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Taylor easily outpoints Ouma to retain middleweight crown

First off, we want to apologize to anyone that experienced difficulty with the servers tonight. Myself and Brent both had intermittent access that required a lot of pain in the ass browser restarts and the like, so again, sorry for that.

The HBO card tonight wound up being a showcase night for two undefeated fighters. In a welterweight bout, knockout prospect Andre Berto showed that the punch hype was not just hype, easily pounding on journeyman Miguel Figueroa for a sixth round TKO, stopped by referee Laurence Cole after a strange and somewhat sad battle of wills in the Figueroa corner between the fifth and sixth rounds, where Figueroa clearly did not want to continue and was talked into it by his corner with a lot of guilt-tripping. Berto looked very sharp, but Figueroa is a low-level gatekeeper at best, so we'll still have to see. The two big things I took out of this fight: Berto can definitely throw a punch, and Figueroa can damn sure take one.

In the main event, hometown boy and middleweight champion Jermain Taylor used his superior natural size to basically walk over a game but outgunned Kassim Ouma to retain his three titles. The open scoring experiment, in my view, was a flop. I knew the fight wasn't close on the cards, but seriously knowing that fact sure took the drama out of the last four rounds of the contest. I just don't want to know is all. I don't think it's a good thing by any stretch, and I hope it won't stick.

Taylor was a little sloppy, but able to get away with it. Ouma never once even stung Taylor, despite always moving forward. Taylor was his usual self, moving back and looking for power shots, and he landed them quite well tonight, throwing the most power punches he ever has in a fight.

Two things out of this fight now. First, Jermain Taylor's knockout ability is being questioned heavily now. It's not any disrespect to Ouma, a fighter I like a lot, but Taylor is natural at 160 and should have been able to floor Ouma tonight, but he couldn't do it.

But with that (and I guess this is part 1A), you have to consider that his last four fights have included two against Bernard Hopkins and one againts the steel chin of Winky Wright.

Ouma is a different case, for the reasons already stated, plus Taylor himself said bluntly that he was going for the KO tonight. He tried, but Ouma stood with him for 12 valiant rounds, though by my watch he didn't really win a single one.

As for part two, Jermain Taylor is still a messy kind of a fighter, although he's very, very good, and he's a super guy to boot. With rumors that he will fight Joe Calzaghe at some point next year -- barring Manfredo scoring a huge upset on Calzaghe in April -- you have to wonder if a guy like Calzaghe, who has fought his entire career at 168, will just stay too busy for Taylor to be effective. Ouma stayed busy, but Ouma was out of his weight class, and it showed. Calzaghe would be a very different fight for Taylor, and one that I would be quite intrigued by.

For now, though, Taylor reigns as king of the middleweights, and deservedly so. He's a no-bullshit fighter. He fought Hopkins twice, fought Winky, was happy to fight Winky again, and took a fight with quality opposition when he couldn't get the Wright rematch. He ducks no one, and you can certainly count me as a bona fide Jermain Taylor fan. He's simply good for boxing.

We'll soon be unleashing our first official Bad Left Hook Pound-for-Pound Top 10, compiled by all four of our contributors.

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