Lockport's Joe Taylor makes a June 8, 2013 date with destiny
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport’s Joe Taylor is used to knocking people down.
The star tailback on the city’s semi-pro football team, the Lockport Rampage, Taylor is considered one of the league’s toughest runners. Not only is he difficult to bring down running away from people, he can dish out his own degree of damage while running through linebackers and linemen twice his size.
Taylor, the son of the late great Lock City professional boxer Johnny Taylor, is hoping to channel his genetic strengths on June 8 when he enters the ring for the first time at the Kenan Arena.
Taylor said his decision to fight as an amateur kickboxer was spurred on by the death of his father earlier this year and believes his date with destiny is long overdue.
“I’ve been fighting and training my whole life. I just never got into the ring,” Taylor said this week, while working out at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Center on South Transit Road. “When my dad passed, something hit me between the eyes and I felt, ‘Lets do it now.’”
Taylor will take on Jay Boyd of Syracuse in a three-round heavyweight bout in the highly-anticipated June 8 Kenan fight card.
The main event will feature Lockport’s Amer Abdallah making his fourth straight WKA United States light heavyweight championship title defense. Abdallah (13-0) will take on Baltimore’s Robert Katzfey, who boasts a 10-2 pro kickboxing record and is currently 3-3 in mixed martial arts competition. The WKA-sanctioned title fight is a scheduled 10-rounder.
Other Lockportians on the Kenan card include heavyweight Dominic Esposito, who’s making his return to the ring after a three-decade absence.
Taylor said he’s excited to part of such a large, well-organized international fight card.
“I don’t care who it is I’m fighting, really,” Taylor said. “I’m going to try and take everything I can that my father and my trainers have taught me and use it to be successful. One thing my father taught me was the value of a good jab.”
Taylor’s reach is impressive — close to 80 inches — said one of Lockport’s premier MMA trainers and fighters Corey Webster.
“The jab is a dangerous punch and with the reach I have — they say I have a long reach — Corey’s one of the best out there and he’s helping me to finesse my jab, so I won’t be afraid to use it to my advantage.”
Taylor, who just turned 29, said he’s dedicating his first fight to not only his father, but his three sons as well, Joe Jr., 10; Javon, 8; and Jaymis, 7.
“All the training I’ve done for this fight has been worth it — and to be able to work with people like Amer and Corey. It’s been a great experience,” Taylor said.
“I’m going to continue to follow my dream until somebody proves me wrong.”
The weigh-in for the June 8 fight card is slated for 6 p.m. Friday at Lock 34 in downtown Lockport.
Tickets for the June 8 card are $25 general admission and $37.50 ringside. All VIP tickets are sold out. Remaining tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club on South Transit Road.
Fight Night sponsors include Local Edge (Jeff Folckemer), Mulvey Construction (Tim Mulvey), All Metal Works (Dominic Ciliberto), JS Motorsports (Kyle Brent), Executive Landscaping (Tony Butera), Niagara Gutter (Brad Cline) and Cain, Witlin & Dry Accountants (Scott Cain).