|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire|
May 26, 2001|
Johnson beats Taylor again.
by Barry hanley
The scene for Friday Night's fistic extravaganza was the Mystic Lake Casino at Prior Lake, Minnesota. It was hardly surprising that a fight in Minnesota would take place adjacent to a lake. After all there are a thousand of them in Jesse Ventura's domain.
First on the bill we had a pair of junior middleweight fighters. Terence Cauthen, a 1996 Olympic Bronze Medallist from Trenton, New Jersey, versus Franco Ogentho, a Ugandan boxer who had also represented his country in Barcelona. He didn't get to stand on the podium though. Unfortunately he lost in the opening bout to an Argentinean whose moniker escapes me at present. Anyhow, both fighters had good records with only one loss each. Cauthen to Teddy Reid and Ogentho to a top rated German fighter. From the outset it became abundantly clear that Cauthen had a clearly devised fight plan. Namely, to keep the stronger Ugandan at bay with a crisp jab followed by a quick step to the right. Ogentho's plan of attack was nowhere near as strategic or well thought out. He obviously believed that his superior physical strength and power would eventually take control of the fight. In the second round Cauthen connected with three solid right hooks as Ogentho attempted to pin him down. Cauthen was having none of it though and just continued to box the bigger man, demoralizing him in the process. The jab statistic in the 3rd painted a clear picture of how the fight was developing. Cauthen landed 19 jabs to Ogentho's 4. At the end of aforementioned installment Cauthen connected with a pretty four punch combination culminating with a straight left that clearly stunned his opponent.
In the rounds that followed Cauthen grew in confidence having seen that his not so powerful blows actually had an impact on Ogentho's highly suspect chin. In the words of ESPN fight analyst Teddy Atlas, this was becoming a classic "Bull and Matador" affair.
Despite the fact that Cauthen was landing power shots frequently on the inside he never veered from his fight plan and easily defeated the "Black Scorpion" whose sting was useless against a far savvier opponent. Cauthen took the 10 rounder in a unanimous decision.
The next bout of the evening was a four round affair betwixt Jesse "Cool Hands" Byers from Knoxville, Tennessee versus Joe Haynes from Detroit, Michigan. It became evident from the opening bell that this would be a "tear up". The fact that both men had only twelve minutes to make an impression on the viewers made them extremely keen on landing a spectacular haymaker. Byers, who bore a striking resemblance to Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning, was the taller man but was sucked into a shorter man's fight. This sealed his doom in dramatic fashion. In the second he was hit with a vicious barrage of body shots from the man from the motor city. Byers took a quick knee but got away with it. Haynes, appeared to have punched himself out as Byers went after him with a series of straight rights. Then he appeared to snap out of it and knocked Byers to the canvas with a well delivered right hand. Byers was game but he was obviously wounded and Haynes was circling for the kill. The conclusion came in the 4th with a left uppercut followed by a right hook that sent Byers reeling against the ropes. The Referee called a halt to proceedings a split second before the final bell.
On to our main event, a rematch of the February 1999 fight between Reggie Johnson and Will Taylor. In their previous encounter, Johnson dominated only to be knocked down in the 12th and final round by a fortuitous left hand from Will "Stretch" Taylor. Johnson got the decision on that night. Tonight, the NABF and vacant USBA belts were at stake as both men squared up once again.
Reggie Johnson ,who hails from the notorious "fifth ward" in Houston, Texas, is doomed to be the second best fighter in the light heavyweight division. Unfortunately for the Texan, he resides in the same creek as the biggest, baddest gator in Pensacola......Roy Jones Jr. On the other side of the ring we had an interesting character in "Stretch" Taylor. This lanky fighter is another pugilist who learned his trade behind bars. A self confessed "Alcoholic and crack head" he wound up in the can serving an eight year sentence where he ran into Bernard Hopkins. The rest as they say, is history.
Teddy Atlas was quick to point out in his "keys to victory" segment that Taylor would have to fight a "tall fight" in order to clinch the title. In other words, keep Johnson at bay with a rangy jab preventing the smaller fighter from getting in.
In a disappointing fight Taylor failed miserably. It's one thing having a fight plan in your head. It is quite another executing it against a man of the caliber and wealth of experience of a Reggie Johnson. Johnson landed a good combination of punches at the closing of the opener and proceeded to do the same all night. Taylor never found his range. Neither man hit the canvas or landed any spectacular shots.
The fight was in a word........weak. Taylor's jab was a pawing effort and became irritating after a few rounds. His strategy, or lack thereof, had no potency. Johnson's 110 amateur fights combined with his battles against some of the best fighters in the world made this a routine day at the office. All three judges scored the bout in his favor after the 12 rounds ran their dreary course.
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