MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jermain Taylor's victory over Cory Spinks was a forgettable one, so it was no surprise when attention quickly turned to the middleweight champion's next fight.
Kelly Pavlik, anyone?
"Yeah, I'll fight him," Taylor said after winning a split decision, 117-111 and 115-113 from two of the judges, while the third had it 117-111 for Spinks. "It doesn't make a difference. We can fight next month."
Pavlik battered Edison Miranda in an action-packed middleweight fight on the undercard.
Taylor looked like he could go 12 rounds again next week following his tepid bout. Spinks missed more punches (457) than Taylor attempted (319), and Taylor's team conceded that his latest title defense was not an aesthetic masterpiece.
Taylor's trainer, Emanuel Steward, said Spinks (36-4) was to blame for that.
"Who's going to look good with Cory Spinks?" Steward said. "All you want to do is get the win and move on. Cory Spinks was jabbing, and before the punch got out, he's running back already."
When Taylor beat Bernard Hopkins in 2005 to win the middleweight title, he appeared to be the future of the division, but he has been criticized for fighting two junior middleweights. *