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Taylor moving to 168 after Pavlik fight

I am really starting to question Jermain Taylor. According to his coach and co-trainer, Ozell Nelson, the current middleweight champ will move to super middleweight following his fight with Kelly Pavlik, as making weight is proving an issue and has for some time, reportedly.

Taylor's promoter, Lou DiBella, is prepared to approach Top Rank's Bob Arum with a proposal for the same money if the fight with Pavlik can be contested at a catch-weight between 160 and 168 pounds.

However, Jack Loew, who trains Pavlik, is standing firm. He says Pavlik has "no intention" of leaving the middleweight division without a title.

Good for Loew. Good for Pavlik. And hopefully Bob Arum sticks to the guns, too. The September 29th fight in Atlantic City is rather hotly anticipated; people want to see this fight. People want to see Jermain Taylor either prove he's the middleweight champ for the first time in three fights, or see Kelly Pavlik prove that he's not.

To be a skeptic, it sounds like Jermain Taylor is preparing an excuse here. I don't know that Taylor thinks he can beat Pavlik. If you judge by his fights against Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks -- natural 154-pounders that he either couldn't put away or couldn't catch -- then I don't think he can. We'd need to see the Jermain Taylor that showed up to both Hopkins fights, and that might be wishful thinking.

I don't, however, doubt that making weight at 160 is a legitimate issue for Taylor. But to announce an intended move to 168 before a major title fight at 160 is a little odd.

To look at it in a positive light, Taylor should fare well at 168 and be in the mix with Calzaghe and Kessler for top spot rights in the division. Calzaghe's busy bee style could give Taylor fits, and Kessler might just be too strong for him. But Taylor is an amazing athlete that doesn't seem to have reached his full potential as a boxer, but part of that really could be that he's no longer comfortable at the weight.

But on the very surface of it all, I think Pavlik, Loew and Arum would be doing the right thing to refuse a catchweight. Pavlik earned his shot at Taylor's middleweight title.

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