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Jermain Taylor to Return in April, Probably in Little Rock

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor returned to the ring on December 30 with a win over Jessie Nicklow on a "special" ShoBox, and now promoter Lou DiBella says that he'll keep the 33-year-old busy with a fight in April.


"I think he needs a couple of steps up in competition before fighting again at the highest level," DiBella said. "If he can handle it, we'd like to get him to the point where by the fall he is ready for a big fight. I think he needs at least two more fights before that point. ... Then, if all goes well -- and remember, this whole comeback is on a fight-by-fight basis -- hopefully, he's ready for something big in the November or December time frame."

Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO) is back in the ring, but DiBella is smart to play it safe here. There's certainly no guarantee that Taylor will ever be a top-flight middleweight again, and beating guys like Nicklow won't prove that he is. It's all a work in progress.

Taylor's April fight is likely to be in his hometown of Little Rock, Ark., which was the original plan for his December fight before it moved to California. Whether there are plans for TV or not isn't known, but Showtime is interested in staying involved in Taylor's career, according to Dan Rafael.

Most likely, you can expect a couple similar fights to what we saw in December -- guys who can't really challenge Taylor if he's truly "back," but could be a pain in the ass if he's having issues.

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