Tonight at 11 p.m. on Showtime's ShoBox, former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor continues his comeback, and junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara fights for the first time since July in a double-header from the Beau Rivage in Mississippi. Our live round-by-round coverage will immediately follow our coverage of ESPN Friday Night Fights.
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Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO) returned from a 26-month break in December, defeating Maryland club fighter Jessie Nicklow via eighth round stoppage. Tonight's fight against Truax (18-0-1, 10 KO) is a baby step from there. Truax, 28, is being sold as an "undefeated prospect" for this fight, but the Minnesota native is no prospect. He's a local circuit guy who has done all he's going to do there, having beaten fellow Minnesota club veteran Andy Kolle in his last fight, which came about a year ago.
Tonight doesn't figure to be any real risk for the 33-year-old Taylor, who is inching his way back to relevance, having moved back to the middleweight division after a failed stint at super middleweight that saw him go 1-2 with a win over shot Jeff Lacy and two knockout losses to Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. Tonight's just about seeing him continue to crawl as he prepares to walk again, basically.
In the co-feature, Lara (15-1-1, 10 KO) looks to get back in the win column after being robbed against Paul Williams last July in Atlantic City. The 29-year-old Cuban southpaw is a heavy favorite tonight over Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KO), whose record and last name both grossly exaggerate his actual value in the ring. Hearns hasn't fought in 14 months, and in his last bout he was totally dominated and overwhelmed by Felix Sturm in an undeserved middleweight title shot. The only possible upset here is a big right hand from Hearns -- he's not his father in that regard (who is?), but he does have some zip on the fastball.
Join us tonight for the second half of a big night of fight coverage here at BLH!