*Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor managed to sidestep prison time on several felony charges stemming from three separate incidents in Arkansas, including firing a gun at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
According to The AP, the boxer apologized for his actions during a court hearing Friday. He was also charged with shooting and wounding his cousin and punching a fellow patient at a rehabilitation clinic.
“I made a lot of mistakes. I just want to apologize to my state, to my kids and my cousin and my family,” Taylor told Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson before being sentenced. “I’ve made some mistakes but I’m trying to come back.”
Johnson suspended Taylor’s 19-year sentence, which means he won’t have to go to prison if he stays out of trouble, submits to drug testing and performs 120 hours of community service. Prosecutors had requested 10 years in prison or a “lengthy suspended sentence.”
At a hearing earlier this year, Johnson granted Taylor’s request to travel to Florida to train under constant supervision.
Taylor was a middleweight champion from 2005 to 2007 until he was defeated by Kelly Pavlik. He also won a bronze medal in wrestling at the 2000 Olympics.