Jermain Taylor and Erislandy Lara both won last night on ShoBox: The New Generation from Biloxi, Miss., but they got to the winner's circle by very different paths.
In the co-feature, Lara improved to 16-1-1 (11 KO) in his first fight since last year's robbery loss to Paul Williams, totally wiping out pretender Ronald Hearns in the first round, as the Cuban southpaw came out and attacked, ending things quickly on a knockdown, a standing eight-count, and then another knockdown in just 1:34. It was probably (and hopefully) the last time we'll see Hearns (26-3, 20 KO) in a fight against a legitimate contender, because he clearly does not belong in the ring with that class of fighter.
But the main event was the story of the night, as former middleweight champion Taylor (30-4-1, 18 KO) looked like a shadow of his former self, rather mundanely winning the first eight rounds (or seven of them) before being cracked with a right hand by light-hitting Minnesota fighter Caleb Truax. Taylor was on bad legs but managed to hold his way out of the ninth round and through part of the tenth, coming out with a victory that was truly uninspiring other than to make clear that the 33-year-old veteran's comeback is on thin ice. They're matching him soft, and even the softies are throwing red flags.
More photos from the show after the jump.