Jermain Taylor wins IBF middleweight title fight with Sam Soliman
Last Updated: 09/10/14 1:55pm
Jermain Taylor is the new IBF middleweight champion after winning a unanimous points decision against Sam Soliman.
The former undisputed champion eased to victory against the 40-year-old Australian, who limped through the closing stages of the bout in Biloxi after injuring his right leg.
Although Soliman held his own in the early stages, his injury clearly caused concern as the fight went on, with Taylor sensing his pain and the referee and ringside doctor also questioning whether he could continue at one point.
Taylor sent Soliman down in the eighth and the Aussie fell again before a right hand to his chin sent him backwards, unable to keep weight on his right leg.
Soliman was floored again in the ninth in evading a powerful right hand from Taylor, who sent Soliman to the canvas a final time with a left jab at the end of the 11th round.
The late dominance earned Taylor a wide-margin verdict with the judges scoring the fight 116-111, 115-109 and 116-109.
Taylor, who improved his record to 33-4 with one draw, claimed the undisputed middleweight title in 2005 after defeating Bernard Hopkins, but retired in 2009 after suffering bleeding in his brain.
He is 5-0 since returning but his comeback has been controversial for health and legal issues - the American is out of jail on bail after being charged with two felonies after allegedly shooting and wounding his cousin during an August dispute.
"I heard it before. Now I'm hearing it again," Taylor said of the ring announcement of his new title before praising Soliman for his brave display.
He's a warrior. He did the same thought I would have. He kept fighting.
Taylor on Soliman
"He's a warrior. He did the same thought I would have. He kept fighting."
Soliman, whose record now stands at 44-12, has had knee problems in the past but said the latest injury setback would not necessarily mean retirement.
"It wasn't an injury that came back because of bad luck. It was because of Jermain," Soliman said.
"If he wasn't as good a fighter as he was, he wouldn't have come up with the goods. But I'm not going to take up table tennis just yet."