Former undisputed middleweight titleholder Jermain Taylor is expected to return to the ring on Showtime on Dec. 30 in his hometown of Little Rock, Ark., according to sources familiar with discussions between the fighter and the network.
The 33-year-old Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) was approved last month for a boxing license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a move that was confirmed to RingTV.com by the commission’s executive director Keith Kizer.
The commission approved Taylor by a 5-0 vote, and the fighter was accompanied by adviser, adviser Al Haymon. Taylor could return under long-time trainer Pat Burns, according to sources.
Taylor pulled out of Showtime’s Super Six World Super Middleweight Classic in January of last year after being stopped by Germany’s Arthur Abraham in the 12th round of their October 2009 bout.
Taylor was hospitalized for a few days in Germany following the loss to Abraham, received a CT Scan and an MRI as well as other testing, and was diagnosed with a concussion, short-term memory loss and bleeding on the brain.
But in a hearing with the commission last month, Taylor’s case to have his license re-instated was supported by the recommendation of Dr. Timothy J. Trainor, a commission consultant who “thoroughly reviewed the comprehensive medical records pertaining to combatant Jermain Taylor,” according to a letter Trainor supplied to Kizer and the commission.
Trainor indicated that Taylor’s “current cerebral MRA and MRI are normal,” even as he referred to the fact that Taylor “has a history of a subdural hematoma following a boxing match in Germany” against Abraham.
“As a result of this prior history, Mr. Taylor has undergone extensive additional testing including multiple MRI and MRA scans, neuropsychological testing, evaluation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and evaluation at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health here in Las Vegas,” Trainor wrote.
“He has been examined by both neurologists and neurosurgeons. All of these evaluations have demonstrated him to be medically fit to compete in boxing, not discounting the risk of head and brain injury that all unarmed combatants take.”
Trainor also referred to a meeting of the NSAC medical advisory panel on Sept. 22 “to discuss the medical safety of Mr. Taylor continuing his boxing career. The conclusion of the [panel] was that it would be medically safe to grant Mr. Taylor a boxing license,” Trainor wrote.
“Therefore, I am confident…that this combatant is medically cleared for unarmed combat.”
For Taylor, the loss to Abraham was the fourth in his previous five bouts, and his third by knockout during that stretch.
Taylor was coming off of a 12th-round knockout loss to England’s WBC titleholder Carl Froch in April of 2009, which he led on two of the three judges cards before being stopped cold with 14 seconds left.
Taylor was 27-0-1, with 17 knockouts before being knocked out in seven rounds by Kelly Pavlik in Sept. n Sept. 2007.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]