Former boxing champ Taylor transferred to Arkansas drug center

Tue Mar 3, 2015 3:56pm EST
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By Steve Barnes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Former world middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, awaiting trial on several felony charges, was ordered by a judge on Tuesday to be transferred from a secure private hospital to a residential drug treatment center. 

Taylor was also ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle. 

Taylor underwent a court-ordered psychiatric examination following his arrest in January for allegedly threatening a husband and wife and their three children with a handgun at the conclusion of a parade in Little Rock honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. 

Witnesses told police Taylor fired at least one shot into the air. No one was injured.  

A state psychiatrist told the court in February that Taylor, who is facing assault charges in two gun-related incidents, should receive psychiatric care and be monitored for substance abuse in lieu of incarceration.

Taylor was scheduled to defend his title in April. Citing his legal and medical difficulties, the International Boxing Federation last month declared the middleweight championship vacant.

Taylor, 36, had regained the title in 2014 while free on bond and awaiting trial for allegedly shooting a cousin. 

The boxer won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics and seized the world middleweight belt in 2005 against Bernard Hopkins. Taylor abandoned competition in 2009 following a brain injury sustained in the ring, but launched a comeback in 2011.   Continued...

Jermain Taylor (R) of the U.S. signs autographs after he was presented at a news conference in Copenhagen July 14, 2009. REUTERS/Claus Bech/Scanpix Denmark