Jeff Taylor puts in last-minute training at Mick Daly’s Gym before his super heavyweight bout on Sunday against Alexi Mukhin.
Jeff Taylor puts in last-minute training at Mick Daly’s Gym before his super heavyweight bout on Sunday against Alexi Mukhin. Chrissy Harris

Boxer nears Games dream

JEFF Taylor’s dream of getting a Commonwealth Games berth in the boxing team is within reach.

The super-heavyweight boxer’s fight is on Sunday against Alexi Mukhin in Canberra, and the Taylor camp expect to return with a win.

Mick Daly Gym head trainer Mick Daly has been overseeing Taylor’s preparation for the bout over the past month, and has been training twice a day, as well as running.

“His fitness level would be up 70 per cent from a month ago, and has exceeded my expectations,” Daly said.

“He’s really gotten into the boxing side of things this week.

“His punching power is good and he’s been sparring well.”

Taylor had a few days off training last weekend to help recover from a few niggling injuries.

“I’m feeling fresh and the niggling injuries are now behind me,” Taylor said.

“I’m confident I can win, but don’t want to be over confident.”

Taylor’s fitness regime has been assisted by other local fighters willing to spar and act as running partners.

With a few pre-fight nerves starting to appear, Taylor’s thoughts are turning to the most important bout of his career.

“It’s hard not to think about, it just pops into your head,” he said.

Daly has studied the last fight between Taylor and Mukhin in Cuba, in which the Russian-born fighter won, and has come up with a few mixes to take it up to him.

“The way I look at it, he’s very beatable, and if Jeff can fight for the three three-minute rounds, he’ll have a win,” Daly said.

“Mukhin is taller and has a longer reach, so Jeff has to hold him in the centre of the ring and not end up on the ropes.”

The strategy for the fight will centre on Taylor fighting his style and keeping the Russian at bay so he can pick him off.

“We’ll be looking to pick up points late in the round this way,” Daly said.

“This is what it comes down to, otherwise he has to wait two years for a crack at the Olympic team.”

 I’m confident I can win, but don’t want to be over confident.



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