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Taylor, Dirrell return on Showtime

Andre Dirrell (R) takes a swing at Arthur

Andre Dirrell (R) takes a swing at Arthur Abraham. Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime

When Jermain Taylor bowed out of Showtime’s Super Six two years ago, the plan wasn’t to retire. His plan was to take some time off and get himself on the right track physically.

So far everything is going according to that plan.

Taylor (28-4-1) will take on Jessie Nicklow (22-2-3) in a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout on Friday night at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, Ca. live on Showtime.

Said Taylor: “I had every intention of getting back in the ring. I just missed boxing. I was never worried about what was wrong with me. I know my family was concerned, but this is what I love. This is what I’ve done my whole life. It’s who I am.”

Taylor, the former undisputed middleweight champion and once considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, with wins over Bernard Hopkins (twice), Cory Spinks and William Joppy, jumped back into the fray to be the best again.

“It’s not about the money now or any of that. It’s about being on top,” said Taylor. “I want to be No. 1 again. That’s the only goal now: to be No. 1 again.”

Taylor isn’t the only boxer making a comeback. Super middleweight sensation Andre Dirrell (19-1) will take on Darryl Cunningham (24-2) in the co-feature. Dirrell is returning to the ring after a 21-month absence.

“I think I showed my world-class talent against both Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham,” said Dirrell. “It showed where I stand in the sport of boxing. I’m looking forward to continuing that ride and getting back in the ring and getting back on top.”

As for his absence from the ring, Dirrell was following his doctor’s orders.

Said Dirrell: “Well, mainly I had to get clearance from the doctor and that took three months. I was finally cleared and then after that I was looking for a TV date and unfortunately a lot of dates were taken, but Gary Shaw was able to get me on this show and I’m really thankful for that. So half and half; half of my problems outside of the ring and half of my problems after what happened in the Abraham fight.”

In the opening bout on the Shobox card former Cuban amateur standout Luis Garcia (11-0) will face southpaw Alexander Johnson (12-0) in an eight-round showdown of undefeated light heavyweights.

New York Sports