Taylor, Nelson bond to create a champion

Jermain Taylor and Ozell Nelson were two poor, stuttering Arkansans who had faith only in each other. Years of hard work later, the boxer and trainer are reaping rewards.

Originally Published: November 24, 2005
By Tim Keown | ESPN The Magazine
It wasn't about boxing in the beginning.

Long before boxing, it was about hope and fear, about a man who cared and a kid who needed to belong. Like so many of these stories, it was about poverty and opportunity, too much of one and not nearly enough of the other.

It was about a kid who could barely speak and a man who was willing to listen. Boxing was there, as an outlet, an excuse, the vehicle that drove the kid to a feeling he'd never felt before. In the beginning, that was enough.

Tim Keown | email

Senior writer, ESPN.com