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Lou Dibella releases Jermain Taylor

Upon receiving word from Team Taylor that former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor would remain in the Super Six Super Middleweight tournament, Taylor's promoter Lou Dibella of Dibella Entertainment released a dramatic statement regarding his decision to drop Taylor.  In his last fight October 21, Taylor was brutally knocked out in the 12th and final round of his fight against former IBF middleweight champion, undefeated Arthur Abraham. 

In his next fight Taylor will face newly crowned undefeated WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who just won the title with a dominating unanimous decision win over Mikkell Kessler a few weeks ago.  Dibella issued a statement saying the following:


“I have just been informed though numerous press reports that Jermain Taylor has elected to continue his participation in The Super Six: World Boxing Classic tournament, and will face Andre Ward in April. It is with a heavy heart, but strong conviction, that I will recuse myself and DiBella Entertainment as Jermain’s promoter.
“Jermain’s career has been outstanding, and it has been a pleasure and honor to promote him. His victories against Bernard Hopkins remain the highlights of my career as a promoter. Jermain is not only a great fighter, but a good and decent man with a wonderful family. It is out of genuine concern for him and his family that I am compelled to make this decision.

“I informed him, as I do all my contracted fighters, that my goal was to help his secure financial stability for his family, maximize his potential, and leave our unforgiving sport with his health intact.

“It is my belief that the continuation of Jermain’s career as an active fighter places him at unnecessary risk. While he is undoubtedly capable of prevailing in future bouts, I cannot, in conscience, remain involved given my assessment of such risk.

“I wish Jermain all the best in his future endeavors. All of us at DiBella Entertainment hold Jermain close to our hearts and consider him and his family part of our family. We wish him Godspeed and continued health.” – Lou DiBella


Dibella did the morally correct thing in dropping Taylor. What he's saying is, he does not care to promote what could very well be a risk to Taylor's health, or even worse, jeopardize his life. Dibella was with Taylor up until the Abraham KO loss; perhaps that was one fight too long.


After the dramatic 12th round KO loss to Froch back in April, in which Taylor was merely seconds away from a decision victory, Dibella probably figured, "OK, Jermain was that close to winning a title. Let's give it one more go." The fashion in which Abraham brutally knocked out Taylor put a bad taste in Dibella's mouth, especially considering the fact the Team Taylor has elected to fight on.

In this case, I have to support Dibella in what I see as an act of mercy. This is his way of saying, "kid I love you, I don't want you to fight anymore, and while I can not force you to stop fighting, I'm not going to support your decision to continue fighting by remaining as your promoter."
In his last five fights, Taylor has a record of 1-4, with three of his defeats coming by way of knockout. After Erik Morales got knocked out in three rounds by Manny Pacquiao in November of 2006, and then lost a decision to David Diaz in August of 2007, I recall Morales' promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank responding in a similar way, implying that if Morales chose to continue his fighting career, it would be without his services as the promoter.

At a certain point in time, it is incumbent on the promoters to say enough is enough, rather than milking their fighters for every dollar that they're worth well beyond their prime years of competition.

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