he said, "Tell everybody in Little Rock I don't plan to stop until I get the title back."

Taylor said he felt like his training camp in Miami proved that he could get in any shape, at any weight required, for whatever fight awaits--be it back at the 160-pound middleweight level to regain that lost title, or to try for a super-middleweight crown.

There were talks even of Taylor taking on unbeaten light-heavyweight champ Joe Calzaghe, the Welshman who indicated that his last fight, a blitzing of an over-the-hill Roy Jones Jr., would be his last.

We know how boxing retirements tend to go these days.

Some boxing experts even tossed out the idea of another Taylor-Bernard Hopkins fight. Taylor gave Hopkins two of his three losses he's suffered this decade, the other coming at light-heavyweight to Calzaghe.

Taylor said he would take on anyone. This time, unlike when he was reigning supreme in as a champion, he didn't include the disclaiming "if the money is right."

Now, just as it seemed on his way up, to Taylor it seems about the fighting.

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Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Dec 1, 2008
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