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Written by Ian Wallwork

Winding down December with one more fight card

It's been a busy December, with the controversial Khan loss to Peterson and a straight forward ending to the two-year long Super Six tournament, when Andre Ward outboxed Carl Froch. Though there won't be any boxing this weekend, December isn't done.

In a couple of weeks Lou Dibella is putting on an interesting fight card. Fighting out of California on December 30th, we'll see Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell and Mike Perez all box on the same night. Jermain Taylor is a good draw in himself, but with Dirrell and Perez also fighting it might be worth spending your christmas money on.

The Main Event - Jermain Taylor

Jermain Taylor headlines against young middleweight Jessie Nicklow. Nicklow, 24, has an okay 24-2 record but hasn't beaten anyone you'd know. His career achievement to date is fighting for the Maryland State Middleweight belt, a match he drew but could have been scored in his favour.

He isn't meant to threaten to Taylor, a fighter once thought as the real deal after he beat Bernard Hopkins twice and drew with Winky Wright. Taylor has lost four out of his last five fights, but it isn't as bad as it seems. Two of his losses came against the old Kelly Pavlik, and these we can excuse because Palik was quite good. After this he scored a unanimous decision over the man Joe Calzaghe once dominated, Jeff Lacy. Hopes of a Taylor resurgence would be ill founded though, because he lost his next two fights.

In fairness to Taylor, they came in the Super Six tournament and they were against two of the top fighters in the super middleweight division, Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. We saw Froch lose to a world class Andre Ward display early December, and Arthur Abraham is Arthur Abaraham. There is no shame in these losses.

Despite this, Taylor's confidence may be shaken, and the bout with Nicklow is meant to get him to straighten his shoulders and puff out his chest. Taylor should take this by KO.

Jermain Taylor's last fight, a loss to Arthur Abraham, was 26 months ago.

The Undercard - Dirrell and Perez

Further down the card there's ex WBC Super Middleweight champion Andre Dirrell against the man who was stiffed out of a fight with Kelly Pavlik, Darryl Cunningham. Dirrell lost a controversial decision to Carl Froch in his first fight in the super six tournament and then beat Arthur Abraham via disqualification after playing dead in the ring.

This means Dirrell hasn't won a fight using his skills since 2009 when he scored a win over Derrick Findlay, who had an unimpressive 13-2 record. Dirrell needs to beat a high-level opponent, but Darryl Cunningham isn't it. Sporting a record of twenty four wins and two losses, Cunningham hasn't set the division alight. His record is made up of patsys who have lost more fights than they've won - his last five opponents have lost a combined 74 fights.

The only reason I want to see him fight Dirrell is that he deserves a payday. This one won't make him rich, but it'll go some way to making up for him being short changed at the hands of Kelly Pavlik, who pulled out of their scheduled August meet up. Cunningham shouldn't win, so barring an upset this fight is Dirrell's.

Heavyweight Action

Finally, there's some heavyweight action as unbeaten prospect Mike Perez takes on Friday Ahunanya, a veteran who is used as a punching bag when a better fighter needs a tune up. Perez, one of several Cubans in Patrick Hamish Thomas' stable, has gone 17-0 without taking many risks. His biggest scalps are Tye Fields, who may soon fight Mariusz Wach, and the man every heavyweight beats at some point in his career, Zack Page.

Fields should walk through Ahunanya, and if he doesn't he should rethink his profession. Fellow heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury said of a lesser-opponent recently that if he couldn't beat him convincingly, he'd retire. That's sound logic, because if you can't get past the journeymen of your division you will become one yourself. Fields will score a unanimous decision win.

Looking back over the three fights, I've described all of them as walkovers. On reflection, I don't think this is such a good card. It has a couple of big names that catch your attention, but look closely and it is a tune-up card and a record padder. In a good month you'd avoid it like a kiss from grandma, but with December being so quiet it might be worth watching. 2012 can't come soon enough.