- Trained in his teen years under Ozell Nelson, who served as a surrogate father for Jermain, whose father abandoned the family in 1983.
- Fought his way to a bronze medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games. Soon after, Taylor laid the medal in the coffin of his grandmother, Gussie Robertson, who was allegedly murdered by her son, Joe Brown. Brown killed himself three days later.
- Captured another bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney after becoming the first boxer from Arkansas to make the U.S. team.
- Won the undisputed middleweight championship in a 2005 split decision with Bernard Hopkins, who had held the distinction for more than 10 years. Taylor validated the win with a unanimous decision over Hopkins later that year.
- Named 2005 Arkansan of the Year by the Arkansas Times and was inducted into the state's Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 along with football players Willie Roaf and Rod Smith.
- Dubbed "Bad Intentions" as a pro but more often has shown unfulfilled promise to many observers since the Hopkins fights. The label rang true with Taylor's loss in his first fight as part of Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic super-middleweight series.
- Nia — Daughter
- Tyra — Daughter
- Laila — Daughter
- Carlois Reynolds — Mother
- Erica Smith — Wife
- Jermain Jr. — Son
- Gussie Robinson — Grandmother
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