Boxing Preview: ESPN2 Has Jermain Taylor vs Sam Soliman This Wednesday (Oct. 8)

TaylorESPN2 takes us to the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi for a Wednesday Night card of boxing headlined by the IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Sam Soliman and Jermain Taylor. Despite a resume a mile long and several recent appearances on the ESPN network, Jermain Taylor is an underdog at (+270) to Soliman, who is favored by a wide (-330). ESPN has invested money into Jermain Taylor, as he has appeared on the network now for a series of wins since he suffered back to back knockouts at the hands of Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch. The truth is, that Taylor still has name value as people will remember the glory days when he defeated Bernard Hopkins twice and to take a firm grip of a World Middleweight title. Many still remember, but the fact is that those Hopkins bouts were nine years ago, and Taylor has showed a questionable chin in his losses. Even on the comeback trail, in a fight aired on HBO, Caleb Truax dropped Taylor in the 9th, bringing back all the old questions. Soliman is a nice story, as at 39 years old, he improbably went to Germany and beat long-time champion Felix Sturm for the IBF World Middleweight title. The belt went back to Sturm because of a failed post fight drug test for a stimulant, but Soliman returned to Germany 15 months later and beat Sturm again. It is a great way add to his career ledger at 40 years old, and Soliman has definitely showed that he found a new level against Sturm, whose blend of skill and home town cooking had made him into a dominant champion. Soliman however, has only 18 stoppages in his 44 career wins, so if he does rock Taylor, it may very well be a sign that Taylor cannot avoid his chin becoming a factor. If he cannot hurt Taylor, then Taylor would have to be considered a live underdog in a skill-for-skill boxing match that goes the distance. The second bout from this card with a line at the books is the 10-rounder between Andre Dirrell and Nick Brinson. Dirrell is heavily favored at (-4500), despite having questions around a brain injury he suffered in 2009 during his match with Carl Froch that haven’t been satisfactorily answered. In terms of skill, his brother just won a world title, so his training environment alone is many pegs above where Brinson is. As for Brinson, he has campaigned the majority of his career at Middleweight, and this bout at Light Heavyweight would indicate a jump of two weight classes.He is also coming off a loss in his last outing back in June of this year, when he lost to Dominic Wade in Nevada. Since that bout was at middleweight, Brinson is going to have to deal with a big adjustment in weights. The fact that Dirrell also owns a wide advantage in experience, pedigree and level of competition is how you get Brinson coming back at (+1500).

Written by Miguel

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