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With exactly one month to go before the September 29th, WBC/WBO Middleweight Champion of the world Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor is in heavy preparations for his most anticipated defense to date, against WBC/WBO #1 challenger, Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik, in Atlantic City, New Jersey at Boardwalk Hall. Both fighters will have had exactly the same amount of time to rest and train since they both appeared on the same card with Pavlik winning an absolute slug-out against Edison "Pantera" Miranda via TKO7 and Taylor winning a against reigning IBF Jr. Middleweight champ Cory Spinks, via a 12-round split decision. As his training moves into high gear, Taylor was gracious enough to take time from his tight schedule to talk with FIGHTNEWS about his upcoming defense and his future plans…

Jermain, with approximately four weeks until your fight with Kelly Pavlik, how is training camp going?

Training camp is going just great. I'm very focused and looking forward to September 29th with my fight against Kelly Pavlik.

Where is camp, and if it's in Arkansas, are you able to keep out distractions?

I'm training in the Poconos Mountains, which is the first time I have ever had camp here. I've heard a lot about the Poconos and I know a lot of fighters have trained here. There are no distractions in camp, you are somewhat isolated up here, but that's ok. Very peaceful and I'm able to do a lot of fishing up here and like to fish. That's something I have never been able to do in a training camp, it helps me to relax and remain focused.

Are you sparring with any guys you can name who are trying to emulate the style of Pavlik?

I won't name any names, but we have some very good sparring partners who are able to emulate Kelly's style, very professional guys who really know how to push me. We know exactly how Kelly will fight me, it's really no secret what his game plan will be and I will be very well prepared for anything that he brings to the table.

Do you have a history with Pavlik in the amateurs?

Yes I do have history with Pavlik as amateurs. We fought in the Olympic trials I believe in 1999. I remember the fight and he fought a very good fight, but I got the victory, which I'm very happy about because I was able to advance and make the 2000 Olympic team.

What does he bring to the table as a challenger that might be unique over previous challengers? Also, what weaknesses do you think he may have that his previous opponents haven't exploited?

Well, considering I have fought 3 southpaws in a row, which is unique in itself, he's a right handed fighter. Styles make fights and Kelly has the style and is the kind of fighter I like to fight. I know exactly how Kelly will come in the ring and what his game plan will be. It's no secret. Regarding his weakness, I will pass on that question. I don't want to give my strategy or game plan away, but he has a lot more weaknesses than people think.

Before his fight with Edison Miranda, were you leaning one way or another on who you thought would win? If so, were your thoughts influenced on who you were more interested in facing?

I didn't give it a second thought because I had my own business to take care of that night with Cory Spinks..

Did you feel that Miranda had genuine power, and if so, were you impressed by Pavlik's ability to take that power flush on the chin?

Miranda has some power, but was I impressed? No. Impressed is not the correct word. I respected Pavlik's ability to take it flush on the chin.

Will the outcome of this fight determine your rumored move up to Super Middleweight, or is it just a rumor? Can you tell the readers in which division you'll be fighting next?

I have made it very clear to my promoter Lou DiBella and my advisors that this is my last fight at 160. I will be moving up to Super Middleweight.

Will your decision be more influenced by the potential opponents and their marketability in each division?

My decision is based on knowing my own body. I have been fighting at 160 since I turned pro in 2000 and with my body frame it's just difficult and not healthy to keep putting my body through the conditioning to make 160.

What are your thoughts on IBF belt holder Arthur Abraham or WBA counterpart Felix Sturm? Abraham plans his next fight in the U.S. Would he be worth staying at 160 for if U.S. fans got familiar with him?

I really don't have any thoughts on either one, but if I ever fight Arthur Abraham or Felix Sturm it will be at Super Middleweight. As I mention before this is my last fight at 160.

Switching gears a bit, in the build up to your last fight with Cory Spinks, you seemed a bit out of character at the press conferences- more on edge, outspoken, aggressive. There seemed to be a noticeable change from the relaxed "good-guy" image we've come to associate with you. Was it the comments of Miranda, or were a lot of different things getting under your skin at that time?

Well, maybe a little. I'm not a trash talker like some fighters, but if you get up in my face talking trash like Miranda was doing, I'm going to give it right back to you. I can walk the walk and talk the talk as well as anyone if I'm forced to. I had to send him a message right then and there.

How is life at home with the two ladies in your life, your wife Erica and your daughter Nia?

Actually it's more than two, Erica and I are proud parents of two daughters Nia and Tyra and another one the way. I love my family life very much and things could not be any better.

Tell us about your ritual during the ring introductions where you drag your feet on the ring canvas, as if gearing up for the charge like a bull. Is that the representation and who came up with the idea?

Well, when I first started boxing, my mentor, coach who really has been like a father to me Ozell Nelson told me I should think about having my own signature in the ring. Something that people would remember me by, so I came up with the idea of a bull getting ready to attack. That's how it all started and I get a lot of compliments about that from fans, so I guess it worked.

What about your nickname, "Bad Intentions?" What do you want it to mean about you and who came up with that?

I think it was back in 1998 my coach Ozell Nelson sent me to Marquette, Michigan to be with other fighters who had been sparring more on the international scene. Ozell wanted me to have more experience sparring with different styles. I developed a reputation of having Bad Intentions when I stepped into the ring because there was some very good experienced fighters up there, so I had to take a different attitude and they gave me that name and it stuck. It means just the way it sounds, I have Bad Intentions for my opponent when I step into the ring.

Since the beginning of your career, HBO and others involved making your profile public have made numerous mentions of you being the first Olympic boxer from Arkansas, first boxing medallist from Arkansas, neither of which is true. No disrespect here, but are you aware of "Big" John Tate, who won the heavyweight bronze on the legendary 1976 Olympic team? He was born in Marion, Arkansas and considered Arkansas his home, although he later lived and passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee.

I have heard of John Tate, but I don't think he lived in Arkansas all his life, I think he left at an early age. I have been in Arkansas all my life and I'm not even considering leaving. It's much easier for people in Arkansas to identify with me because I have been in Arkansas all my life and they have followed my career since I was a amateur.

Do you have any words for the readers of Fightnews before your fight on September 29th with Pavlik and regarding your future career?

This is my kind of fight, my kind of fighter to fight and the stage is set to showcase my talents. Kelly Pavlik will come to fight, no running, no holding...just the kind of fight I want.

Jermain, thank you for your time and best wishes on your upcoming fight and in the future!

Thank you.


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What do you guys think about his comments?
 

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i think ive heard all this before from JT, its hard not to like the kid because he does seem genuinly nice but what a horrible fighter.
 

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Captainobvious said:
Well, i wouldnt say horrible, but he does have his own flaws as well. He just needs to be directed better, and focus more. Hes got the tools, he just doesnt use them properly.
id rather watch spadafora fight than taylor.
 

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taylor is a very genuine and nice guy, not many nicer, but unlike you tommmy, i enjoy watching him fight, except for the spinks fight. yuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Taylor sounds very confident. I can't wait! I just can't wait to see whether Jermain is for real or not.
 

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Taylor sounds confident, i think he will beat Pavlik. He does come across as a nice guy, i always thought he was an ass.
 

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Yeah, good interview. Both guys are class acts. I haven't seen any bad intentions, or charging like a bull from him though.
 

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Rayman said:
Yeah, good interview. Both guys are class acts. I haven't seen any bad intentions, or charging like a bull from him though.
exactly rayman, i felt he was poor against winky but i put that down to winkys style more than anything at the time, but ouma and stinx are naturaly smaller guys who should have been dominated, i actualy scored the the fight to stinxs.
 

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my little brother and dad did too, i just held my breath and didnt bother scoring just hoping he won.

Taylor is a good guy and pavliks style is what he likes. he likes to scrap. Im excited too. its gonna shut my mouth or someone else mouth about taylor.
 

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This fight has more intrigue than any other on the map because you just don't know what's going to happen. JT makes it sound like Ahh now here's a fight I can look good in and that he's eagar for...A guy that could very well hurt him bad, but the smaller guys he can't handle. That's boxing.
 

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Exactly Ray. That is why this fight has me more excited than almost every other fight.
 

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Taylor always takes the big fights, nobody else fought Hopkins twice and Winky in 3 successive fights. Thats the reason i let him off Spinks and Ouma, but he better perform here.
 

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Damn, I can't wait for this fight. Part of me is saying Taylor is going to have his breakthrough performance and look amazing, and another part of me says that Pavlik is going to beat him stupid.
 

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most of my body tells me that taylor is going to put a beating on pavlik. very one sided too. lets hope my bodies right.
 
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