Lou DiBella, Jermain Taylor's promoter, has told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the proposed July middleweight showdown between boxing's reigning middleweight king, Bernard Hopkins, and Jermain Taylor looks like it is not going to happen. The deal-breaker is reportedly Hopkins' refusal to agree on the offers proposed for a rematch clause.
The Democrat Gazette quotes DiBella as saying, “He's a lunatic fighter that changed his mind. If I don't get a phone call today that the crazy man has come to his senses, we're moving on to another fight and will announce Jermain's next fight soon.”
All along, Taylor's representatives have been skeptical about Hopkins' willingness to face Taylor. They believe Hopkins regards Taylor as the highest-risk, lowest-reward opponent Hopkins is likely to face at this stage of his career.
According to the Democrat Gazette, Hopkins' and Taylor's representatives initially agreed Taylor would receive $1.8 million for the proposed July bout, and agreed to a 50-50 split for a rematch, but Hopkins refused the agreement. The two promoters then modified the deal, with DiBella agreeing to a 60-40 split and a $2.5 million guarantee for Taylor in a rematch, but again Hopkins refused.
The Democrat Gazette quotes DiBella – who once promoted Hopkins – as saying Hopkins is the “most unpromotable fighter in modern boxing history” and claiming that if a deal is not signed today, he will look for another opponent for Jermain Taylor's next fight.
“I don't think it's happening,” Hopkins told ESPN.com on Thursday.
“Do I need Jermain Taylor or does he need Bernard Hopkins? I am the undisputed champion and he can't change that unless he beats me,” claimed Hopkins.