Dan Rafael: Broner-Maidana
December, 13, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Craig Bennett/ShowtimeJermain Taylor, in the midst of a comeback, says he just wants to make a living. "Damn the legacy," he said.
SAN ANTONIO -- The fight hasn't received much publicity, almost as if it's being hidden, buried deep on the undercard and with nothing more than possibly highlights making the telecast.
It's the return of former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (31-4-1, 19 KOs), who will face long-faded former junior middleweight contender J.C. Candelo (32-12-4, 21 KOs) in a super middleweight fight on the Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana undercard on Saturday night at the Alamodome.
Taylor will be fighting for the first time in 14 months, since a second-round knockout of journeyman Raul Munoz.
Taylor had fought three fights in 10 months before his most recent layoff. But before those three bouts, he was out of boxing for 26 months following a harrowing 12th-round knockout loss to Arthur Abraham in the Super Six World Boxing Classic in October 2009. It was such a bad knockout -- his second brutal KO loss in a row -- that he suffered a small brain bleed, a concussion and short-term memory loss.
Many thought that was the end of Taylor's career -- and many still believe he should no longer be fighting -- before he went through a series of medical exams, was eventually licensed in Nevada and made his comeback.
Although it stalled after the Munoz fight for no apparent reason, the 2000 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist from Little Rock, Ark., is back once again -- and seemingly with a chip on his shoulder.
"Training has been great, and I have been really focused in camp," said Taylor, who reunited with original trainer Pat Burns during his comeback. "I am 35 years old, so I have a small window of opportunity. I have been boxing since I was 12 and I am an Olympian. People would say that I would never make it to the Olympics, and I did that, and they also said that I would never be a champion, and I did that too."
In a perfect world, Taylor will again win a world title, but he claims he doesn't care about that or how he is remembered. He only wants to make a living.
"I have fought many talented champions in my career and I don't care about the legacy," said Taylor, who beat Bernard Hopkins twice in middleweight championship fights. "I'm happy. My family is being fed. Damn the legacy."