Meldrick Taylor

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Meldrick Taylor
Statistics
Real name Meldrick Taylor
Nickname(s) The Kid
TNT
Rated at Light Welterweight
Nationality United StatesAmerican
Born (1966-10-19) October 19, 1966 (age 47)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 47
Wins 38
Wins by KO 20
Losses 8
Draws 1
No contests 1
Olympic medal record
Men's Boxing
Gold Los Angeles 1984 Featherweight

Meldrick Taylor (born October 19, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a former Olympic gold medalist and world boxing champion in two weight classes.

Amateur career[edit]

Taylor, one of many boxing champions hailing from the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, learned his craft in the gyms of his hometown and posted a 99-4 record as an amateur fighter. In 1984, Taylor earned a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team at the age of 17, and claimed the gold medal in the featherweight division. Following his victory, he joined the professional ranks.

Olympic results[edit]

  • 1st round bye
  • Defeated Nicolae Talpos (Romania) 5-0
  • Defeated Francisco Camacho (Mexico) 5-0
  • Defeated John Wanjau (Kenya) RSC 3
  • Defeated Omar Catari (Venezuela) 5-0
  • Defeated Peter Konyegwachie (Nigeria) 5-0

In the American Olympic trials Taylor lost to Andrew Minsker, who then went on to win the trials. However, Taylor beat Minsker twice back to back to earn the spot in the Olympic box-offs.

Professional career[edit]

His early fights were against nondescript journeymen, but in his 12th fight, in May 1986, Taylor won a unanimous decision against fellow contender Harold Brazier and moved into the world rankings.On September 3, 1988, Taylor faced James (Buddy) McGirt for the IBF light welterweight title. He defeated McGirt by a technical knockout (TKO) in the 12th and final round to begin his first title reign.

Over the next 18 months, Taylor won four more fights, setting up a unification bout with the WBC light welterweight champion Julio César Chávez on March 17, 1990 in Las Vegas. Chavez had an aura of invincibility, he was considered the best fighter pound for pound in the world and also one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport. This fight drew huge media attention, as both men came in unbeaten (Taylor at 24-0-1 and Chávez at 68-0), and regarded as two of the best boxers in the world, regardless of weight class. Their fight was one of the most famous and controversial bouts in boxing history.

Taylor took control of the action early and began to build up a lead on the scorecards. However, Chávez proved to be a heavier puncher, and was slowly wearing Taylor down even as he lost rounds. Going to the 12th and final round, Taylor led by wide margins on two of the three scorecards, and his corner famously told him that he needed to win that round. Because of this, Taylor chose to continue fighting at close quarters with the hard-hitting Mexican champion. Chávez, realizing time was running out, came at Taylor aggressively in the last round. With 17 seconds left in the fight, Chávez floored Taylor. Taylor beat the 10-count and got back to his feet at six. Referee Richard Steele twice asked Taylor, "Are you ok?" Taylor did not respond and only looked at his corner. Steele waved the fight off with just two seconds left, awarding Chávez a win by TKO.

The controversy surrounding the stoppage continues to this day, and 10 years later, The Ring proclaimed it the "Fight of the Decade".

There is also widespread[citation needed] belief that Taylor was essentially 'ruined'[citation needed] as a fighter because of this bout—due in part to the tremendous punishment taken at the hands of Chavez, including several fractures and some kidney damage (according to the HBO "Legendary Nights" episode mentioned before, he was taken to the hospital immediately after the Chavez bout—reportedly urinating blood.)

Taylor had lost his title, but not his desire. Feeling that having to make the 140 pound (64 kg) weight had weakened him against Chavez, Taylor moved up to welterweight (147 pounds) and decisioned undefeated Aaron Davis for the WBA welterweight title on January 19, 1991. He issued a challenge to Chávez for a rematch at 147 pounds, but the latter wouldn't move up in weight for many years. Taylor won three more fights before answering a challenge from world junior middleweight champion Terry Norris to fight for Norris' WBC title. Norris, a naturally bigger and stronger man, knocked Taylor out in the fourth round.

This marked the end of Taylor's career as a world-class fighter; he lost the welterweight crown to undefeated challenger Crisanto España in his next fight on Halloween night in 1992. Taylor won his following three fights, including a second round knockout over number four ranked welterweight Chad Broussard.[1] He got one more title shot, against Chávez on September 17, 1994 in Las Vegas, but, years removed from his prime, he was stopped by Chávez in the eighth round. The fight was competitive, with Taylor getting off to a fast start. But after a brutal sixth round, Taylor's legs became rubbery and he was stopped 2 rounds later. He fought off and on over the next eight years, winning some fights and losing others, before retiring in 2002. He finished with a record of 38-8-1, (20 KOs).

During an episode of HBO's "Legendary Nights" in 2003, an interview with Taylor was shown, in which his speech was very slurred and difficult to understand. Many viewers were shocked and disturbed when they heard the way Taylor now speaks. Indeed, the episode implicitly attributed this to pugilistic dementia -- mentioning, time and again, how Taylor was well past his prime as a fighter.

Meldrick Taylor has written his autobiography, titled Two Seconds From Glory.

Professional Boxing Record[edit]

38 Wins (20 Knockouts, 18 Decisions), 8 Losses, 1 Draw [1]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 38-8-1 United States Wayne Martell UD 10 2002-07-20 United States Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minnesota, USA
Win 38-7-1 Guyana Dillon Carew SD 8 2002-05-31 United States Boutwell Auditorium, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Win 37-7-1 Dominican Republic Manuel De Leon UD 8 1999-09-10 United States SE Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, Florida, USA
Win 36-7-1 United States Tim Scott TKO 3 (10) 1999-08-26 United States Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Loss 35-7-1 Mexico Quirino Garcia UD 12 1999-02-26 Mexico Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Loss 35-6-1 Denmark Hasan Al UD 10 1998-08-28 Denmark Aarhus Stadionhal, Aarhus, Denmark
Win 35-5-1 United States Rafael Salas UD 6 1998-08-06 United States Aurora, Illinois, USA
Loss 34-5-1 United States Darren Maciunski SD 10 1996-11-26 United States Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 34-4-1 United States Tommy Small UD 10 1996-10-10 United States Washington D.C., USA
Win 33-4-1 United States Kenneth Kidd TKO 1 (10) 1996-08-16 United States Jaffa Mosque Arena, Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA
Loss 32-4-1 Mexico Julio Cesar Chavez TKO 8(12) 1994-09-17 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA For WBC Light Welterweight title
Win 32-3-1 United States Chad Broussard KO 2 (10) 1994-05-07 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Win 31-3-1 United States Craig Houk KO 3 (10) 1994-01-29 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Win 30-3-1 United States Henry Hughes RTD 2 (10) 1993-05-08 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Loss 29-3-1 Venezuela Crisanto Espana TKO 8 (12) 1992-10-31 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom Lost WBA Welterweight title
Loss 29-2-1 United States Terry Norris TKO 4 (12) 1992-05-09 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA For WBC Light Middleweight title
Win 29-1-1 United States Glenwood Brown UD 12 1992-01-18 United States Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Retained WBA Welterweight title
Win 28-1-1 United States Ernie Chávez TKO 6 (10) 1991-09-13 United States Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA
Win 27-1-1 Venezuela Luis García SD 12 1991-06-01 United States Radisson Resort, Palm Springs, California, USA Retained WBA Welterweight title
Win 26-1-1 United States Aaron Davis UD 12 1991-01-19 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA Won WBA Welterweight title
Win 25-1-1 United States Primo Ramos UD 10 1990-08-11 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, USA
Loss 24-1-1 Mexico Julio César Chávez TKO 12 (12) 1990-03-17 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Lost IBF & For WBC Light Welterweight title
Win 24-0-1 Mexico Ramón Flores TKO 1 (10) 1990-01-27 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 23-0-1 Mexico Jaime Balboa TKO 5 (10) 1989-11-20 United States Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 22-0-1 United States Courtney Hooper UD 12 1989-09-11 United States Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA Retained IBF Light Welterweight title
Win 21-0-1 United States John Meekins RTD 7 (12) 1989-01-21 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA Retained IBF Light Welterweight title
Win 20-0-1 United States Buddy McGirt TKO 12 (12) 1988-09-03 United States Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA Won IBF Light Welterweight title
Win 19-0-1 Mexico Martín Quiroz UD 10 1988-06-12 United States Odeum, Villa Park, Illinois, USA
Win 18-0-1 United States Ivan González TKO 5 (10) 1988-04-09 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Win 17-0-1 United States Richard Fowler KO 2 (10) 1987-11-04 United States Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Win 16-0-1 Cuba Irleis Perez UD 10 1987-07-11 United States Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 15-0-1 United States Primo Ramos UD 10 1987-04-19 United States Pointe Resort, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Win 14-0-1 Mexico Roque Montoya UD 10 1987-02-06 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 13-0-1 United States Danny Vargas TKO 2 (10) 1986-12-11 United States Felt Forum, New York, New York, USA
Draw 12-0-1 United States Howard Davis Jr SD 10 1986-08-16 United States Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 12-0 United States Harold Brazier UD 10 1986-05-11 United States Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Win 11-0 United States Jose Rivera TKO 6 (10) 1986-04-03 United States Felt Forum, New York, New York, USA
Win 10-0 United States Robin Blake UD 10 1986-02-02 United States Civic Center, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Win 9-0 Puerto Rico Victor Acosta UD 8 1985-12-21 United States Pavilion, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Win 8-0 United States Carlos Santana KO 4 (8) 1985-10-16 United States Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 7-0 United States Roberto Medina UD 6 1985-07-20 United States Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Win 6-0 Uruguay Hugo Carrizo TKO 3 (8) 1985-06-29 Italy Bellaria, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Win 5-0 United States Nery Reyes KO 1 (6) 1985-05-17 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, USA
Win 4-0 Puerto Rico Elias Martinez TKO 5 (6) 1985-04-06 United States San Angelo, Texas, USA
Win 3-0 United States Darrell Curtis TKO 3 (6) 1985-03-13 United States Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Win 2-0 United States Dwight Pratchett UD 6 1985-01-20 United States Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 1-0 United States Luke Lecce TKO 1 (6) 1984-11-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA Meldrick's professional debut

Personal[edit]

Taylor is the brother of fellow former boxer Myron Taylor.

Preceded by
Buddy McGirt
IBF Light Welterweight Champion
3 September 1988– 17 March 1990
Succeeded by
Julio César Chávez
Preceded by
Aaron Davis
WBA Welterweight Champion
19 January 1991– 31 October 1992
Succeeded by
Crisanto España

References[edit]

External links[edit]