Tomorrow night on ShoBox: The New Generation from Mississippi's Beau Rivage Casino, former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor continues his comeback bid when he faces Caleb Truax in a 10-round main event. Taylor weighed in at 160½ for the fight, with Truax at 160¾.
The co-feature is a 10-round catchweight bout just north of the junior middleweight limit, with Erislandy Lara facing Ronald Hearns. Lara weighed in at 156½, with Hearns coming in at 156¼. Quotes and photos from the weigh-in are below. Bad Left Hook will have live round-by-round coverage tomorrow night, immediately following ESPN Friday Night Fights.
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"I just want to say thank you to my team. I'm back in love with boxing. I can't say it any other way. After losing in Berlin, I took two years off. They were the best two years of my life, because I'm hungry again.
"I've been boxing since I was 11 and I never took a break. Never. When I lost those fights, it was time for me to take a break. I spent time with my family and for the first time in a long time, I missed boxing. Now, I'm back. I feel strong. I took care of business in December and I'm going take care of business tomorrow.
"I love this sport because I'm a fighter. And this is the only sport where you can lose, get knocked out, look bad and then fight your way back to the top. You can get down real low and you can still come back and be on top. I'm on my way back."
"I've prepared for the man that beat Bernard Hopkins but we'll see where Jermain's at tomorrow. I think he might be on the decline but that's not who I prepared for so I'm ready.
"This is where I wanted to be with my career, in a big fight. Being from Minnesota, I don't get all the opportunities to fight in California and New York or other big places. This is the biggest opportunity of my life and I plan to take advantage of it. Everything went well in my preparations. All I have to do is go in there tomorrow and get the job done."
"I'm part of the A class of my division. A lot of guys don't want to fight me so I have to thank Ronald Hearns for taking this fight.
"I'm going by the name of "The Punisher" for this fight because people saw that I punished Paul Williams. I'm ready to fight another great fight."
"I'm grateful for my fight tomorrow. Thanks to my team, Lou DiBella and SHOWTIME. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can't wait for the world to see me perform. It's time to get to work."
LOU DiBELLA, Promoter
"The Beau Rivage is our southern home away from home. It's truly the jewel casino of the South. Thanks to SHOWTIME and Stephen Espinoza for putting on this great card. It should be a tremendous night of boxing.
"Jermain is not an ordinary fighter. This is a man who was a pound-for-pounder, one of the few men to hold all four middleweight belts at one time and the only man to beat Bernard Hopkins twice. And this is a new beginning. It's not usual for you to see a guy like him fight in a 1,400-seat venue. But this is a comeback done the right way. It's not a cash out. He is looking to the future by looking into the past and remembering what got him to the top."
PAT BURNS, Taylor's trainer
"Jermain has made a new commitment to boxing and life. We're fighting a heck of a tough kid because that's how you pave a comeback. You can't fight guys from the graveyard. Caleb knows his life will change if he wins. It will change his financial situation so he's hungry."
(All photos by Craig Bennett/Showtime)