The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

January 21, 2013

Taylor looks to rebound from loss in Altoona

ALTOONA — Veteran cruiserweight Harvey Jolly walked over to Andres Taylor moments after the Johnstown native lost by a stunning decision to the journeyman on Saturday night and let Taylor know his views on their fight.

“Even he was surprised,” Taylor said Sunday. “He came over and said, ‘I thought you won.’ He said that with his own mouth. He told me that he’d take the win though and I said, ‘I know you will.’ ”

The fight was supposed to be a tuneup for Taylor. Coming off an impressive performance in a 10-round loss to undefeated Rakhim Chakhkiev, an undefeated Olympic champion from Germany, Taylor took a short-notice opportunity to fight near his hometown.

And he ended up leaving Altoona with a second consecutive setback.

“I thought I was off. It wasn’t my best fight,” Taylor said. “I thought I did enough to win, but I guess the judges saw it differently.”

The loss dropped Taylor’s record to 21-4-2.

It wasn’t the expected result against a well-traveled fighter in Jolly (14-19-1), who lost to six undefeated fighters before the Broad Avenue Brawlers Five, a Valley Fight League 40 mixed martial arts and boxing card that was headlined by MMA fighter Charlie Brenneman of Hollidaysburg, who defeated Eric Irvin.

“I had a bad night, but I felt I won the fight. I couldn’t believe it when I didn’t,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, two of the judges were new to professional boxing.

 “In the pros, it’s about power shots,” he said. “The guy that hits the hard shots wins and that’s what I did, but I can’t cry over spilled milk. That’s the nature of the beast in this sport.”

Taylor did have a couple things working against him going into the bout.

He spent the previous week in Poland, where he served as a sparring partner of WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. Taylor’s performance in Germany against Chakhkiev caught the attention of the Polish boxer, who asked him to return to Europe.

Taylor returned to the area last Sunday. By Monday, he was sick.

“I didn’t feel good Monday. I don’t know if it was from the flight back or what,” Taylor said. “I was still sick Tuesday, but on Wednesday I felt good. I was ready to go. I felt good.”

Tom Yankello, Taylor’s trainer, suggested his fighter postpone.

“I saw him again on Thursday and I felt good and looked good,” Taylor said. “When I got in the ring, I just didn’t have that zip. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I threw a lot of hard shots and I hurt him a few times.”

The loss could affect Taylor’s future in the sport though he said there are no plans of stopping.

Taylor had a potential fight for the WBU African cruiserweight title scheduled for March 30 in Ghana.

“If it still goes through, I’m happy with that or maybe I’ll fight on one of Roy Jones’ cards,” Taylor said. “This time, I have to get the win and move from there.”

United High School product Eli Garshnick and Blacklick Valley graduate Curtis Link came away winners in Altoona.

Garshnick, who wrestled at Pitt-Johnstown and competes in MMA, won by tap-out in the first round with a key hold on Donald Crawford. Link also won by tap-out in the first round against Nick Kerr as he prepares to turn pro.

Johnstown's Jordan Haselrig, son of former UPJ national champion wrestler and Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Carlton Haselrig, lost by technical knockout to Ryan Everhart.

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