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Who Is Meldrick Taylor? New Details On The Former Olympian Arrested In Armed Standoff With Philadelphia Police

Photo: Philadelphia Police 
Who Is Meldrick Taylor? New Details On The Former Olympian Arrested In Armed Standoff With Philadelphia Police

A former boxer and Olympic medalist is facing charges of armed assault after trying to evict a tenant from a building he owns at gunpoint. Meldrick Taylor won an Olympic gold medal in the featherweight boxing division at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. He held numerous boxing titles in his career as well before retiring from the sport in 2002. Now, he lives in Philadelphia and this week found himself in an armed standoff with SWAT officers after he tried to evict a tenant from his building. He faces charges ofaggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and terroristic threats. How did Meldrik Taylor go from Olympian to suspected assailant? Read on for all the details. Who is Meldrick Taylor?

1. Early career

Taylor, a Philadelphia native, started his boxing career as a teen. He trained at local boxing gyms and started competing in the area. As an amateur fighter, he had an impressive record of  99-4 competing as a featherweight. In 1984, he earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team and headed to Los Angeles. After getting a bye in the first round, he went on to win six bouts and won the gold medal.

Taylor was a famous boxer.

2. Professional boxer

After the Olympics, Taylor went pro in boxing and racked up an exceptional record of titles. He won the IBF junior welterweight title in 1988 and held it until 1990, according to The Heavy. He went on to win the WBA welterweight title in 1991. His most famous bout was against Julio Cezar Chavez, who was undefeated walking into the ring. The two went into the 12th rounds with Taylor ahead. But with only seconds on the clock and Taylor looking dazed, judges called the bout for Chavez on a ruling of technical knock out. It remains one of the most controversial rulings in the history of the sport.

His most famous bout was his most controversial.

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3. Later years

In 2003, Taylor appeared on an episode of the HBO series Legendary Nights. In the interview, he appeared confused and his speech was slurred and difficult to understand. Some views suspected that Taylor suffered from pugilistic dementia. The Brain Injury Research Institute defines the disorder as “Dementia pugilistica, is commonly referred to as punch-drunk syndrome, due to the fact that it was originally discovered in boxers in the 1920s. In fact, the term itself derives from the Latin word pugil, which translates as "boxer" or "fighter." It occurs in people who have suffered multiple concussions, and it commonly manifests itself as dementia - or declining mental ability - along with problems with memory, and Parkinsonism, which is characterized by a lack of coordination.” The condition is a form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has gained attention in recent years after a number of professional football players have been diagnosed with it. There is no known cure for the problem.

The boxer may have brain injures.

4. Stand off

On June 3, 2019, police were called to Taylor’s two level home in Philadelphia. They discovered that a 26-year-old man who lived there came home only for Taylor to confront him and attempt to evict him on the spot. When the unnamed man said Taylor needed to give him 30 days notice for an eviction, Taylor pulled a gun on him. By the time police arrived, Taylor had barricaded himself in the house and screamed that he wasn’t coming out, according to the Philly Voice. There was a 90 minute stand off with SWAT officers before Taylor agreed to leave the building. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and terroristic threats. No one was hurt in the incident.

5. Prior legal issues

This isn’t the first time that the former boxer has had trouble with the law. In 1994, he pleaded guilty to charges of insurance fraud after he filed a claim that his $84,000 Mercedes convertible had been stolen. At that time, he was working as a pastor of a church called the University of Practical Knowledge, according to the Philly Voice.Then in 2000, he pleaded guilty to indecent assault and unlawful restraint after he was charged with attempted rape, according to The Heavy. He was sentenced to 23 months of house arrest and probation. He continued to box after both of those incidents and did not retire for good until 2002.

Recent interveiws leave fans questioning his brain health.

There is no word yet on when Taylor will appear in court over these latest charges or if there will be any leniency given to him if he does have a dementia issue.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.