- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Here are excerpts from recent editorials in Arkansas newspapers:

Southwest Times Record, Sept. 1, 2014

Boxer’s arrest in wake of shooting derails comeback

It was with great sadness that we learned last week of the arrest of boxer Jermain Taylor in connection with the shooting of his cousin, Tyrone Hinton.

Details were still slim on Friday, but it appeared that a fight broke out among Mr. Taylor, Mr. Hinton and another man at Mr. Taylor’s Maumelle residence. Police say Mr. Taylor “grabbed a weapon and opened fire,” according to a report from The Associated Press.

As of Friday, Mr. Hinton remained hospitalized in serious condition. The third man, still unnamed, was not injured.

On Wednesday, Mr. Taylor made a video appearance from the Pulaski County jail before a judge on preliminary charges of domestic battery and aggravated assault. He pleaded not guilty and was freed on a $25,000 bond, according to the AP.

The event comes in the midst of the former undisputed middleweight champion’s ongoing “comeback,” his attempt to redeem himself after he lost the title in 2007 and endured a devastating knockout in a 2009 fight.

A brain bleed left him with short-term memory loss and a diagnosis that should have kept him out of the ring permanently.

“They said with the type of concussion I had, you can never fight again - ever,” he told ESPN. That was just the first of two knockouts with significance consequences. In 2010, he was hospitalized after a knockout by Arthur Abraham in Germany, according to AP.

Writing for ESPN the Magazine last December, Carmen R. Thompson tried to describe the motivation that would leave Mr. Taylor seeking a comeback under those circumstances: “Taylor’s regrets could fill a book, with chapters for the money and fame that went to his head, his overconfidence after beating (Bernard) Hopkins, and his dysfunctional relationship with Ozell Nelson, his coach/father figure.”

The ESPN report also quotes Mr. Taylor himself: “I went up the mountain, and when I got there, I messed everything up. I want to be known as that person who got back on top and did it right.”

Two days after the ESPN piece appeared last December, Mr. Taylor knocked out Juan Carlos Candelo in the seventh round. But according to The New York Times, the win, against a hand-picked opponent in a bout that was not televised, failed to generate the “buzz” the fighter sought.

The next step in Jermain Taylor’s shot at redemption was to have been a televised Oct. 8 fight against Sam Soliman. District Judge Wayne Gruber granted a request that Mr. Taylor be allowed to travel for the fight, but on Friday it was unclear whether the fight would be televised or if it even would happen.

Mr. Taylor had the inner-city equivalent of a hard-scrabble upbringing. He was the oldest child of a single mother in a Little Rock neighborhood dominated by gangs, according to the ESPN piece, where “most of his friends saw four choices for a better life: basketball, football, Crip or Blood.”

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