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|Height||5 ft 7 1⁄2 in (171 cm)|
|Reach||66 in (168 cm)|
|Born||October 19, 1966|
|Wins by KO||20|
Meldrick Taylor (born October 19, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2002. He is a two-weight world champion, having held the IBF junior welterweight title from 1988 to 1990, and the WBA welterweight title from 1991 to 1992. As an amateur, Taylor won a gold medal in the featherweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Taylor, one of many boxing champions hailing from the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, learned his craft in the gyms of his hometown and posted a 99-4 record as an amateur fighter. In 1984, Taylor earned a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team at the age of 17, and claimed the gold medal in the featherweight division. Following his victory, he joined the professional ranks.
1984 Olympic results
- Round of 64: bye
- Round of 32: Defeated Nicolae Talpos (Romania) 5-0
- Round of 16: Defeated Francisco Camacho (Mexico) 5-0
- Quarterfinal: Defeated John Wanjau (Kenya) referee stopped contest in the third round
- Semifinal: Defeated Omar Catari (Venezuela) 5-0
- Final: Defeated Peter Konyegwachie (Nigeria) 5-0 (won gold medal)
In the American Olympic trials Taylor lost to Andrew Minsker, who then went on to win the trials. However, Taylor beat Minsker twice back to back to earn the spot in the Olympic box-offs.
His early fights were against nondescript journeymen, but in his 12th fight, in May 1986, Taylor won a unanimous decision against fellow contender Harold Brazier and moved into the world rankings. On September 3, 1988, Taylor faced James (Buddy) McGirt for the IBF light welterweight title. He defeated McGirt by a technical knockout (TKO) in the 12th and final round to begin his first title reign.
Taylor vs. Chávez
Over the next 18 months, Taylor won four more fights, setting up a unification bout with the WBC light welterweight champion Julio César Chávez on March 17, 1990 in Las Vegas. Chavez had an aura of invincibility, he was considered the best fighter pound for pound in the world and also one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport. This fight drew huge media attention, as both men came in unbeaten (Taylor at 24-0-1 and Chávez at 68-0), and regarded as two of the best boxers in the world, regardless of weight class. Their fight was one of the most famous and controversial bouts in boxing history.
Taylor took control of the action early and began to build up a lead on the scorecards. However, Chávez proved to be a heavier puncher, and was slowly wearing Taylor down even as he lost rounds. Going to the 12th and final round, Taylor led by wide margins on two of the three scorecards, and his corner famously told him that he needed to win that round. Because of this, Taylor chose to continue fighting at close quarters with the hard-hitting Mexican champion. Chávez, realizing time was running out, came at Taylor aggressively in the last round. With 17 seconds left in the fight, Chávez floored Taylor. Taylor beat the 10-count and got back to his feet at six. Referee Richard Steele twice asked Taylor, "Are you ok?" Taylor did not respond and only looked at his corner. Steele waved the fight off with just two seconds left, awarding Chávez a win by TKO.
The controversy surrounding the stoppage continues to this day, and 10 years later, The Ring proclaimed it the "Fight of the Decade".
Many boxing fans believe that Taylor was essentially 'ruined' as a fighter because of this bout—due in part to the tremendous punishment taken at the hands of Chavez, including several fractures and some kidney damage (according to the HBO "Legendary Nights" episode mentioned before, he was taken to the hospital immediately after the Chavez bout—reportedly urinating blood.)
WBA welterweight champion
Taylor had lost his title, but not his desire. Feeling that having to make the 140 pound (64 kg) weight had weakened him against Chavez, Taylor moved up to welterweight (147 pounds) and decisioned undefeated Aaron Davis for the WBA welterweight title on January 19, 1991. He issued a challenge to Chávez for a rematch at 147 pounds, but the latter wouldn't move up in weight for many years. Taylor won three more fights before answering a challenge from world junior middleweight champion Terry Norris to fight for Norris' WBC title. Norris, a naturally bigger and stronger man, knocked Taylor out in the fourth round.
This marked the end of Taylor's career as a world-class fighter; he lost the welterweight crown to undefeated challenger Crisanto España in his next fight on Halloween night in 1992. Taylor won his following three fights, including a second-round knockout over number four ranked welterweight Chad Broussard. He got one more title shot, against Chávez on September 17, 1994 in Las Vegas, but, years removed from his prime, he was stopped by Chávez in the eighth round. The fight was competitive, with Taylor getting off to a fast start. But after a brutal sixth round, Taylor's legs became rubbery and he was stopped 2 rounds later. He fought off and on over the next eight years, winning some fights and losing others, before retiring in 2002. He finished with a record of 38-8-1, (20 KOs).
During an episode of HBO's "Legendary Nights" in 2003, an interview with Taylor was shown, in which his speech was very slurred and difficult to understand. Many viewers were shocked and disturbed when they heard the way Taylor now speaks. Indeed, the episode implicitly attributed this to pugilistic dementia—mentioning, time and again, how Taylor was well past his prime as a fighter.
Meldrick Taylor has written his autobiography, titled Two Seconds From Glory.
Meldrick Taylor was arrested on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 in North Philadelphia morning after he allegedly threatened a man with a gun and engaged in a 90-minute standoff with police at his residence. Taylor was charged with aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and terroristic threats. He was later released on an unsecured bond.
Meldrick Taylor has a twin brother, Eldrick, who was also briefly a professional boxer and compiled a record of 0 wins and 1 loss. Another brother, Myron, on the other hand, also competed as a professional boxer who had a record of 29 wins (16 by knockout), 9 losses and one draw (tie), and who once challenged for a world title.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|47 fights||38 wins||8 losses|
|47||Loss||38–8–1||Wayne Martell||UD||10||Jul 20, 2002||Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minnesota, U.S.|
|46||Win||38–7–1||Dillon Carew||SD||8||May 31, 2002||Boutwell Memorial Auditorium, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.|
|45||Win||37–7–1||Manuel De Leon||UD||8||Sep 10, 1999||Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, Florida, U.S.|
|44||Win||36–7–1||Tim Scott||TKO||3||Aug 26, 1999||Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|43||Loss||35–7–1||Quirino Garcia||UD||12||Feb 26, 1999||Gimnasio Municipal Josue Neri Santos, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico|
|42||Loss||35–6–1||Hasan Al||UD||10||Aug 28, 1998||Atletion, Aarhus, Denmark|
|41||Win||35–5–1||Rafael Salas||UD||6||Aug 6, 1998||Aurora, Illinois, U.S.|
|40||Loss||34–5–1||Darren Maciunski||SD||10||Nov 26, 1996||The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|39||Win||34–4–1||Tommy Small||UD||10||Oct 10, 1996||Hilton, Washington D.C., U.S.|
|38||Win||33–4–1||Kenneth Kidd||TKO||1 (10), 2:59||Aug 16, 1996||Jaffa Shrine Center, Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|37||Loss||32–4–1||Julio César Chávez||TKO||8 (12), 1:41||Sep 17, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBC and lineal light welterweight titles|
|36||Win||32–3–1||Chad Broussard||KO||2 (10), 1:01||May 7, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|35||Win||31–3–1||Craig Houk||KO||3 (10), 1:02||Jan 29, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|34||Win||30–3–1||Henry Hughes||RTD||2 (10), 3:00||May 8, 1993||Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|33||Loss||29–3–1||Crisanto España||TKO||8 (12), 2:11||Oct 31, 1992||Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England||Lost WBA welterweight title|
|32||Loss||29–2–1||Terry Norris||TKO||4 (12), 2:55||May 9, 1992||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBC super welterweight title|
|31||Win||29–1–1||Glenwood Brown||UD||12||Jan 18, 1992||Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Retained WBA welterweight title|
|30||Win||28–1–1||Ernie Chavez||TKO||6 (10), 1:51||Sep 13, 1991||ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, U.S.|
|29||Win||27–1–1||Luis Garcia||SD||12||Jun 1, 1991||Radisson Hotel, Palm Springs, California, U.S.||Retained WBA welterweight title|
|28||Win||26–1–1||Aaron Davis||UD||12||Jan 19, 1991||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won WBA welterweight title|
|27||Win||25–1–1||Primo Ramos||UD||10||Aug 11, 1990||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.|
|26||Loss||24–1–1||Julio César Chávez||TKO||12 (12), 2:58||Mar 17, 1990||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Lost IBF light welterweight title;|
For WBC and vacant lineal light welterweight titles
|25||Win||24–0–1||Ramon Flores||TKO||1 (10), 1:57||Jan 27, 1990||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|24||Win||23–0–1||Jaime Balboa||TKO||5 (10), 1:59||Nov 20, 1989||Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|23||Win||22–0–1||Courtney Hooper||UD||12||Sep 11, 1989||Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained IBF light welterweight title|
|22||Win||21–0–1||John Wesley Meekins||RTD||7 (12), 3:00||Jan 21, 1989||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained IBF light welterweight title|
|21||Win||20–0–1||Buddy McGirt||TKO||12 (12), 2:00||Sep 3, 1988||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won IBF light welterweight title|
|20||Win||19–0–1||Martin Quiroz||UD||10||Jun 12, 1988||Odeum Expo Center, Villa Park, Illinois, U.S.|
|19||Win||18–0–1||Ivan Gonzalez||TKO||5 (10), 2:47||Apr 9, 1988||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|18||Win||17–0–1||Richard Fowler||KO||2 (10), 1:19||Nov 4, 1987||Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.|
|17||Win||16–0–1||Irleis Perez||UD||10||Jul 11, 1987||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|16||Win||15–0–1||Primo Ramos||UD||10||Apr 19, 1987||Pointe Resort, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.|
|15||Win||14–0–1||Roque Montoya||UD||10||Feb 6, 1987||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|14||Win||13–0–1||Danny Vargas||TKO||2 (10), 1:49||Dec 11, 1986||Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|13||Draw||12–0–1||Howard Davis Jr.||SD||10||Aug 16, 1986||Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Harold Brazier||UD||10||May 11, 1986||Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Jose Rivera||TKO||6 (10), 2:07||Apr 3, 1986||Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Robin Blake||UD||10||Feb 2, 1986||Sudduth Coliseum, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Victor Acosta||UD||8||Dec 21, 1985||Pavilion, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Carlos Santana||KO||4 (8), 2:45||Oct 16, 1985||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Roberto Medina||UD||6||Jul 20, 1985||Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Hugo Carrizo||TKO||3||Jun 29, 1985||Bellaria, Italy|
|5||Win||5–0||Nery Reyes||KO||1 (6), 2:35||May 17, 1985||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Elias Martinez||TKO||5 (6)||Apr 6, 1985||San Angelo, Texas, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Darrell Curtis||TKO||3 (6), 2:09||Mar 13, 1985||Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Dwight Pratchett||UD||6||Jan 20, 1985||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Luke Lecce||TKO||1 (6), 2:31||Nov 15, 1984||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Professional debut|
- Professional boxing record for Meldrick Taylor from BoxRec
- Meldrick Taylor at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com
- Meldrick Taylor at the International Olympic Committee
|World boxing titles|
| IBF junior welterweight champion
September 3, 1988 – March 17, 1990
Julio César Chávez
| WBA welterweight champion
January 19, 1991 – October 31, 1992