ESPN2 will televise live the 12-round IBF Middleweight title fight between Sam “King” Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs) and former Middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KOs) in an ESPN Boxing Special presented on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 9 p.m. ET.
The winner of the Soliman vs. Taylor bout will face the winner of tonight’s Hassan N’Dam vs. Curtis Stevens eliminator, also televised on ESPN.
“With the excitement over the rise of Gennady Golovkin, the anticipation over Miguel Cotto’s next move, and Peter Quillin’s power play in vacating the WBO belt, the Middleweight division is white hot right now from an interest- level standpoint,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. “Equally as interesting has been the return of Jermain Taylor to the division so we are excited to provide fans with two consecutive ESPN Boxing Specials to finish painting the Middleweight picture.”
The October 8, show, from the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss., is promoted by Warriors Boxing.
Australia’s Soliman won the IBF Middleweight title in his last fight by defeating then-titleholder Felix Sturm. Soliman, a former kickboxing world champion, was also a participant in the 2007 season of The Contender reality television show.
“Jermain Taylor — he’s been there, done that. He’s been a world champion himself,” Soliman said. “I’m excited about the fact that I’m fighting a guy who has won all the belts – I’m keen on doing that! He’s done what I’m looking forward to doing myself. It’s a rich scalp for me.”
Taylor of Arkansas — a former undisputed WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and The Ring Middleweight world champion — is coming off a seventh-round TKO win over J.C. Candelo. Taylor has fought top-level opposition throughout his career including, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, Kelly Pavlik, Cory Spinks, and Bernard Hopkins.
“Things have come full circle for me — I have another shot to become a world champion, and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass by without being victorious,” Taylor said. “I’ve made a bunch of mistakes in boxing, losing to fighters I shouldn’t have lost to because of a lack of training, but I’m ready to clear all that up. With hard work and dedication, I’ll be 110 percent ready. I think Sam Soliman is a great fighter. He’s had a great career and he comes to fight, but I have to go in there and beat the hell out of him.”
The 10-round co-feature will pit Super Middleweights “The Matrix” Andre Dirrell (22-1, 15 KOs) from Flint, Mich., fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla., against New York’s Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (16-2-2, 6 KOs). Dirrell, a former Super Middleweight world title challenger, scored a fifth-round TKO win over Vladine Biosse in his last fight, while Brinson is looking to rebound from a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Dominic Wade.