Former undisputed middleweight champ Jermain Taylor may be reunited with former promoter Lou DiBella when he returns to the ring on Dec. 30 in his hometown of Little Rock, Ark., according to sources familiar with discussions between the fighter and DiBella.
BoxingScene.com first reported the possibility.
Although he admitted having spoken to Taylor, DiBella would neither confirm nor deny that he will rejoin the boxer, from whom he separated in late 2009 out of concern for Taylor’s health and safety.
“I’m aware of his return. Jermain and I are talking about me being his promoter. Nothing’s cast in stone,” said DiBella. “I brought him into the business, and if I feel confident that if we talk and that everything works out okay, then I very well may wind up doing that again.”
The 33-year-old Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) was approved last month for a boxing license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The commission approved Taylor by a 5-0 vote, and the fighter was accompanied by adviser Al Haymon, according to the commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer.
Taylor, who could also be reunited with long-time trainer Pat Burns, according to DiBella, 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.
Taylor’s case was supported in last month’s re-licensing and reinstatement hearing 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 written and submitted by Trainor.
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…therefore, I am confident…that this combatant is medically cleared for unarmed combat.”
“I’ve seen all of the evidence, and I’m confident that he is physically able to return. Jermain’s had more tests than anyone on earth,” said DiBella.
“He’s been tested by both the Mayo clinic, the Cleveland clinic and been unanimously approved by the Nevada commission. It’s not done yet, but there should be some kind of announcement within a week or so.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org