Lem’s latest: Taylor licensed, Morales-Olusegun, Alvarez, Russell Jr., Broner
Former undisputed middleweight titleholder Jermain Taylor was approved for a boxing license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday, the commission’s executive director Keith Kizer confirmed to RingTV.com on Saturday.
The commission approved the 33-year-old Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) by a 5-0 vote, said Kizer, adding that the fighter was accompanied by adviser Al Haymon.
Kizer said that he is “not sure where or when [Taylor] will compete.”
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 on Wednesday, 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. 2007.
ERIK MORALES HAS A CHOICE
Newly-crowned WBC junior welterweight beltwinner Erik Morales has the option of making a voluntary defense before he has to entertain a challenge by southpaw Ajose Olusegun of Nigeria, his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Richard Schaefer, told RingTV.com on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Morales (52-7, 35 KOs), of Tijuana, Mex., became the first Mexican-born fighter to earn a fourth title in as many different divisions with a 10th-round knockout over previously-unbeaten Pablo Cesar Cano (22-1, 17 KOs) of Mexico City on Sept. 17.
Morales earned the vacant belt after former titlist Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) was stripped of the crown for inactivity.
On Friday night, the 31-year-old Olusegun (30-0, 14 knockouts) won the ‘ShoBox: The New Generation’ main event held in Santa Ynez, Calif., by lopsided unanimous decision over 26-year-old, Montreal-based Frechman Ali Chebah (35-2, 28 KOs) by scores of 120-106, 119-107, and 119-107.
Olusegun-Chebah was a WBC eliminator for the right to face Morales. Although the New York City-based Olusegun scored two knockdowns in the third round, the wild-swinging, give-and-take affair was much closer than the final scoring indicated.
SAUL ALVAREZ WILL BE BACK SOON
Schaefer is considering a December return for 21-year-old WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs) likely in Cancun, Mex.
In addition, however, Schaefer is eyeing a return for Alvarez to a Nov. 26 card on HBO, one that could also include 22-year-old junior lightweight contender Adrien Broner (21-0, 17 KOs) in a clash for the WBO’s vacant belt, as well as southpaw featherweight contender Gary Russell Jr. (18-0, 10 KOs).
A potential rival for Alvarez is the 31-year-old former two-time welterweight beltholder Kermit Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KOs), with Will Tomlinson (17-0-1, 12 KOs) of Australia being a consideration for Broner.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]