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Jermain Taylor Update: More Dark News But With a Silver Lining

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  • Jermain Taylor Update: More Dark News But With a Silver Lining

    By Ted Sares

    Boxing can be a dark business even though there seems to be denial at every turn. Its moral underbelly has come into question on more than one occasion and lately there have been some incidents that, while on the periphery, seem to punctuate the dark side. Take the depressing story of Jermaine Taylor who is once again in trouble.

    According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, mental testing has been ordered for Taylor, 40, after prosecutors called into question his cognitive abilities. The former Olympic medalist and champion boxer was booked into the Pulaski County (Arkansas) jail on Wednesday on three charges of petition for revocation. This comes just two months after his last hearing in the same Pulaski County jail.

    Taylor’s many incidents with the law and his downward spiral have been well-documented and need no reiteration here, though it must be mentioned that he left the sport on a winning note, beating Sam Soliman in his last fight in 2014 to win the IBF world middleweight title. Suffice to say that while Taylor must be accountable for his unlawful acts, he also must be treated sooner rather than later if a tragedy to either himself or someone else is to be prevented. Think Edwin Valero.

    And this is where the silver lining has come in.

    On Thursday, Circuit Judge Leon Johnson ordered Taylor to be mentally evaluated by doctors at the State Hospital and set his bail on the revocation petition at $10,000. The most recent proceedings against Taylor cannot move forward until the issue of his fitness to stand trial is resolved. Judge Johnson gave state doctors until Feb. 11 to report their findings to him.

    Finally, his cognitive ability and attendant fitness for trial is being questioned. Finally, he may receive the kind of help (interdiction) he has long required. Finally (at least for now), he is no longer being treated as a criminal.

    Felix Savon

    {"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\t1Savon.jpg Views:\t1 Size:\t70.8 KB ID:\t11382","data-align":"none","data-attachmentid":"11382","data-size":"medium"}

    In a less hopeful, albeit more shocking bit of news, Cuban amateur boxing great Felix Savon — a three time Olympic champion — is incarcerated on the island after being accused of raping a 12-year old boy.

    A report by Abraham Jimenez Enoa for Cuban magazine Gattopardo implied that this may not be the first time Savon, 51, has been accused of such a crime, further implying the possibility of past cover-ups.

    Savon had an amateur record of 362-21 and he avenged all of his defeats so, in effect, he beat everyone he faced. He also won gold at the Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney Olympic Games among other high-profile championships. He may well have won gold in Seoul in 1988, had Cuba not boycotted the Games. Many consider him more successful than the late and legendary Teofilo Stevenson. Savon never wanted to become a professional and was well known for rejecting lucrative offers to fight Mike Tyson.

    “I never would have traded the love and affection of my people for all the millions in the world,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the main Cuban newspaper, Granma, which has always referred to Savon in heroic terms, has remained conspicuously silent. Some have speculated that Cuba has covered up Savon’s transgressions in the past given his hero status on the island.

    Time will tell. Or maybe it won’t.

    Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and Strongman competitors. He is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

  • #2
    Cuba has always protected its athletes. Hopefully this boy and his family will see justice done....assuming the allegation is true.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment

      This from Wikipedia: "In 1999, [Teofilo] Stevenson was arrested at Miami International Airport when, before boarding a United Airlines chartered jet that would take the Cuban national boxing team home, he allegedly head-butted a 41-year-old United Airlines ticket counter employee, causing him to break his teeth. According to Stevenson, an "agitator" approached him at the airport shouting insults against the Cuban government and other Cuban subjects. Stevenson failed to attend the subsequent court proceedings, having travelled to Havana after his release from custody while on bail. The Cuban state newspaper Trabajadores blamed what it described as the "Miami mafia" for provoking the incident, alleging that the Cuban American National Foundation organized a public gathering to abuse Stevenson when he returned to Miami airport after his arrest. The newspaper believed that the motives for the alleged provocation were "again to ruin a Cuban sports star".[
      Last edited by Kid Blast; 11-13-2018, 07:59 PM.

  • #3
    Since both of my folks are from Arkansas, I've followed Taylor's career since the Olympics. He w/ the first boxer from Arkansas to compete in the Olympic games. A sad case as are so many other sad and depressing cases in boxing.

    Nice and well done piece, Ted. Please keep us informed on his case.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you.......

  • #4

    The website Cibercuba which is based in Spain and run by Cuban expatriates, said similar allegations had been made against Savon "but the revolution had ...forgiven him."


    • #5
      I'm not the boxing hound most of you are, but I follow a handful of sites. After reading your Jermaine Taylor news, I checked them all- nada.

      Jermaine was my guy, ever since seeing him defeat Raul Marquez on live HBO in 2004. I'm not sure why, but I liked him. It has been very sad to watch his career and life decline.

      But your story was very good news. Thank you for this timely, diligent reporting.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        Most welcome.