When 2014 started very few boxing fans considered 23 year old junior welterweight Emmanuel Taylor a top fighter in his weight class, worthy of big opportunities. Those opinions have changed as Taylor’s 2014 campaign skewed the attitude of many familiar with his body of work.
Taylor’s consideration for top status was not a mark on his potential or even his capabilities, but rather a lack of familiarity from casual fans and the absence of a big name win on his resume.
However, Taylor stepped up big this year and even with a 1-2 record in 2014 he is in a better place to start 2015 with the potential for another big fight on the horizon.
“What’s next is seeing what my manager and promotional team wants to do next,” Taylor told Thaboxingvoice. “I’m hoping that’s very soon, hopefully [I’m fighting] in December or January and hopefully [against] another big name, someone in their prime like Zab Judah or anybody else in the top of the division.”
Taylor’s fight with Adrien Broner has propelled his career, and even though he lost the fight it was entertaining enough that Taylor’s status remains at an all-time high. In fact, he was in line to fight Amir Khan in December at a catch weight of 144lbs before Khan decided on making other arrangements to close out the year.
“I heard Amir Khan, but I heard they pulled out of the fight and decided to fight Devon Alexander.”
Taylor began the year losing a 10 round unanimous decision against Chris Algieri, who will be fighting Manny Pacquiao on November 22nd. Even in the losing effort, Taylor was in the fight and did some great things in the fight. He had his moments, but could never seem to string together enough winning rounds in succession.
After a tough loss against a top opponent, Taylor was put in a position to fight Karim Mayfield. Mayfield was being mentioned as a possible opponent for several top fighters in the division and a win over Taylor would’ve secured those hopes.
But Taylor disrupted those plans and took the unanimous decision win over Mayfield, which lead to the Broner fight.
Taylor earned a ton of respect in the fight and took it to Broner, winning several rounds in the process.
That fight has kept Taylor very relevant and he has reaped the benefits of an entertaining fight on a big stage against a high-profile opponent.
“I’ve developed a real nice fan base. Everybody’s hoping I get into the ring as soon as possible and they can’t wait until I fight again. Everybody respects me now, I get a lot of compliments on my fight, saying I’m going to be a world champion soon. It really has been a big turnaround after that fight with Broner. I understand that Broner has opened up a lot of doors for me.”
Broner has certainly raised Taylor’s profile, but the fight went a long way in developing a greater degree of confidence for the young fighter from Maryland and he is now calling for fights with the division’s best.
Taylor is hoping to secure a big fight and he is opened to any top fighter in the division, but his familiarity with Danny Garcia has him hoping that fight can be made next.
“I did work with Danny Garcia for his fight with Lucas Matthysse. Hopefully, we can get a fight with him as well. I think it would be a great fight with me and him. We were really good together. I see that Danny is tough but doesn’t have the speed,” Taylor said.
Even with his confidence brimming brightly, he feels like he’s been at this level all along but just now getting the recognition. The confidence in his chances against Garcia stem from that belief, saying “I got that impression when I was sparring Danny Garcia in his gym. I was doing really good with him, but I’ve always had that mindset.”
Taylor’s manager, David Price, is just as confident in his intents to secure a big name fight for Taylor as Taylor is in his ability to win it. He shed some light on the failed Khan fight, claiming it would’ve been at a catch weight and was originally proposed for the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s December fight, before Alvarez pulled out.
“We were supposed to have the fight with Khan at a catch weight of 144, I guess Khan just wanted to go 147 and go with Devon Alexander. But Manny respects all of the [top guy’s] talent, but he’s willing to fight any of them,” Price said.
Price was smart not to allow Taylor to move up those few extra pounds so quickly, even if it was to fight Khan.
There are plenty of quality fights for him at junior welterweight and he doesn’t have to give up any additional weight just to secure a fight out of his weight class.
Some may argue that Taylor should take his opportunity anyway he can get them, but they’d be wrong and should use Josesito Lopez as a reference point.
Taylor doesn’t have to reach to make the Khan fight for the simple reason that he was offered the Khan fight. The fight was offered not even a month after Broner. This means that Taylor is on Golden Boy’s radar, and with Top Rank running out of viable in-house candidates he is presumably on their radar as well.
Look at fighters like Mauricio Herrera and Diego Chaves. Their stocks weren’t much better than Taylor’s a few years ago, but the fact that they continue to make entertaining, competitive fights has kept them on the short list to fight some of the best in their division, even when they lose.
Taylor can be matched with plenty of fighters, especially those who perceive Taylor as a soft touch after being knocked down in his past couple fights.
We could very well see Taylor in a big fight come 2015.