Former undisputed middleweight boxing champ Jermain Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) has taken himself out of SHOWTIME's World Boxing Classic, he announced today.

Taylor suffered a 12th-round KO at the hands of Arthur Abraham on October 17 in Berlin, Germany.

Taylor said in a statement: "I'm going to take some time off from the sport of boxing and take myself out of SHOWTIME Sports World Boxing Classic tournament. It's important that I give my body and mind some much needed rest, because I have been boxing for nearly 20 years," said Taylor. "I plan on keeping myself in shape and making a return to the sport sometime in the future.  This was not an easy decision for me, having discuss it with my family, trainer, friends and my adviser Al Haymon, because I'm a very competitive person-but I know this is the smart road for me to take. I want to thank SHOWTIME  Sports for everything and I wish the best for my 5 counterparts who will continue on in the Super Six tournament. Most of all, I want to thank the many fans for their continued support."

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Taylor was set to fight Andre Ward (21-0) in his second bout of the SHOWTIME World Boxing Clasic on April 17.

Photo credit: Getty Images