Former middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor returns to the ring on Saturday night at the Alamodome, but he's a country mile from his heyday of headlining premium network fight cards and pay-per-view events. At 35, Taylor hasn't fought since October 2012, part of a short-lived three-fight comeback run that began in December 2011 and followed a two-year layoff from a brutal knockout at the hands of Arthur Abraham.
Once the man who dethroned -- controversially or not -- Bernard Hopkins in the middleweight division, Taylor (31-4-1, 19 KO) is just 6-4-1 in his 11 fights since his rematch win over B-Hop, and went 1-4 with three stoppage losses during a five-fight stretch from 2007 to 2009, beginning with his first loss to Kelly Pavlik and ending with the concussive blow from Abraham in Germany.
The chances of Taylor returning to the top of the middleweight ranks are quite low, but the Little Rock native is determined to fight on, and says he's not concerned about his "legacy," feeling that he's already proven plenty against elite foes.
"I have fought many talented champions in my career and I don't care about the legacy," he said during a media workout yesterday. "I'm happy. My family is being fed. Damn the legacy."
Taylor also recognizes that time is ticking on his chance to get back in the race. "Training has been great and I have been really focused in camp. I am 35 years old so I have a small window of opportunity.
"I have been boxing since I was 12 and I am an Olympian. People would say that I would never make it to the Olympics and I did that and they also said that I would never be a champion and I did that, too."
Taylor will face Colombian-American Juan Carlos Candelo (32-12-4, 21 KO), who turns 40 in January, has lost two straight, and has been out of the ring for 13 months.
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Another veteran set for action in San Antonio is Ricardo Alvarez, the older brother of Canelo Alvarez, who looks to extend his four-fight win streak against Rod Salka.
Alvarez, 32, has never been a serious contender, but the junior welterweight veteran is hoping to win this fight and face a rising action star next.
"I am really happy to be here in San Antonio. I'm really happy that I am going to be able to box in front of the Mexican fans," he said.
"I have been here with my brother in the past, so I know the type of fight fans to expect. I'm going to put on a good show. I'm confident that I am going to win this fight and would like to fight Omar Figueroa next."
Alvarez (22-2-3, 14 KO) will be part of the SHO Extreme broadcast that starts at 6:00 pm EST. Salka (18-2, 3 KO) is a 30-year-old Pennsylvania club veteran who has won three in a row this year after a 2012 loss to Dorin Spivey.
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There will be some young fighters featured in San Antonio as well, with a pair of Olympians and Cincinnati's Robert Easter also returning to the ring.
Three-time U.S. Olympian Rau'Shee Warren (8-0, 3 KO) will face Jose Silveira (15-9, 6 KO) in an eight-round bantamweight fight.
"I don't know anything about my opponent, but that doesn't matter," Warren said. "It will take me about a minute to figure him out. Because I have been around the world and I'm a three-time Olympian. I have fought in different countries. I have had to fight different styled fighters and have had to learn to adapt."
Another 2012 Olympian, lightweight Jamel Herring (5-0, 3 KO) will also be in action, taking on Lance Williams (6-2, 6 KO). All of Williams' fights have ended in a stoppage, one way or another. They're scheduled for four rounds.
"He is a high volume puncher but I am going to go out there and be the aggressor," Williams said. "I am going to come straight forward and cut the ring off."
Herring, 28, isn't impressed by Williams' KO ratio.
"If you look at his record and the opponents he has fought, they weren't tough," he said. "I was in the Marine Corps and I have been through worse. I have had more experience in both my amateur and professional careers. I am definitely not threatened by him."
22-year-old lightweight Robert Easter (7-0, 7 KO) is looking to keep his record perfect and his stoppage streak intact in an eight-round bout with veteran Hardy Paredes (16-12, 10 KO).
"I trained hard and hopefully I will get my opponent out of there early. It's about the knockout," Easter said.
"I've only been to the third round in my career so far. At this point I'm not getting paid enough to do a display of boxing for all of those rounds. I make it a point to get my opponent out of there earlier. I'm going to go out there and give it my all. I give him two or three rounds. I'm feeling strong right now, stronger than I have ever felt."
Easter-Paredes will be featured on SHO Extreme with Alvarez-Salka.