It’s so rare for a boxing promoter to turn down free money because of moral compunctions that when it happens, it simply must be trumpeted loudly and from as high a perch as can be found.
Today, Lou DiBella sent out a news release announcing that he was severing his relationship with super middleweight Jermain Taylor because Taylor — loser of three of his last five fights by savage, frightening knockout — was going to continue his career. He did this out of concern for Taylor’s health and well-being. I’ve attached his entire explanation after the jump.
By doing this, DiBella is losing out on a stake in one of the hottest properties in boxing: Showtime’s Super Six tournament. Maybe there’s some selfish back story here about why DiBella would do something like this; a measure of skepticism is always warranted in this sport of ours. But it’s consistent with every account of DiBella’s character, a man who recently called the media to complain about a bad decision that screwed over a fighter who wasn’t in his stable at all.
Would that boxing had always been populated by people like DiBella. Think how different Muhammad Ali’s life right now would be if everyone had said, late in his career with his continuing participation in the sport clearly ruining his health, “I won’t have anything to do with you continuing your boxing career, champ.”
Statement from Promoter Lou DiBella on the Career of Jermain Taylor
“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