Speed to meet Taylor for USBA title

March 04, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

Undefeated Eugene Speed (22-0, 16 KOs), of Palmer Park, Md., will challenge Bernard Taylor, of Knoxville, Tenn., for the United States Boxing Association junior-lightweight title at the Starplex Armory in Washington on March 28.

Speed, 28, a former protege of Sugar Ray Leonard and managed by Leonard's former trainer, Dave Jacobs, holds the International Boxing Council's 130-pound crown. But IBC titles carry little weight in the pecking order of professional boxing sanctioning bodies and do not command large purses.

"We're trying to get Speed into the IBF [International Boxing Federation] rankings," said Jacobs. "If he beats Taylor for the USBA title, then the IBF will have to include him among their top 10 junior lightweights in the world."

The IBF world title is held by Juan Molina, of Puerto Rico, who stopped Jackie Gunguluza of South Africa in the fourth round last month.

Speed, a clever boxer-puncher with exceptional hand speed, has been fighting professionally since 1985. He won the IBC title last year by out-pointing Jose Sanabria, of Venezuela, in a 12-round bout.

Taylor, 34, began his career in 1982 as a featherweight, but moved up in weight and won the USBA junior lightweight title by stopping Calvin Grove in the 11th round on Feb. 6, 1990.

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