Lee Groves

10: Presidential-boxer pairings

3. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) and Meldrick Taylor (1984-2002, 38-8-1 with 20 knockouts)

The 12th president was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” during a 40-year military career that included the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. His political base of support was unusually broad as Northerners and Southerners as well as Whigs and Democrats pushed for him to seek the White House. Once he became president he listened only to his own counsel, often alienating every faction that supported him. His 16-month tenure is the third shortest on record and some still believe he was poisoned instead of dying from a digestive ailment.

A Philadelphia fighter through and through, Meldrick Taylor was also a rough-and-ready battler who often ignored his corner’s pleas to exploit his lightning-quick feet in favor of toe-to-toe brawls. At 17 he was one of the youngest Olympic champions ever and his pro career took an equally precocious track as he beat future title challenger Dwight Pratchett in his second fight and conquered Robin Blake, Harold Brazier, Primo Ramos and Cubanito Perez before dethroning Buddy McGirt for his first belt. Given his youth and skill level, his zenith was only slightly longer than Zachary Taylor’s. Though he went on to win a welterweight belt his punishing last-second loss to Julio Cesar Chavez — 18 months after beating McGirt — effectively beat the prime out of him.

Honorable mentions: Jermain Taylor, Bernard “B.T. Express” Taylor.

Around the web