By Keith Idec
When asked who he thought would win the Sam Soliman-Jermain Taylor middleweight title fight, contender Curtis Stevens made it clear he’s still trying to figure how that IBF middleweight title fight was even scheduled.
“Jermain Taylor, I don’t even know how he came into the picture – Al Haymon and his bullsh*t,” Stevens told BoxingScene.com. “This sh*t has got to be stopped. I don’t know where the f** he came from. I heard Jermain Taylor-Sam Soliman, and I was like, ‘What the f**? Who the f***? How much money did they put up for this bullsh*t? They just came in and … what the f***?’ I said, ‘This has got to be stopped. Hell, no.’ I said, ‘How the hell did he not have to fight in a title eliminator? I’m in an eliminator and he’s fighting for the title.’ I said, ‘Nah, there’s some bullsh*t going on here.’ ”
The influential, mysterious Haymon advises Taylor, the former undisputed middleweight champion who hasn’t beaten a top-10 middleweight since successfully defending his 160-pound titles against Cory Spinks in May 2007. The 36-year-old Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KOs) will challenge the 40-year-old Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs, 1 NC) for the Australian champion’s IBF middleweight title Oct. 8 in Biloxi, Miss. Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) is scheduled to face France’s Hassan N’Dam (30-1, 18 KOs) on Oct. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif., in an IBF elimination match that’ll determine the Springfield, N.J.-based sanctioning organization’s mandatory challenger for the Soliman-Taylor winner.
ESPN2 will televise the Soliman-Taylor and Stevens-N’dam matches.
While Stevens certainly doesn’t think Taylor has earned this title shot, he believes Taylor should be licensed to fight, despite his legal predicament. Taylor was charged with first-degree domestic battery and aggravated assault after allegedly shooting his cousin, Tyrone Hinton, during an Aug. 26 incident at Taylor’s home in Maumelle, Ark.
“From what I read … first of all, I’m from the street, you know what I’m saying?,” Stevens said. “It said some homeboys tried to run up in his crib. I’d have shot their ass, too, to tell you the truth. But he’s innocent until proven guilty. Let him fight, for all I care. Let him win. Then I’ll retire his ass after that.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.