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Mental evaluation of middleweight champion ordered

Jermain Taylor, the International Boxing Federation middleweight champion, must undergo a mental evaluation, an Arkansas judge ordered.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson authorized a request by Taylor’s attorneys for him to be transferred to a state hospital and undergo a comprehensive evaluation, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The fighter has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the first degree and one count of terrorist threat stemming from an August shooting at his cousin’s Maumelle home. Police last week charged him with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a minor because he shot and threatened a family during the Martin Luther King birthday parade in Little Rock.

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Prosecutors are trying to have his bail bond revoked for the first case that Taylor has after his arrest last week, for which he was detained before the hearing scheduled for Tuesday. But instead of accepting that the judge granted the request of his lawyer Hubert Alexander that he be immediately admitted to a hospital and evaluated.

Alexander later said that he would most likely have a complete mental and health exam.

“Everybody says this is the Jermain Taylor they know,” Alexander said. “We are trying to see what happens.”

Johnson also agreed to prosecutors’ request for Taylor to undergo a mental evaluation at a state hospital that would include neurological tests. Prosecutor John Johnson told the judge to believe that “Taylor is a danger to himself and other people.”

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Taylor won the IBF title in October and has been an unofficial ambassador for Arkansas since 2000, when he won a bronze medal at the Sydney Summer Olympics. He is scheduled to defend his belt on February 6 against Sergio Mora in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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