Meldrick Taylor

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Meldrick Taylor
Statistics
Nickname(s)
  • The Kid
  • TNT
Weight(s)
Height 5 ft 7 12 in (171 cm)
Reach 66 in (168 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1966-10-19) October 19, 1966 (age 50)
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 47
Wins 38
Wins by KO 20
Losses 8
Draws 1

Meldrick Taylor (born October 19, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2002. He is a two-weight world champion, having held the IBF junior welterweight title from 1988 to 1990, and the WBA welterweight title from 1991 to 1992. As an amateur, Taylor won a gold medal in the featherweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

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.

Taylor vs. Chávez[edit]

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".

Many boxing fans believe that Taylor was essentially 'ruined' 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.)

WBA welterweight champion[edit]

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]

Professional record summary
47 fights 38 wins 8 losses
By knockout 20 4
By decision 18 4
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
47 Loss 38–8–1 United States Wayne Martell UD 10 Jul 20, 2002 United States Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minnesota, U.S.
46 Win 38–7–1 Guyana Dillon Carew SD 8 May 31, 2002 United States Boutwell Memorial Auditorium, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
45 Win 37–7–1 Dominican Republic Manuel De Leon UD 8 Sep 10, 1999 United States Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, Florida, U.S.
44 Win 36–7–1 United States Tim Scott TKO 3 Aug 26, 1999 United States Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
43 Loss 35–7–1 Mexico Quirino Garcia UD 12 Feb 26, 1999 Mexico Gimnasio Municipal Josue Neri Santos, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
42 Loss 35–6–1 Denmark Hasan Al UD 10 Aug 28, 1998 Denmark Atletion, Aarhus, Denmark
41 Win 35–5–1 United States Rafael Salas UD 6 Aug 6, 1998 United States Aurora, Illinois, U.S.
40 Loss 34–5–1 United States Darren Maciunski SD 10 Nov 26, 1996 United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39 Win 34–4–1 United States Tommy Small UD 10 Oct 10, 1996 United States Hilton, Washington D.C., U.S.
38 Win 33–4–1 United States Kenneth Kidd TKO 1 (10), 2:59 Aug 16, 1996 United States Jaffa Shrine Center, Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.
37 Loss 32–4–1 Mexico Julio César Chávez TKO 8 (12), 1:41 Sep 17, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBC and lineal light welterweight titles
36 Win 32–3–1 United States Chad Broussard KO 2 (10), 1:01 May 7, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
35 Win 31–3–1 United States Craig Houk KO 3 (10), 1:02 Jan 29, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
34 Win 30–3–1 United States Henry Hughes RTD 2 (10), 3:00 May 8, 1993 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
33 Loss 29–3–1 Venezuela Crisanto España TKO 8 (12), 2:11 Oct 31, 1992 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England Lost WBA welterweight title
32 Loss 29–2–1 United States Terry Norris TKO 4 (12), 2:55 May 9, 1992 United States The Mirage, Paradose, Nevada, U.S. For WBC super welterweight title
31 Win 29–1–1 United States Glenwood Brown UD 12 Jan 18, 1992 United States Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained WBA welterweight title
30 Win 28–1–1 United States Ernie Chavez TKO 6 (10), 1:51 Sep 13, 1991 United States ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, U.S.
29 Win 27–1–1 Venezuela Luis Garcia SD 12 Jun 1, 1991 United States Radisson Hotel, Palm Springs, California, U.S. Retained WBA welterweight title
28 Win 26–1–1 United States Aaron Davis UD 12 Jan 19, 1991 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won WBA welterweight title
27 Win 25–1–1 United States Primo Ramos UD 10 Aug 11, 1990 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
26 Loss 24–1–1 Mexico Julio César Chávez TKO 12 (12), 2:58 Mar 17, 1990 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Lost IBF light welterweight title;
For WBC and vacant lineal light welterweight titles
25 Win 24–0–1 Mexico Ramon Flores TKO 1 (10), 1:57 Jan 27, 1990 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
24 Win 23–0–1 Mexico Jaime Balboa TKO 5 (10), 1:59 Nov 20, 1989 United States Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
23 Win 22–0–1 United States Courtney Hooper UD 12 Sep 11, 1989 United States Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF light welterweight title
22 Win 21–0–1 United States John Wesley Meekins RTD 7 (12), 3:00 Jan 21, 1989 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF light welterweight title
21 Win 20–0–1 United States Buddy McGirt TKO 12 (12), 2:00 Sep 3, 1988 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won IBF light welterweight title
20 Win 19–0–1 Mexico Martin Quiroz UD 10 Jun 12, 1988 United States Odeum Expo Center, Villa Park, Illinois, U.S.
19 Win 18–0–1 United States Ivan Gonzalez TKO 5 (10), 2:47 Apr 9, 1988 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
18 Win 17–0–1 United States Richard Fowler KO 2 (10), 1:19 Nov 4, 1987 United States Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
17 Win 16–0–1 Cuba Irleis Perez UD 10 Jul 11, 1987 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
16 Win 15–0–1 United States Primo Ramos UD 10 Apr 19, 1987 United States Pointe Resort, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
15 Win 14–0–1 Mexico Roque Montoya UD 10 Feb 6, 1987 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
14 Win 13–0–1 United States Danny Vargas TKO 2 (10), 1:49 Dec 11, 1986 United States Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
13 Draw 12–0–1 United States Howard Davis Jr. SD 10 Aug 16, 1986 United States Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Harold Brazier UD 10 May 11, 1986 United States Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Jose Rivera TKO 6 (10), 2:07 Apr 3, 1986 United States Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Robin Blake UD 10 Feb 2, 1986 United States Sudduth Coliseum, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Puerto Rico Victor Acosta UD 8 Dec 21, 1985 United States Pavilion, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Carlos Santana KO 4 (8), 2:45 Oct 16, 1985 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Roberto Medina UD 6 Jul 20, 1985 United States Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Uruguay Hugo Carrizo TKO 3 Jun 29, 1985 Italy Bellaria, Italy
5 Win 5–0 United States Nery Reyes KO 1 (6), 2:35 May 17, 1985 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Puerto Rico Elias Martinez TKO 5 (6) Apr 6, 1985 United States San Angelo, Texas, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Darrell Curtis TKO 3 (6), 2:09 Mar 13, 1985 United States Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Dwight Pratchett UD 6 Jan 20, 1985 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Luke Lecce TKO 1 (6), 2:31 Nov 15, 1984 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Professional debut

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Buddy McGirt
IBF junior welterweight champion
September 3, 1988 – March 17, 1990
Succeeded by
Julio César Chávez
Preceded by
Aaron Davis
WBA welterweight champion
January 19, 1991 – October 31, 1992
Succeeded by
Crisanto España