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The bizarre behavior of Jermain Taylor

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Credit: Craig Bennett / Showtime

Jermain Taylor’s Career Revival Derailed:

The unlikely revival of Jermain Taylor’s boxing career was upset last week, most likely permanently. Taylor was arrested on January 19 after he allegedly pointed a gun at a fan and threatened to shoot three children in his native Arkansas during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. He was also found to be carrying a small amount of marijuana, and was charged with several felony counts. He then released a bizarre video rant, filmed in a bathtub, before turning himself into police.

However, what has effectively destroyed his comeback is the revocation of his bond from a previous run-in with the law. Taylor had been previously arrested on August 2014 for the non-fatal shooting of his cousin in an altercation in his home, and was released on bail pending trial. Now Taylor will remain incarcerated for at least as long as it takes to resolve both criminal trials, assuming he isn’t either found guilty or takes a plea deal to at least one of them. Odds are very certain that Taylor will spend time behind bars.

Is He Right In The Head?

Taylor has brought about an ugly end to a remarkable comeback run. The 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist and former World Middleweight Champion’s career looked well and truly over after his a particularly sad showing and brutal knockout defeat at the hands of Arthur Abraham in the opening stanza of the Super Six. It marked the third damaging stoppage defeat he suffered in quick succession, first at the hands of Kelly Pavlik when he lost his Championship, and then by Carl Froch, in a fight he had been winning up until that point.

His slurring was frequently observed and commented upon, and his promoter Lou DiBella left Taylor rather than promote him out of concern for his health after he was found to have bleeding on the brain following the Abraham defeat. Taylor looked like a serious candidate for pugilistic dementia.

Taylor took some time off, and then went 5-0 over three years, but that wasn’t without hiccups. Taylor won fair and square against 18-0-1 Caleb Truax, a guy who hasn’t lost a fight since, but Truax dropped him in the 9th. Thanks to his name recognition, this brought him into contention against Sam Soliman for a title belt. Taylor got lucky when Soliman injured his knee halfway through the fight, allowing him to beat the stuffing out of the Australian.

Once again, Taylor had a title belt over his shoulder. The win though, and that title, only sparked concerns of the brutal defeat Taylor could potentially go on to suffer in big fights against the likes of Gennady Golovkin.

Yet Taylor had already shot his cousin and was out on bail by the Soliman fight. That incident was blurry enough to make one wonder if the shooting wasn’t justifiable, but this latest incident cannot be explained away so easily.

In fact, it seems positively deranged, and certainly leaves me wondering if Taylor isn’t already suffering from some form of dementia, either caused or aggravated by his boxing career. His seemingly sudden derailment into this type of behavior also seems eerily reminiscent of the stories plastered in the news lately of former NFL players who met early, tragic ends to their lives due to the effects of CTE from their careers.

Either way, I don’t see the authorities letting Taylor out of jail again to take on Sergio Mora on the 5th as they did so he could fight Sam Soliman. Two felony firearms incidents in the space of five months would be bad enough, but one involving kids? Taylor is in jail and there he will stay for a good, long while.

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