The Show Must Go On: Jermain Taylor-Sam Soliman Is ON

‘The show must go on’ is that old show biz adage, accepted by crusty pros who understand that just about no matter the circumstance, short of a nuclear catastrophe or something similar, the curtain must rise, the clowns must cavort, the marks must be seperated from their green notes. Because mortgage note holders don’t much care if you have a really good excuse not to pay that month…they want their danged moolah.

We have an example of this adage popping up on Oct. 8, when accused cousin-shooter Jermain Taylor gloves up against Aussie Sam Soliman, who holds the IBF middleweight title. Because of his lengthy resume and name recognition, the past his prime Taylor was awarded this assignment, and the reaction to the match has been basically undisputed. People either say Huh? or Hell no!

But the ex middleweight champ Taylor has a name, has a top tier advisor making calls on his behalf, and still has a willingness to fight. If he passes medicals, and he’s had a mountain of them, then the man is going to do what the man is going to do.

But jeeze, when word dropped that Taylor had been arrested for shooting his own cousin at the Taylor home, last Tuesday, in a Little Rock, Arkansas suburb, the opportunity to pull the plug on this squareoff seemed to be ripe.

But no; the boxer was detained, and released on a low bond, and made it clear that he wants to face off with Soliman. I’m not being flippant when I say it makes sense for the man if he’s looking for things to do to take your mind off being tagged with domestic battery and aggravated assault charges. Maybe that’s just me looking on the bright side. I actually am pretty certain that JT, who just turned 36, makes it through the fight with the light-hitting Aussie, who is himself 41 in November, and who knows, he just might win. Taylor at 85% of his 2004 self might beat today’s Soliman. ESPN is the lucky outlet saddled with, er, lucky enough to present the scrap, which will unfold in a Mississippi.

Here is the release which went out today, announcing the bout officially, and no, no mention of the extracurricular target practice was mentioned. This is also the shortest quote I’ve ever seen by Lou DiBella in a release, for whatever that’s worth:

IBF MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ANNOUNCED FOR OCTOBER 8TH

SAM SOLIMAN PUTS HIS IBF MIDDLEWEIGHT CROWN ON THE LINE AGAINST FORMER UNDISPUTED CHAMPION JERMAIN TAYLOR IN MAIN EVENT

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH

New York, NY (9/3/14) – On Wednesday, October 8, DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing, in association with Soliman Stanley Promotions, will stage an exciting night of boxing with IBF middleweight champion “King” Sam Soliman (44-11, 18KO’s) defending his crown against former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor (32-4-1, 20KO’s) in the main event. The card will take place at the beautiful Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

A national hero in his native Australia, Soliman, the longtime top-rated contender, captured the IBF middleweight crown with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over reigning champion Felix Sturm, in Sturm’s backyard this past May. Soliman had previously taken Sturm’s belt the year before via close unanimous decision, only to see the verdict changed to a ‘No Contest’ when Soliman tested positive for a banned substance. The Australian vehemently denied the failed test results and promised to beat Sturm even easier if they fought again. He did exactly that when the two met in their eagerly anticipated rematch. Soliman is currently riding a nine-bout winning streak, dating back to 2009, with his last defeat coming at the hands of then-WBA world super middleweight champion Anthony Mundine in May 2008.

“I’m going to be stepping into the ring against a former world middleweight champion and super middleweight contender, who is chasing a comeback dream,” said Soliman. “Jermain Taylor has nothing to lose, and that makes him a very dangerous opponent. I know how dangerous that mindset is. It’s the same ‘all or nothing’ approach that I’ve taken into my last 10 fights to win the title. I’m bringing the same intensity to my preparation for this fight. It has taken me 20 hard years to get to where I am. Being a world champion is a special feeling, and one I plan on keeping. This is my first title defense, and I’m leaving no stone unturned to make sure it’s not my last.”

In 2005, Jermain Taylor was on top of the boxing world, having defeated longtime undisputed middleweight champion and future Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins, not once but twice in the same year. Fast forward nine years later and the 36-year-old Taylor will be getting another crack at reclaiming a piece of the coveted middleweight world championship when he takes on the IBF titlist Soliman.

Following a two-year hiatus from the ring in the wake of back-to-back losses in 2009 while campaigning at super middleweight, Taylor returned to the division where he once reigned supreme and rejoined forces with trainer Pat Burns. Since his return, Taylor, now rated #8 by the WBC and #15 by the IBF, has looked better and better with each outing, going 4-0 thus far in his comeback, with three wins by knockout. The only opponent to go the distance with Taylor during his comeback was then-undefeated and now fellow top-rated middleweight contender Caleb Truax (24-1-2, 14KO’s). Taylor is relishing the opportunity to once again prove that he is one of the best 160lb. fighters in the world.

“Things have come full circle for me. I have another shot to become a world champion and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass by without being victorious,” said Taylor. “I’ve made a bunch of mistakes in boxing, losing to fighters I shouldn’t have lost to because of a lack of training, but I’m ready to clear all that up. With hard work and dedication, I will be 110 percent ready. I think Sam Soliman is a great fighter. He’s had a great career and he comes to fight, but I have to go in there and beat the hell out of him.”

“October 8 will bring a highly competitive middleweight championship matchup when former undisputed champion Jermain Taylor attempts to take the IBF title from a crafty reborn Sam Soliman,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.

“I am thrilled to be co-promoting this event with my dear friend Lou DiBella,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing & Promotions, LLC. “The implications for the winner of this bout are very important to the current boxing landscape and to the legacies of Sam Soliman and Jermain Taylor.”

“When I was approached regarding this bout, Kurt and Team Soliman looked at it very carefully as we knew of Lou DiBella and Leon Margules by reputation,” said David Stanley, of Soliman Stanley Promotions. “We knew that they are boxing people who look after the interests of their fighters first. This aligned with our values, and Kurt Emhoff and I have enjoyed the process of working with Warriors Boxing and DiBella Entertainment to deliver an international level event with an excellent IBF world middleweight title bout for the headliner.”

“We are honored to bring championship boxing back to Biloxi with this much-anticipated middleweight title fight at Beau Rivage,” said George P. Corchis, Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM Resorts Southern Operations. “We look forward to these two world-class athletes putting on a great show at MGM Resort’s world-class facility on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 5, 9:00am CT, and are priced at $89.95, $69.95, $49.95 and $29.95, plus tax and service charges, and can be purchased at the Beau Rivage Theatre box office, or through any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doorsopen at 4:45pm, with the first bout scheduled for 5:30pm.

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COMMENTS

-deepwater2 :

If I shot my cousin my family would hate me and keep asking why did you have to shoot your cousin ? A beating or just pulling out a gun could of stopped a crazy cousin. Shooting? Bad move. Taylor will be having emotional problems during camp. Sweet Lou should stop this. Please stop it.


-Radam G :

This type of thing happenings only in boksing. YUP! "The show must go on." And Jermain Taylor's mind is gone. With a straitjacket on, he should be in an empty room all alone. Holla!


-stormcentre :

Let them fight but just make sure the referee is given clear instructions to watch Taylor's reactions and stop it if/when the referee feels is appropriate. Tell Taylor that is the policy for the referee. You can't stop a guy like Taylor, and if you tried it would be illegal, since he has the medical papers to back his decision. Does this mean I don't understand you all? No. Does this mean I think Taylor's legacy needs more shots to the head? No. One thing though. Taylor needs both a distraction and means to pay his lawyers. And as yet none of know what part provocation played in Taylor's alleged actions. Boxing is all this kid knows, and I am sure he is not proud of shooting his cousin. As we all know . . . $hit goes down and things happen. Not sure about yours, but - whilst I am no Johny Tapia - it certainly has in my life.


-brownsugar :

When Mayweather allegedly had some kind of altercation with his " baby's mamma" he was charged with Kidnapping , grand larceny ( for looking at a cell phone that he gave to his ex ), felonious Assault, and a whole slew of charges that if convicted could have potentially earned Mayweather more than 30 years in prison. Floyd served 90 days in Protective custody immediately after the fight. Taylor shoots a man multiple times and doesn't do a day in jail. If you shoot a person once there is a clear reason to make the determination that whomever pulled the trigger wanted to end the other individuals life. If multiple shoots were fired there is no other conclusion to make except that the shooter was trying to end the other persons life. Whatever happened in Taylor's home must had involved an overwhelming set of circumstances favorable to Taylor. If someone unloads a gun at someone they know its Definitely either motivated by passion or self defense. We probably wont learn the full story until the trial is in progress. Taylor will have to bring that same gun into the ring to have any chance against Soliman. What a sham of a title defense.


-stormcentre :

I think Taylor, initially, did spend a few days in jail and then was bailed out. Anyway, it will be interesting to chart this matter and see how Taylor fares both inside and outside the ring. I know this much, when he was in fire, he was a very well rounded and skilled fighter.


-oubobcat :

This is a situation where we need to let all the fact come out prior to making judgments. He was allowed out on bond and the judge is allowing him to travel for this fight. So that said, this has to be a major distraction for Taylor. He will be facing a trail and if found guilty a long time behind bars. That's not an ideal way to be heading into a big fight. Before the news, I was actually picking Taylor. Soliman is no spring chicken himself and not a huge puncher. I was thinking Taylor would control the fight early with the jab and be allowed to fight at his pace where conditioning issues may not become as prevalent as in many of his losses. With Soliman not being a huge puncher, Taylor could hold on down the stretch to the early lead he built up and edge out a close decision. Now, I am not so sure. Where will Taylor be mentally entering the fight? Not even he can know right now. And Soliman will be confident coming off a very good performance against Sturm. I am not yet decided but beginning to lean toward Soliman here.


-brownsugar :

This is a situation where we need to let all the fact come out prior to making judgments. He was allowed out on bond and the judge is allowing him to travel for this fight. So that said, this has to be a major distraction for Taylor. He will be facing a trail and if found guilty a long time behind bars. That's not an ideal way to be heading into a big fight. Before the news, I was actually picking Taylor. Soliman is no spring chicken himself and not a huge puncher. I was thinking Taylor would control the fight early with the jab and be allowed to fight at his pace where conditioning issues may not become as prevalent as in many of his losses. With Soliman not being a huge puncher, Taylor could hold on down the stretch to the early lead he built up and edge out a close decision. Now, I am not so sure. Where will Taylor be mentally entering the fight? Not even he can know right now. And Soliman will be confident coming off a very good performance against Sturm. I am not yet decided but beginning to lean toward Soliman here.
I like your train of thought Oubobcat. Personally I would have more confidence in Taylor except he barely survived getting KO'd in his last few fights (before he went into semi retirement) Maybe the layoff could have helped. But I have my doubts. Good comments


-stormcentre :

Soliman, is pretty tough, and he also has quite a difficult style to fight. Particularly if you're not fit (psychologically and cardiovascular) and looking to conserve energy.


-The Commish :

This is a situation where we need to let all the fact come out prior to making judgments. He was allowed out on bond and the judge is allowing him to travel for this fight. So that said, this has to be a major distraction for Taylor. He will be facing a trail and if found guilty a long time behind bars. That's not an ideal way to be heading into a big fight. Before the news, I was actually picking Taylor. Soliman is no spring chicken himself and not a huge puncher. I was thinking Taylor would control the fight early with the jab and be allowed to fight at his pace where conditioning issues may not become as prevalent as in many of his losses. With Soliman not being a huge puncher, Taylor could hold on down the stretch to the early lead he built up and edge out a close decision. Now, I am not so sure. Where will Taylor be mentally entering the fight? Not even he can know right now. And Soliman will be confident coming off a very good performance against Sturm. I am not yet decided but beginning to lean toward Soliman here.
You summed it up perfectly, bobcat...the facts will tell the story of what happened in the Taylor house. As of now, all we know is that Taylor's cousin was shot and that Taylor did the shooting. That can mean a whole array of things. That can mean Taylor pulled out a gun and shot his cousin--several times--in cold blood. That can mean there was a vicious argument and perhaps the cousin was coming at Taylor with a meat cleaver. That can mean the cousin saw a gun on the counter and went for it. When Taylor went to stop him, a battle for the gun took place. In the ensuing battle, it went off. Perhaps it struck the cousin in the foot. They kept fighting. It went off again, hitting him in the leg. They kept fighting. Again it went off. This time he was shot in the chest. Fight over. See. We have no facts. They will come out at a later date. WIth that, Taylor's title fight will go on. I'd think a mentally and physically ready Taylor would beat a mentally and physically ready Sam Soliman. However, we don't know what this incident has done to Taylor's mental condition, which certainly can affect his performance in the ring. By the way, with the IBF putting Taylor into the ratings and approving hiim as a title challenger, I now have no doubt that Shannon Briggs will be getting a shot at the title in 2015. But that's for another thread! -Randy G.


-The Shadow :

So many questions revolve about.... Is JT shot? Does he have a shot? If so, what shot will do the trick? Will he pot shot the old Soliman to death? Or will it be multiple shots that do him in? No matter which way it goes, I think we see 12 rounds of SLUGS exchanged back and forth in a wild shoot-out between desperate men gunning for survival as they unleash their best weapons on one another. Both guys unloading everything in their arsenal in the primal quest to be the last man standing. Who will it be? So many questions...


-brownsugar :

JT was an extremely fragile fighter a couple of years ago. He had several fights with unknown journeyman that he happened to win .... At the end of the fight the only thing he talked about to the media was the fact that he didn't get knocked out. When NOT getting KO'd is a fighters highest priority you already know that something has gone very wrong with the guys career. Hopefully the long lay-off helped mentally and he's not so obsessed with staying conscious but what about rust? JT is showing his age and inactivity. He could have added credibility to his title quest by beating a few high profile journeyman. But I think he knows there was a high risk of getting himself KO'd before landing a shot. This move by JT is strictly a payday nothing more. JT's best days in the ring are behind him now. The only thing JT has to do is appear healthy and make weight as he returns to work like a hooker with a grudge... To get that paycheck.