by Sean Crose
“Boxing champion Jermain Taylor is free,” the AP reported on Wednesday, “after he pleaded not guilty to pointing a gun at a man’s head and threatened to shoot three small children at an Arkansas parade.”
Taylor is already in trouble with the law for reportedly shooting his cousin last fall. Yet this latest incident, which occurred at a Martin Luther King Day Parade, has the public truly concerned with the man’s emotional well being.
Forty-year-old Toya Smith claims that Taylor produced his IBF title belt at the parade and asked to take a picture with her family. Needless to say, neither she nor her family had previously been acquainted with the man. Taylor, according to Smith, then accidentally dropped the belt and blamed it on one of Smith’s children (ages one, three and five).
He subsequently pulled a firearm on Smith’s husband and family.
“He put [the gun] up against his temple,” Smith is quoted as saying. “I jumped in front of it and it went off up into the air. He was going to shoot him, but I saw it, he was going to kill him and I had to hit the gun.”
Smith claimed she and her family then tried to get away, but that Taylor wasn’t done yet.
“He was pointing at the kids, so I jumped in front of him again and said, ‘Please don’t shoot my kids,’” she claimed.
Taylor tried to do some personal PR work on Tuesday by releasing an odd video where he spoke directly to the public from what appeared to be either a hot tub or a bath tub.
“The Martin Luther King Parade,” he claimed, looking straight at the camera, “little kids didn’t even have no candy.”
Needless to say this is a far cry from the Jermain Taylor who burst onto the scene by beating the great Bernard Hopkins twice in 2005. That Jermain Taylor came across as a likeable and talented representative of Arkansas, his home state.
Yet Taylor suffered a brain bleed at the hands of Arthur Abraham during 2009s Super Six Middleweight Tournament. Yet he was allowed to return to the sport of boxing in late 2011, to the chagrin of many analysts.
No matter what the reason, Taylor is clearly not the man he was.
Still, in spite of the odds, Taylor managed to capture the IBF middleweight strap from Sam Soliman last October. In fact, Taylor was scheduled to meet Sergio Mora on February 6th in a bout that would be aired live on ESPNs Friday Night Fights.
That fight has now been scratched, to the obvious disappointment of Mora. For he and Taylor were supposed to meet in 2007, but Mora passed on the deal. He’s sorry for passing on it now, especially in lieu of recent events.
“Do I have bad luck or do I have bad luck,” he said to ESPN.
The major concern here, however, has nothing to do with a lack of luck. It has to do with a possible lack of professionalism from some official bodies. Ask yourself this – do YOU believe Taylor should have been licensed to fight?