<
>

Soliman-Taylor fight to air on ESPN2

Middleweight titlist Sam Soliman's defense against former undisputed champion Jermain Taylor will be on ESPN2.

The network and Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules, who is co-promoting the card with Lou DiBella, told ESPN.com that the deal is done for the network to air the fight, which was finalized last week, on Oct. 8 (9 p.m. ET) as a Wednesday night boxing special.

The site has not yet been determined, but Margules said he is talking to various venues about hosting it. One week earlier, ESPN2 will also air a Wednesday night boxing special from Santa Monica, California, headlined by the middleweight title eliminator between Curtis Stevens and Hassan N'Dam.

The winner of the fight will be the mandatory challenger for the Soliman-Taylor winner. Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KOs), 36, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and was middleweight champion from 2005 to 2007. While he has won four fights in a row, he was out of action for 26 months after suffering a small brain bleed in a 12th-round knockout loss to Arthur Abraham in a 2009 super middleweight fight.

After getting tested by some of the world's top neurologists and being given a clean bill of health, Taylor was licensed in Nevada, one of the stiffest jurisdictions in which to get a license.

The 40-year-old Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs) will be making his first title defense since outpointing Felix Sturm on Sturm's turf in Germany to claim the belt by unanimous decision in May in a rematch of their February 2013 title eliminator. Soliman won that fight by unanimous decision, but the result was changed to a no contest because Soliman failed his post-fight drug test.

Soliman was pursued for a unification fight by Gennady Golovkin but elected to take a better deal to face Taylor, a much more winnable fight.