Can I have your attention for a second, guys? I’ve got a little announcement to make, so take a seat if you can find one. That’s it. The closer to the ring the better. If you can’t find a chair or a bench, just stand. This won’t take long.
Hey, Rocky. Could you quit hitting the speed bag for just a second? Thanks. Got something important to say. You guys in the back of the gym hear me all right? What? Good. Say, could someone unplug the bell?
All right, quiet. Here it is. I just wanted to be the first to congratulate one of the new world champions for recently becoming a bona fide, card-carrying member of that ever-growing group known as the “I Trash Talk with the Best of ‘Em Club.” This young man learned to bad-mouth from one of the all-time greatest talkers in the fight business, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins.
Jermain? Jermain Taylor, you back there? C’mon up here to the front Mr. “Bad Intentions” and get your hand raised and accept this special plaque we had made for you, the middleweight champion of the world. Take a well-deserved bow. Say a few words to the guys, but don’t trash talk us, OK? (Light laughter around the gym).
Tell us, Jermain, what turned a polite, soft-spoken kid from Arkansas into what sounds like an arrogant used car salesman trying to close a deal?
In case some of you guys didn’t hear about it, Jermain here recently took some verbal shots at Winky Wright. Yeah, the guy many boxing experts think is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Crazy move, Jer.
According to the newspaper, Jermain is not impressed with the fighting skills of Winky Wright, and so he did what any red-blooded member of the Trash Talk Club would do. He spoke his mind and did a little bad-mouthing, declaring that Wright would be an easy win for him. You claimed Wright wouldn’t give you any problems at all, right Jermain? Isn’t that what you said? Of course, there’s no fight scheduled between you and Wright yet, but that’s not relevant here. You wanted to start the trash talk early, stir up something right away. Isn’t that right?
C’mon, Jermain. Don’t be shy or modest. It’s too late for that. Your days of being unpretentious are long gone. Humility? History. Show respect? Give me a break. You’re in the fight business now, and we all appreciate that, right guys? How about another hand for the badass here.
(Hearty round of applause).
Not only did our boy Jermain take a shot at Wright himself, but he got himself a double. He also took aim at another fighting legend, Felix Trinidad, whom Wright toyed with when they fought last spring. Let me read a clipping from the Las Vegas Review Journal quoting our man of the hour.
“I’m not impressed by that (Wright’s lopsided win over Trinidad),” Taylor said. “Who was Trinidad at that point? He hadn’t looked like anything in a long time. Beating him? Big deal.”
Tell the guys the truth, Jermain, did you really say that? Yes? Wow.
(More hearty applause).
You also said Wright couldn’t sell “one” buy if they put him on pay-per-view without you, and he doesn’t deserve a 50-50 cut of the purse. Is that right?
Finally, I’d like to ask you one last question, Jermain. Any time we have a new member of the Trash Talk Club, we ask them why they do it, what made them join the club. And to make it easier, we give you a list of options to pick from. Choose the letter, if you don’t mind, that best describes why you became a Trash Talker.
I trash talk because:
A: I’m very sincere about my trash talking.
B: I always do what older people (promoters) tell me to do.
C: I’m trying to sell tickets, bro.
D: I’ve been very bored these last few weeks. I need controversy.
E: I don’t like people who are left-handed.
F: I don’t like anyone with a funny nickname.
G: I’m very sincere. Honest.
Take your time, Jermain. Winky isn’t a club member.
Not yet, anyway.