Family, friends, business partners and fans have all expressed fear that Jermain Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KO's), the former undisputed middleweight champion, might overstay his welcome in the savage science of prizefighting . He'd been a KO victim in three of his last five bouts, and after he was stopped in the 12th round by Arthur Abraham on Oct. 17, there was a deluge from folks urging him to hang up the gloves. Taylor hasn't gone that far, but he did announce he will not continue in the Showtime super middleweight tournament. He was scheduled to fight "Super Six" round one victor Andre Ward on April 17.
"I'm going to take some time off from the sport of boxing and take myself out of Showtime Sports World Boxing Classic tournament," Taylor said in a statement. " It's important that I give my body and mind some much-needed rest, because I have been boxing for nearly 20 years. I plan on keeping myself in shape and making a return to the sport sometime in the future. This was not an easy decision for me, having discussed it with my family, trainer, friends and my advisor, Al Haymon, because I'm a very competitive person -- but I know this is the smart road for me to take. I want to thank Showtime Sports for everything and I wish the best for my five counterparts who will continue on in the Super Six tournament. Most of all, I want to thank the many fans for their continued support."