History

On This Day: Meldrick Taylor dazzles against Buddy McGirt to win his first world title

Julio Cesar Chavez v Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Taylor starts as underdog but hammers the brilliant Buddy McGirt to defeat in 12 rounds

MELDRICK TAYLOR w rsf 12 BUDDY McGIRT
September 3, 1988; Harrah’s Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
BEFORE defending his IBF 140lbs belt against the burgeoning Meldrick Taylor, Buddy McGirt – a narrow favourite – claimed his opponent had been fast-tracked because of the Olympic gold medal he’d won four years before. But Taylor’s class was evident from the opening round. On this form, Taylor was a sublime, thinking man’s assassin, and begs the question: If McGirt is in the International Hall of Fame, why isn’t Meldrick? The answer is likely that Taylor’s peak was brief – his best days were brutally beaten out of him by Julio Cesar Chavez 18 months later. But the manner in which Taylor bedazzled and thrashed McGirt is at times awe-inspiring.

DID YOU KNOW? McGirt would later blame his performance on an injury to his left arm which postponed this bout from June 12, 1988. Even so, McGirt managed to KO Howard Davis Jnr in the interim.

WATCH OUT FOR: The breakneck hand speed of Meldrick Taylor. A sight to behold.

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