By Francisco Salazar
"It is the quiet ones you have to worry about."
The usually soft-spoken Taylor keeps to himself in the build-up to fights throughout his career. It looked as though it would be the same thing as Taylor did very little talking, while the brash and outspoken Broner was the more vocal of the two.
That all changed at the press conference on Thursday when both jawed at one another. That is when Broner reached for Taylor's neck in an attempt to choke him.
That seemed to wake up the quiet Taylor, as he showed he was not about to be intimidated. Taylor also wanted to show he has equal bite to his bark.
Taylor hopes to pull off the upset over Broner tonight at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The bout will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card and will be televised live on Showtime. The broadcast begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/ 6:30 p.m.
Taylor earned the opportunity to fight Broner when he defeated Karim Mayfield by unanimous decision over 10 rounds on July 18 in Huntington, N.Y. Taylor was knocked down in the eighth round, but did enough to grind out a clear decision win.
The win put away any bad and lingering thoughts five months prior, when he lost a 10 round unanimous decision to Chris Algieri in the same venue.
Taylor points to not fighting for 11 months prior to the Algieri fight as his downfall. He credits his string of victories in the past was due to always fighting and never being out of the gym. With seven weeks removed from the July 18 fight, he believes he will give an even better performance tonight than in the Mayfield fight.
"I had a quick turnaround from that fight," Taylor told Boxingscene.com over the phone earlier this week. "I took a couple of days off and I was right back in the gym. I'm at my best when I stay busy. Layoffs hurt me."
"I can box or brawl, depending on my opponent. Broner doesn't throw a lot of punches and I know I can break him down. I'm bigger and stronger than he is. He doesn't have a lot of power at 140 and 147 pounds. He was knocking smaller guys out when he fought at 135 pounds. Maidana exposed him.
Despite the loss to Maidana, Broner is still a major player in the 140-pound division. Broner is the biggest name on paper and a win over him could open many doors for Taylor.
After fighting a handful of times on ESPN, Taylor could be fighting on premium networks, earn bigger purses, and eventual titles with a win over Broner.
Even Taylor is at a loss for words as to what a win over Broner would do for him.
"It would be tremendous," said Taylor, who is promoted by Star Boxing and managed by David Price. "Words can't explain what a win would mean for my career. I'm sure it would be overwhelming."
Taylor has little to lose and everything to gain. He is the underdog in the fight and will be fighting Broner in the brash fighter's hometown. He acknowledges he is up against the wall, but he is going to give it his all to win.
It is a "me against the world" mentality, which may give Taylor more motivation and confidence to get the win.
"He does a lot of talking, but he still has to fight me. That is enough to motivate me to work hard to get the victory."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing