Exclusive Interview: Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview: Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor

Undisputed middleweight champion talks about Ouma fight, Wright rematch and Hopkins chances at heavyweight!

PC: What’s good Jermain? How is training going for your fight on December 9th?

JT: Everything’s going good with me, man. I’m back in Miami now and everything’s working out for the best. Everything is going great.

PC: Who will be training you for this fight?

JT: Emmanuel Steward will be training me.

PC: Before we get into your fight with Kassim, I would like to get your opinion on some of your former opponents.


PC: How do you see the Winky Wright and Ike Quartey fight playing out?

JT: It’s going to be an exciting fight. I can’t tell you who’s going to win because it’s boxing and anything goes in boxing. It’s going to be a very exciting fight. Ike Quartey is a great opponent and he’s been around for a while and he knows his way around the ring. It’s going to be a good fight.

PC: What did you think of Bernard Hopkins performance against Tarver and what chance do you give him at heavyweight if he chose to fight there?

JT: I give that man all the credit in the world! He moved up and did his thing against Tarver. He showed everybody he could do anything he wants to do at any age. Bernard aint letting his age stop him from nothing. He’s better than anybody I know.

PC: Just to show the caliber of competition you’ve faced, people consider Kassim Ouma a step down. What do you think of him as a fighter?

JT: I see him as a dangerous fighter. That boy comes to fight. He throws like a million punches and he’s not scared of nobody. I’m looking forward to fighting him.

PC: Your fights with Hopkins were at a measured pace. Ouma throws several punches as you said. What do you feel like you have to do to slow down his punch output?

JT: As soon as I hit him he’s going to throw a left and all them punches, but he’s going to be scared of coming in because he don’t want to get hit again. I just plan on going in there and using my jab and doing what I do best and that’s box.

PC: You’re obviously the bigger man, but you like to fight behind your jab. Can we expect to see you fight more on the inside with the smaller Ouma?

JT: Oh no! I’m going to stay on my jab. I’m not going to go in there and just trade with him; that’s what he wants. That’s his style of fighting. If it do come down to that, then I’m going to win because I am the bigger man. I don’t plan on backing up and I know he don’t plan on backing up. Tell you the truth, I cant tell you how it’s going to play out, but its going to be a great fight.

PC: You’ve been facing the who’s who of boxing and Kassim Ouma is a very dangerous fighter. Why not take a tune-up type of fight to stay active?

JT: I just feel like I want to fight the best out there, you know. Tried to fight Winky, but he didn’t want to take the fight. Whoever’s the best out there, that’s who I want to beat.

PC: Your last 3 fights were against pound 4 pound best. What did you learn in those 2 fights with Hopkins and your fight with Winky?

JT: Man, I learned a number of things. It’s hard to say what exactly, but I learned I could do anything when I get in that ring. I could hang with the best of them and I can beat the best of them. Hard work pays off, you know?

PC: With Winky Wright fighting on HBO the week before your fight, it seems to be the perfect setup for a rematch in 2007. I know you’re not overlooking Ouma, but do you think the rematch will ever happen with Winky demanding parity?

JT: If he thinks he’s going to get more than I get, that ain’t going to happen. I’m the world champion. I’m the one with all the fans. He’s not the one. If he still on that number, then it will never happen. Who else is he going to fight? If he feel like he won the fight, why not go ahead and fight again and then after that, you could go and ask for more money. I’ll fight you again. I’ll fight you as many times as you want me to fight you.

PC: How excited are you to be fighting in Arkansas?

JT: Aw man! I’m going back now as the middleweight world champion. I told Arkansas I was going to bring it home and that’s exactly what I did.

PC: Congratulations for winning the citizen of the year in Arkansas. What does that mean to you?

JT: Thank you. I appreciate that. It just makes me feel like I got a long way to go. It keeps me in line because I know people are watching me everywhere I go. Citizen of the year; I took that award, I accepted it and now I got to maintain it.

PC: You don’t carry yourself like the typical boxer. You never seem to have much animosity towards your opponents. Do you think more fighters should start taking themselves less serious?

JT: Yeah. You don’t have to be mad at a person to go in there and beat them up. That’s not what boxing is about. Boxing is a sport. It’s just like basketball or football. You aint got to be mad at this guy to go in there and beat him up. I’ve been boxing since I was 12 and I haven’t caught myself mad at not one opponent. That’s not what boxing is about. It’s a sport man. It’s something that, if you’re trying to make a living out of it and the people come to watch, have some fun out there. Don’t be mad at your job. Love your job and I guarantee you’ll do it better.

PC: Razorback football is hot right now. Have you made it out to a game yet?

JT: I haven’t made a game because I have been in training camp, but man they doing they thang! I’m so proud of them Hog’s man. I just want them Hog’s to know when I step in that ring, I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to do my thang too.

PC: Now they still have to go against my boys Jermain. LSU!

JT: I know, I know. I’m already knowing. The Hog’s going to do they thing though. I know them your boys, but them Hog’s ain’t playing this year.

PC: You’re one of the more active champions. How important is it to you to stay fighting consistent?

JT: You know what, it’s very important to stay in that ring. The minute that I stop boxing will be when I fall off. That’s when you get lazy and pick up a lot of weight. That’s not good for boxing. If you’re going to box, go ahead and box because it’s only so long a person can box.

PC: Looking into the future. If a Winky Wright rematch doesn’t come to fruition, could you see yourself moving to Super middleweight?

JT: Exactly. I do. I do. I see myself moving up and if anybody wants to fight me in the weight above mine, come with it. I don’t run from nobody!

PC: There are a lot of big fights coming up in boxing. What fights are you looking forward to seeing?

JT: To be honest with you man, I don’t watch boxing too much like that.

PC: Really! Why don’t you like to watch it?

JT: No. I don’t know. I didn’t grow up watching boxing. I grew up in a house full of women man. Sports was the last thing on my mind. If the Razorbacks weren’t playing, then I wasn’t watching it.

PC: So you were never into other sports like basketball?

JT: I couldn’t play basketball. I still can’t play basketball. I ran track to stay in shape for boxing.

PC: I thank you for your time.

JT: I appreciate it. No problem.

PC: Good luck on the 9th. I look forward to speaking with you again. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?

JT: I’m good man.


Send questions and comments to: nardfan@bellsouth.net