Paul Kroll has waited long enough.

This, the junior middleweight prospect predicted, will be the year boxing fans worldwide will become well aware of what many within the boxing industry have thought for quite some time – that Kroll will become problematic for higher-profile fighters once he steps up in competition. Philadelphia’s Kroll doesn’t consider Marquis Taylor the type of opponent that’ll convince hardcores that he is a true threat in the 154-pound division, but he is eager to get off to a strong start to 2022 in the opener of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” doubleheader Friday night in Orlando, Florida.

Kroll (9-0, 6 KOs) and Taylor (12-1-1, 1 KO, 1 NC), of Galena Park, Texas, are set to square off in an eight-round bout that’ll open Showtime’s telecast from Caribe Royale Resort at 9 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. PT.

“The exposure, that’s the best part,” Kroll told “The fight gonna be easy. I ain’t even worrying about that. I sparred better fighters than him. I seen a million of him and he never seen a Paul Kroll. So, stylistically it’s a perfect fight for me. First of all, he’s 6-1 and he don’t fight tall, so it’ll make it easier for me. His jab not even that good, so that’ll make it easier for me. Stylistically, it’s a great fight for me.”

The 26-year-old Kroll also pointed out that he has fared better against three common opponents – most notably Lucas Santamaria.

Taylor, 28, fought Santamaria to an eight-round majority draw in June 2019. Fifteen months later, Kroll convincingly out-pointed Santamaria in a 10-rounder.

Santamaria (13-2-1, 7 KOs) upset welterweight contender Abel Ramos (27-5-2, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision on February 5 in Las Vegas, which speaks to Kroll’s capabilities. Kroll feels fresher, too, because he has moved up from the welterweight limit of 147 pounds to the junior middleweight maximum of 154 since he out-pointed Mark Dawson (9-1-1, 3 KOs) unanimously in his last fight, an eight-rounder that took place November 27 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

“This is my coming-out year,” Kroll said. “This is my year for the world to know who I am. This is my year to put my name in the top 10 at 154, so I can get them big fights with [Jermell] Charlo, Brian [Castano], all the top guys at 154.”

Kroll’s fight Friday night will precede a 10-round main event in which Jamaine Ortiz (14-0-1, 8 KOs), a lightweight prospect from Worcester, Massachusetts, will face Philadelphia’s Nahir Albright (14-1, 7 KOs).

“I know he’s in shape and he’s coming to fight,” Kroll said of Taylor. “He throws a lot of punches per round or whatever, but my power’s gonna stop him from punching. Because one thing about people who throw a lot of punches, when you counter them the right way with shots he don’t see and it hurts him, you stop throwing that many punches because you start wondering, ‘Why I’m getting hit with that?’ Or he gonna go to sleep – one or the other.”

If Kroll’s first fight of this year goes according to plan, he hopes to remain active enough to secure a 10-rounder against a legitimate 154-pound contender by the end of 2022.

“I just expect to show them the skillful boxer I am,” said Kroll, who went 123-17 during a brief but productive five-year amateur career. “I always said the cream always rises to the top. It’s just my time. Everything’s about timing, and I feel like it’s just my time. I grew up so much mentally, just from the things I’ve been through in life, you know, me going through my situation.”

Kroll’s “situation” stemmed from his involvement in a gun fight in Philadelphia that led to a two-month incarceration and 18 months of home confinement in 2016 and 2017. Kroll initially was charged with attempted murder, but he pled guilty to a lesser charge because he didn’t actually fire a gun.

“It just helped me grow mentally, as a man, and understanding what I want in life,” Kroll said. “When you’re younger, you really don’t know what you want. Now, at my age, I know what I want and what I’m doing things for. I’ve got things to fight for now. It ain’t just my dream. I got a [4-year-old] daughter [Jasmine]. I wanna make sure she is great when I’m done boxing, and I ain’t got that much more time left in it. I’ll be done at 35. So, they better get what they can out of me before then.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.