Taylor vs. Hopkins predictions

15.07.05 - By Bradford Scott: This Saturday night middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins (46-2-1, 32 KO's) will once again try to prove that he is an all time great when he will puts his middleweight titles on the line against undefeated Jermain Taylor (23-0, 17 KO's) on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Iíve seen many many posts recently about this upcoming fight between Hopkins and Taylor, and I am almost dumbfounded that Taylor is being written off so badly by almost everyone around. Case in point, Hopkins is even looking 2 fights past Taylor to what heís gonna do a year from now. In my humble opinion, this is a big mistake.

Taylor has had many many amateur bouts, is undefeated as a pro, and as of yet, he has not been remotely in danger of losing a fight. As a matter of fact, he made William Joppy into a track star after one taste of his power in the 1st round of their fight on December 4, 2004. To be honest, Joppy isnít exactly in his prime, but it appeared to me, he just plain gave up trying to win that fight early on. He just had no answer for Taylor.

Taylor also brings excellent boxing skills with a piston like jab, excellent stamina, and youth is definitely on his side in this fight.

Hopkins, on the other hand, will bring experience in title fights, and his very very rough tactics into the ring on Saturday night. The question remains: will Jermain Taylor be able to give Hopkins back what he gets in the form of roughhouse tactics and inside fighting?

I believe he can, and will.

The fight between Kostya Tszyu and Ricky Hatton was the convincing thing for me. This fight was an example of a younger, more hungry fighter with a higher work rate coming in against an older champion who usually does just enough to win or get an early knockout.

I expect Taylor to outwork Hopkins with the jab, and catch him with some powerful shots right after the jab. I also expect Bernard to try to get rough on the inside, and for Taylor to return the favor letting Bernard know itís his time in this division. I donít predict that Taylor will be intimidated or scared by Hopkins, who isnít a one-punch knockout artist.

Many will say, "If Tito Trinidad couldnít do it, why would Taylor?" Well, Iíll tell you why: Trinidad is a one dimensional fighter, much like Mike Tyson. If Trinidad canít get the knockout, he has no other way to fight, just like Mike Tyson. On the other hand, Taylor isnít one dimensional. He has power, boxing skills, lateral movement, and the ability to adjust.

Donít expect to see Hopkins connect with many shots in this fight. Taylor will keep him at the end of the jab all night, and heíll do what Trinidad and De La Hoya couldnít do, and decision Hopkins for the belts.

Bradford Scott can be reached at

Article posted on 14.07.2005

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