Regular price $65.00

Meldrick Taylor (born October 19, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a former Olympic gold medalist and world boxing champion in two weight classes. 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. 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". There is also widespread[citation needed] belief that Taylor was essentially 'ruined'[citation needed] 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.) 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.[1] 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 he spoke like he was drunk. 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. Offered here is an action phograph from the Taylor-Chavez fight which has been boldly signed by Meldrick Taylor.
This is a black & white, action, 8" x 10," photograph. Boldly signed in silver pen by Taylor. Bold, clear image. Clean front and back. Not creased or torn.

Size: 8 x 10

Condition: near mint