Jermain Taylor & Emanuel Steward part ways?
The decision is in: Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward is out as the trainer for former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
Their disappointing four-fight run together is officially over, Steward told ESPN.com on Monday.
Speculation that Steward would be replaced has run rampant since Taylor lost the middleweight title on a seventh-round knockout to Kelly Pavlik on Sept. 29.
Taylor said the move was made "three or four days ago" during a telephone conversation with Ozell Nelson, Taylor's father figure and assistant trainer. Nelson, who made the decision, is the one who hired Steward in the first place.
Taylor and Pavlik
Al Bello/Getty Images
Jermain Taylor's loss to Kelly Pavlik, standing, all but guaranteed Emanuel Steward would be replaced.
"I talked to Ozell. We have a very good relationship, but he said he may try to [train Taylor] himself. I got no problem with that," Steward said. "If he wanted me to do it, I would do it. He said he might try to do it himself. It's not a bad decision. I'm real fine with it."
While Nelson could take over training duties on his own, a Taylor camp source told ESPN.com that there has been contact made with Pat Burns to gauge his interest in returning to train Taylor. Burns guided Taylor to a 25-0 record, the middleweight championship and both victories against Bernard Hopkins in 2005. But Nelson, whose relationship with Burns is not strong, made the decision to fire him and bring in Steward with much fanfare in the spring of 2006.
Steward said one of the key concerns he and Nelson talked about was his training schedule. If Steward remained with Taylor it would mean preparing three fighters for major fights in three weeks, not to mention the accompanying rigorous training camps.
Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs) and Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KOs) are scheduled for a Feb. 16 rematch. But if welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron defeats Jesse Feliciano on Nov. 23, and Cintron is a big favorite, Steward will be preparing Cintron for a Feb. 2 unification bout with Paul Williams. Steward also trains heavyweight titleholder Wladimir Klitschko, who is going to fight Sultan Ibragimov in a Feb. 23 unification fight.
"It's very hard to do that with that schedule and do what is necessary to do with Jermain," Steward said. "He really needs to be with me right now because he needs to be going over and over and over things so he does things automatically in the rematch and doesn't have to think about what to do. It would mean coming with me now and Jermain is not the kind of guy to do that. Ozell said he thinks he has retained enough of what he saw me working on with Jermain to do it himself."
Said Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter and longtime friend of Steward's, "I don't think this move is a referendum on Emanuel Steward. He's one of the greatest trainers in the game. But I think with Cintron and Klitschko also fighting that month that Emanuel has his hands full with two other champions. Things didn't click as well as they could have and Emanuel thought that Jermain often didn't follow his instruction. Obviously, he's a great trainer, but sometimes a trainer and a fighter don't have the requisite chemistry."
DiBella refused to address the question of who would replace Steward.
A news conference had been tentatively scheduled to announce Pavlik-Taylor II on Tuesday in New York, but it was canceled. Part of the reason was the uncertainty about who would train Taylor. Pavlik is also recovering from a household accident last week in which he put both of his hands and arms through a glass window and required 108 stitches, an injury that is not expected to delay the rematch.
The Taylor-Steward pairing just never seemed to click. They had an abbreviated training camp for their first fight together, Taylor's controversial draw with difficult southpaw Winky Wright. Then came decision victories against Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks, fights against junior middleweights for which Taylor's lackluster performance was roundly criticized. They were followed by the brutal knockout loss to Pavlik.
"I told Ozell if he needs any advice or just wants to talk, I'll be glad to," Steward said. "We finished up saying that he might try training Jermain himself and I wished them good luck."
Is this a good move or a bad move? Especially before a big fight with pavlik....I think he should of never gotten rotten of burns he would still be undefeated....He needs a trainer like mayweahter sr or someone
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
It's a good move not to keep Steward, but for Ozell Nelson to train him is a mistake. Jermaine really didn't listen to Emanual, and it cost him. That not Emanual's fault. I think Jermaine needs to bring in another experienced trainer like Freddie Roach. Emanual is a HOF trainer but the chemistry just wasn't there. If Ozell does train Jermaine himself, it's an automatic loss.
- SWATLv 41 decade ago
Emanuel Steward Is An All Time Great He And Taylor Hooked Up At A Bad Time,Jermain Taylor Has To Get Back The Eye Of The Tiger As It Were. Go Back To Basics. Hes Cruised For A Few Fights Now And It Hurt Him. Its Not To Late For Him, Its Seems Like Just Yesterday He Was The Up And Comer Beating Bernard Hopkins. I Hope He Gets It Back Hes A Helluva Exciting Fighter To Watch.
- 5 years ago
If Taylor dumps Stewart, it is the beginnin of the end of Jermain Taylor. I have never been impressed with Taylor, and truely believe he squeeked by those close decisions because of Emanuel's work. The edge in his big fights was so slim, Taylor cannot afford a step in the wrong direction, and dumping the best trainer currently active is just such a step. Too bad for Taylor is it's true, and no big loss for Stewart, Emanuel has no shortage of fighters knocking at his door. I see Stewart in Pavlik's corner if it plays out that way, and Taylor losing within a couple of fights without Stewart. It wll be interesting to see how Taylor fights against Pavlik, with or without Stewart in his corner, it will define Taylor's career.
- kieran27Lv 51 decade ago
Taylor is screwed.
Yesteryear for Taylor was fighting B level fighters under Pat Burns. Honestly with his athletic abilities he could have done fairly well without Burns.
But Taylor has had trouble fighting ever since he got on the A list. And that is because there are alot of intangibles that go along with a premier fight...one of which is top notch training. Taylor stepping backwards and going back to learning how to fight B level fighters will do nothing but hurt him.
Pat Burns said he had no problem stepping aside for Taylor, because at that level he really didnt know what he was doing. Taylor may not have made the run as long as he DID with Steward.
Now hes just a leaf in the wind.
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- mrraraavisLv 61 decade ago
If he is going to switch trainers he should take a preparation fight just to make sure they are on the same page and everything is clicking. To get right back in with someone with the knock out power of Pavlik is a mistake in my opinion especially at an unfamiliar weight. I'm looking forward to the fight though it should be an exciting card.
- 1 decade ago
I Think dismissing Stewart shows no class because he never listened to Stewart in the first place.
It would be different if he was applying all of Stewart's teachings in the ring but he seemed to be doing his own thing in the ring.
Its his own fault that he lost to Pavlik not his trainer.
Taylor should be a man an accept that.
- 1 decade ago
I think Ozell should step up and become Jermain's primary trainer. He's been with him since Jermaine was 8 and was in his corner for many national titles. I don't think Steward did much while he was trainer and I sincerely hope that Pat Burns doesn't come back - frankly, I don't think he will.Source(s): www.amateurboxing.com
- WoodyLv 61 decade ago
I think it's a bad move to switch before a big fight, but then again it probably won't make a big difference if Taylor had Stewart or Burns in his corner.
- 1 decade ago
bad move everytime a fighter lose he always think its somebody else fault except theirs so i expected that to happen