Woooooooo. It's on! Max Kellerman just broke off a nice analogy between boxing and chess...much better than anything Merchant has said in a long time. Ah, ah, ah....Larry tries to answer with one of his own. Booooooooo. Weak! Tonight, Hopkins weighs in at 168...Taylor at 171. Very interesting. Hopkins comes in a little bigger than normal. Taylor first. Uh oh...is that Mosley coming out? Oh no...it's Taylor...coming out to Phil Collins..."I can feel it comin' in the blah, blah, blah." Taylor looks confident...extremely confident. Hopkins enters next...the crowd boos. Hopkins puts up the X. The crowd boos agian. And the throat slice. Shady Nady gives the salute. "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"More Prefight
Ooooooh....a loooong throat slice from Hopkins. Woooooooo nasty staredown. They don't touch gloves. Round 1
Hopkins RUNS across the ring. Hopkins jabs. Taylor fires his jab. Very cautious. They trade jabs. Not much action. Hopkins lands a left hook...Taylor lands a straight right. Both punches partially blocked. Woooo...Taylor lands a short right. Taylor looks strong. Stiff jab from Taylor. Taylor rains down a right. Hopkins gets in some short shots of his own. Some roughhousing already. A lot of posing right now. Hopkins mises with a hook. Taylor misses a 1-2. Taylor misses a big right and ties him up. Hopkins sneaks in a rabbit punch. A lot of nothing. Taylor misses a right. Taylor lands a right. Hopkins lands a left of his own. Round to Taylor. Taylor 10 Hopkins 9Round 2
Hopkins jabs. Both men cautious again. They clinch in the middle. Hopkins getting a little dirty already. Wooooo....Taylor stuns HOpkins with a huge right. Hopkins is buzzed. Ties him up. Taylor rocks Hopkins again with a left hook. Hopkins backs away. Taylor slips in an uppercut. Hopkins getting more aggressive. Taylor jabs. Hopkins connects with a hook. Hopkins lansd a big right. They clinch. Hopkiins makes it rough on the inside. Nady lets him hit. Tells Taylor he's holding so Hopkins can hit. Taylor misses with a big right. Wooooo. Round to Taylor. Taylor 20 Hopkins 18Round 3
Taylor fires the jab. They clash heads. Ooooh....Bernard lands a big right hook while holding Taylor. Hopkins is warned. Hopkins staying on the outside. Not much action. Taylor fires the jab. Woooooo...Hopkins catches him with a big left hook while Taylor tries to jab. Taylor lands a jab. They trade jabs. Taylor hits Hopkins with a right, but it's on the shoulder. Looks a little sloppy. Hopkins lands a sneaky lead right. Hopkins lands a counter left. They clash heads. Hopkins lands a good left hook that lands flush. Taylor misses, but the crowd goes wild. Round to Hopkins, but the crowd may sway the judges. Taylor 29 Hopkins 28Round 4
Taylor misses a jab. Hopkins lands a hook. Taylor misses a right, Hopkins lands a low blow. Taylor lands an off-balance left hook. Taylor misses a right, but Hopkins sneaks a mean right hook in. A jailhouse hook. Bernard's jab getting closer. Taylor fires his jab. They trade jabs. Hopkins backs Taylor up. Taylor misses an uppercut. Hopkins lands a right and a big left. Taylor misses a hook and is off balance. Hopkins takes advangtage with another sneaky hook. Taylor not being very active. Hopkins just taking his time. Taylor misses a right and Hopkins misses a hook. Taylor tries to steal the round with a flurry. Not much action, but round to Hopkins on the strength of the counters. Taylor 38 Hopkins 28Round 5
Taylor fires the jab. More posing. Hopkins lands a big left. Taylor takes it. More posing. They clash heads. Timeout. Taylor is cut. He's cut from a headbutt. Huge gash on his hairline. Taylor already wiping at it. Taylor lands a grazing right. They clinch...it gets ugly. Taylor roughhousing too. Hopkins lands a hook. More posing. Hopkins lands a big right hand....and another. Taylor didn't even see them. Wooooo...Hopkins sitcks his head out...taunts him. Hopkins getting loose. Left hand down. Lands another big right. Taylorlands a left hook. Hopkins showboats some more. Lands a hook. Round to Hopkins. Taylor 47 Hopkins 48Round 6
Hopkins dances on the outside. Taylor follows him. Hopkins dances away from him. Taylor should cut the ring off...if he knows how to. Hopkins lands a grazing right. Taylor ties him up on the inside. Hopkins flicks the jab. Taylor misses with his own. Taylor looks confused. Jab isn't landing. Missing with the right. Taylor slaps to the body. Hopkinslands a jab. Hoplkins a big right hand. Hmmmm. Not much action from Hopkins. Round to Taylor just for being busy. Taylor 57 Hopkins 57Round 7
Bernard dances away again. Hopkins lands a straight right. Ooooh...and another HUGE straight right. Taylor wobbles. Taylor jabs. Hopkins grazes him with another straight right. Taylor misses with a right. Hopkins works him inside. Hopkins spins him and lands some dirty jailhouse hooks. Nady warns him for holding and hitting. Taylor fires the jab but misses. More posing. More posing. The crowd boos. Taylor not doing much effective work either though. Round to Hopkins. Taylor 66 Hopkins 67Round 8
Taylor fires the jab but misses. Hopkins misses to the body. Taylor misses with a big uppercut. Hopkins slips in the middle. Hopkins slips a punch and they trade. Hopkins lands two jabs. They clinch. Whoa...what was that. Hopkins tried to do a little dance there. Oh....and he lands a big left hook. Hopkins lands a straight right. Nady warns Hopkins. 1 more hold and hit and he'll take a point. Taylor just trying to outhustle by throwing punches. Not really landing anything. Hopkins landing a few counters here and there. Tough rounds to score becasue they're really boring. Round to Hopkins. Taylor 75 Hopkins 77Round 9
Hopkins lands a counter right. Taylor works the body. It's getting rough on the inside. Taylor landing punches on Bernard's back that apeear to land. Hopkins lands a straight right. Taylor backs off. Hopkins lands a nice counter right. Taylor misses over the top. Hopkins lands a left. Round to Hopkins, but HBO seems to think Taylor is winning big. Taylor 84 Hopkins 87Round 10
Hopkins lands a hook. Taylor misses. Hopkins lands another big hook. A sneaky right hook lands for Hopkins. Straight right lands for Hopkins and Taylor lands an uppercut. Hopkins wants to make it rough. Taylor has a lot of energy behinc his punches and it looks like they're landing, but a lot are really missing. Woooooo....Hopkins crushes him with a HUGE right. A HUGE RIGHT. Taylor is HURT! Hopkins lands a straight right. Taylor holds on. Taylor is surviving though. Hopkins misses with another big right. Hopkins lands a sneaky left at the end of the round. He grins at the camera. Taylor 93 Hopkins 97Round 11
Hopkins lands a sneaky right. They trade jabs. Hopkins lands an overhand right. He does the bolo. Hopkins stalking. Lands a right hook. Hopkins lands a right. Makes it ugly as Jermain throws an elbow. Taylorlands a jab. Hopkins lands a right. Hopkins stalks. Hopkins lands a big right. Hopkins snaps his head back with a jab. Taylor looks tired. Hopkins lands a straight right. The crowd cheers for Taylor though. Taylor lands a jab. Hopkins lands a HUGE right. Taylor is hurt, but still standing. Hopkins just misses a right. Round to Hopkins. Taylor 102 Hopkins 107Round 12
Hopkins lands a jab and a right. Taylor throws an uppercut, but slaps with it. Taylor lands a right and Hopkins comes back with two of his own. Hopklins jabs to the body. Hopkins lands a HUGE right hand lead. Another one...and a hook lands for Hopkins. Taylor still standing though. Lampley gets excited about a right that misses. Lampley thinks Taylor is leading in this round. Wow. Hopkins lands another lead right. Taylor misses with a right. Hopkins doesn't though. Taylor is hurt. He holds on. Hook lands for Hopkins. They trade at the end. Round to Hopkins. Taylor 111 Hopkins 117
AND NEW......Taylor by Split decision Official scorecards were 116-112 Hopkins, 115-113 Taylor, 115-113 Taylor
I thought Hopkins won rounds 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12 clearly while Taylor won rounds 1, 2, and 6 clearly.
Rounds 3, 4, 7, and 8 were close because there really wasn't that much action. A lot of posing from both fighters. Taylor looked busier because he was working the jab while following Hopkins around the ring, but he wasn't landing effectively with it. Meanwhile, Hopkins would counter and potshot every now and then. A few times Taylor would rain down with a right hand and the crowd would cheer, but he was missing with a lot of those punches. I thought Hopkins was being more effective in those rounds...breaking him down with counters, confusing him with movement....fighting his fight at his pace. I gave those close rounds to the champ...Hopkins. While Taylor was a little more active with the jab, I simply thought a lot of those punches weren’t landing flush (behind the head and on the shoulders…or not at all). A lot of people, however, prefer the busier opponent whether or not he's being effective. So people may have given rounds 3, 4, 7, and 8 to Taylor.
Boxingtalk's G. Leon had it 115-113 for Taylor. Wow. Like I said, there were some close rounds in there where not much was happening. However, when that was the case, I thought Hopkins landed the more effective counters while Taylor landed most of his punches to the back and shoulders. It looked to me like Taylor was just trying to outhustle him on the strength of some double jabs that weren't really landing, but I thought Hopkins was landing the more telling shots. Perhaps I had one too many brews for this one. I'll definitely have to watch the replay.
See...if you missed this one, shame on you! You missed the beginning of a new era.
Jermain Taylor IS NeXt in line!