By Sean Crose
Jermain Taylor is on his way to training camp. You read that right – Taylor is going back to training camp. An Arkansas judge named Leon Johnson of Pulaski County allowed Taylor to leave state custody on $25,000 bail. “Johnson,” according to Arkansas Online, “had previously said he wouldn’t set Taylor’s bail pending a third and final mental evaluation. With that evaluation in and showing Taylor fit to proceed, Johnson set bail at $25,000 and granted Taylor’s request to attend the Florida training camp.”
That’s right, Taylor’s been required to have mental evaluations – and with good reason. The former middleweight champ has called the Pulaski County jail home since May. Why? Because “his bond was revoked after he was accused of punching another patient at a treatment center.” Needless to say, Taylor’s life has been in freefall for some time now.
After suffering from a brain bleed as a result of a bout with Arthur Abraham in 2009s super six super middleweight tournament, Taylor was allowed to keep fighting. What affect more ring time had on the man is uncertain. Coupled with a substance abuse problem, however, the results were far from positive. At the moment Taylor is looking at three separate criminal charges. Aside from the treatment center assault, Taylor is in trouble for some serious matters indeed.
According to TVH11, Taylor was “charged with two counts of battery, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of substance, and third degree endangering a minor” back in January. He’s also been charged with shooting his cousin back in August of 2014. Yet, as Fox Sports reports, Taylor “has pleaded not guilty in all three” counts.
Arkansas Online reports that Patrick Burns, who has trained Taylor for over thirty fights, insists Taylor’s capable of handling the “military-type atmosphere” of the training camp he’s operating in Florida. What’s more, Burns insists that Taylor “got caught up with drugs and alcohol and made some stupid mistakes,” but that he’s ready to improve his life.
“Johnson,” Arkansas Online claims, “ordered that Taylor be drug-tested weekly while at the camp.”
Taylor’s reputation certainly isn’t what it used to be. Bursting onto the scene by beating the great Bernard Hopkins twice in 2005, Taylor appeared to be a likeable rising star. He may well have been, but things have clearly changed for the man – and those around him – since that time.
No matter what else happens with Taylor, word is he will appear before a jury back in Arkansas on December 2nd. He can get out of Arkansas for now, but how much longer will Taylor be allowed out of Arkansas state custody? That may be a question he’ll be asking himself while he’s in Florida with Burns.