Taylor holds on to title; Pavlik emerges as dangerous contender

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Jermain Taylor beat Cory Spinks to hold on to his middleweight championship, but it was not a memorable fight.

Now, attention is turning to the Little Rock boxer's next bout.

Taylor says he's willing to fight Kelly Pavlik, who dispatched Edison Miranda in an undercard bout.

Miranda spent part of the run-up to the fight by badmouthing Taylor.

Spinks missed more punches (457) than Taylor attempted (319), and Taylor's team conceded that his latest title defense was not an aesthetic masterpiece. Taylor's trainer, Emanuel Steward, says Spinks (36-4) was to blame for the quality of the boxing.

He blamed Spinks for staying away from Taylor the entire fight.

But Spinks says he was robbed by last night's split decision. Besides Pavlik, Taylor's most prominent option now appears to be a move up in class to fight Joe Calzaghe, an undefeated super middleweight champion.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)