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."