A few too many blows to the head

Published 9:08 am Friday, February 6, 2015

It seems Little Rock’s Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor is living up to his nickname these days. But I don’t think it’s all his doing.

Taylor has long been known for his affable nature inside and outside the ring. Taylor has boxed professionally since 2001 and has been in some brawls during his career. Even in some of his victories, the 36-year-old Taylor (33-4-1, 20 KOs) took punishment and suffered knockdowns in more than a few of those battles.

All those punches to the head appear to have finally caught up with Taylor.

Taylor was supposed to be in the ring tonight at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss., defending his IBF World Middleweight championship against Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (27-3-2, 9 KOs). But that fight was called off approximately two weeks ago after Taylor was recently ordered by an Arkansas judge to enter a state hospital for a mental evaluation. Instead of Taylor defending his championship as the main event, we get El Paso’s Abraham Han (23-1, 14 KOs) facing Mora with the vacant USBA championship on the line.

A few weeks before his October 2014 bout with IBF World Middleweight champion Sam Soliman in Biloxi, Taylor was arrested and charged with shooting his cousin twice at Taylor’s home in Little Rock. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and made bond in time to step in against Soliman.

Taylor dominated Soliman from start to finishing. He sent the Australian to the canvas four times in the late rounds. Taylor won the fight by unanimous decision by wide margins on the official scorers’ scorecards.

But his legal troubles didn’t end with the shooting of his cousin.

On Jan. 19, Taylor was again arrested on charges involving a gun. He was charged with five felony counts of aggravated assault and three felony counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. On top of all that, he was charged with misdemeanor drug possession after a small bag of marijuana was found in his possession. Hence, the order for a mental evaluation as ordered by the Arkansas judge.

I’ve seen Taylor fight four times live and many, many others on television. Apparently the head punches have added up to the point that Taylor can’t decipher the difference between right and wrong and what is legal and illegal. He suffered some brutal knockouts at the hands of Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch in big money bouts. In a bout against light-hitting Caleb Truax at Beau Rivage in 2012, Taylor was knocked down in the next to last round but recovered and won a unanimous decision.

Taylor always has a big following wherever he fights. His mother is one of his biggest supporters. He is married with children.

Perhaps someone close to Taylor with good intentions should whisper in Taylor’s ear that it’s time to clean up his act outside the glitz and glamour of the boxing ring. That he should focus on what is really important. That’s preserving what good health he still has. I really believe his family would probably agree.

Randy Hammons is a Daily News staff writer. He can be reached at 985-732-2565 or by email at randy.hammons@thebogalusadailynews.com.