IBF middleweight titlist Sam Soliman and former champion Jermain Taylor both made weight yesterday for tonight’s special ESPN card. The weights are as follows.
Sam Soliman 160
Jermain Taylor 159.8
PREDICTION: This fight should not be happening. Taylor’s last fight was in December 2013 against J.C. Candelo, a fighter arguably more shopworn than he is. He’s only fought four times in the last five years and none of them have been against top-tier opposition. And the last time he did was the famous KO against Arthur Abraham, which resulted in him suffering brain bleeding and having to withdraw from the Super Six tournament.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Sam Soliman, who although older at 40 compared to Taylor’s 36, has had two bouts against former long-time IBF titlist Felix Sturm in the last year. Soliman remains a consistent volume puncher with a crazy work rate. Taylor, even in his prime, struggled with stamina and finishing fights strong.
In his younger years, Taylor’s great athleticism could mask his technical deficiencies. Now that he’s lost much of that, there is no great technical boxing skill to fall back on. Look for Taylor to starting waning in the middle rounds under Soliman’s pace. The last few rounds will be rough to watch before Taylor will be a sitting duck. SOLIMAN LATE TKO.
Andre Dirrell: 169
Nick Brinson : 168.8
PREDICTION: Brinson is a tough kid, as evidenced by his fight last year against Jorge Melendez. However, the gulf in class between him and Andre Dirrell is huge. Dirrell’s speed will be too much. Dirrell TKO4