Hopkins-Taylor Preview

12.07.05 - By Malik Lee: Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins holder of the IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC middleweight championship belts will enter the ring for the defining fight of his career against the “Next in Line” (named by HBO PPV) to his throne Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor Saturday, July 16 at 6 pm pacific time from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The tale of the tape for Bernard Hopkins (46-2-1, 32 KOs) vs. Jermain Taylor (23-0, 17 KOs) bout scheduled for 12 rounds reads as follows: American fighter Bernard Hopkins, hometown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 40-years-old, standing 6’ 1” with a reach of 75” scrapping from an orthodox stance, American fighter Jermain Taylor, hometown Little Rock, Arkansas, 26-years-old, standing 6’1” scrapping from an orthodox stance.

What more can be said or written that has not already been done so? Everyone is ready and counting down to the main event. Has Taylor wondered down the wrong alley or is he the child prodigy that’s looking to take the alley over. Hopkins making his 21st title defense, no longer needing to worry about what the purse is but just proving to himself as his career winds down he still is the greatest middleweight on the plant with a past that has given him a heart of steel.

Hopkins has said time and time again he will retire at his 41st birthday January 15, 2006.

Hopkins is setting a record with 20 straight title defenses since winning the Vacant IBF middleweight title in 1995 then making his first title defense in January 1996 against Steve Frank (TKO 1). Since then, he has fought in almost every major city in the United States, never being lured aboard as many great champs of the past. One theory could be that in the fight before Hopkins won his IBF belt in a rematch against Segundo Mercado they fought to a draw at Ruminahui
Coliseum, Quito, Ecuador his only time fighting out side the states.

Taylor who lives up to his nickname Bad Intentions by throwing punches that carries the power and sound of bombs landing. In ring generalship Taylor will be the humble student to Hopkins, since Taylor has not been in the ring with the stature of boxers Hopkins has. Taylor has had to go the distance in 12 round fights against William Joppy and Alfredo Cuevas. Also received a Bronze medal in the 2000 US Olympics held in Sydney, Australia.

Both fighters last entered the ring on the same card in February 2005 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Hopkins beat Howard Eastman (UD 12) in the main event while Taylor knocked out Daniel Edouard (TKO 3) on the under card.

Hopkins started his boxing career for money in 1988 losing to Clinton Mitchell (MD4). Taylor made his pro debut in 2001 with knockout of Chris Walsh (TKO 4).

Hopkins loss to Mitchell came after his release from serving a five-year prison sentence for strong-arm robbery.

Taylor has much less to lose in an age when fighters have loses and come back to have great careers. In all honesty, Taylor will still have a tomorrow if he loses. However, for Hopkins, if he were to lose, he would have to try for an immediate rematch to end his career at 41 years of age.

Article posted on 12.07.2005

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