LITTLE ROCK Jermain Taylor's reign as middleweight world champion will end in September, regardless of the outcome of his proposed fight with No. 1 contender Kelly Pavlik.
Taylor, who is very close to signing a deal to fight Pavlik at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 29, said that WBC and WBO title fight will be his last as a middleweight, which has a limit of 160 pounds. Taylor, even if he makes his fifth consecutive successful title defense against Pavlik, will vacate his championship belts and begin a new title quest in a new weight class.
Key members of Taylor's camp told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday that the undefeated champion from Little Rock will be moving up to super middleweight (168 pounds) immediately after the Pavlik fight. Taylor is in Orlando, Fla., on a family vacation and couldn't be reached for comment, but has been in close contact with Ozell Nelson, his coach and co-trainer.
For more information see today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Subscribers can read the story here on ArkansasOnline.