Hopkins v Taylor: Another PPV Disappointment
05.12.05 - By Michael Montero: I told myself – no – I promised myself that I wasn’t going to buy the Hopkins-Taylor II PPV card Saturday. I had made a deal with myself a while back to boycott these PPV “showcases” until a worthwhile card came along – but like a chump I gave in and flushed $50 down the toilet this past weekend. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was going to be a replay of the first fight, that it would be a disappointment just like Tarver-Jones III was, that there would be little action and nothing close to a knockout – but for some reason I decided to get it anyway. What’s my problem? Am I a glutton for punishment or what?
Article posted on 05.12.2005
I scored the first fight a draw – as I felt that Taylor won the first half of the fight, and Hopkins the second. To me neither guy won the fight – they both merely finished it.
In situations such as those I almost always score the fight a draw as it only seems logical to me. The official scoring of that fight was inconsistent to say the least (atrocious may be a more proper word to describe it) – and I don’t know what Duane Ford was smoking when he scored the 12th and final round for Taylor – but it did leave me interested in this rematch. The public (myself included) felt there was “unfinished business” between these two. The conspiracy theorist in me wondered if Ford had somehow been “influenced” into judging favorably for the new network boy - setting up a big money rematch later in the year that would end up being more of a posing match than a fight - but that sort of stuff doesn’t happen in professional boxing right?
This fight was a bore. Hopkins didn’t throw a single combination the entire fight – yet somehow out landed Taylor with better accuracy – how does that happen? Hopkins landed 130-317 (35%) with Taylor landing 124-391 (32%). Power punching wasn’t even close with Hopkins landing 101-240 (42%) to Taylor’s 60-182 (33%). To Jermain’s credit, he did double the jab output of his opponent – and the judges must have taken notice. I’ve always been the type to judge rounds according to who controlled the ring and who landed the more powerful punches – and, just like the first fight, I felt that man was Hopkins (just barely though). Anytime that Hopkins breathed on the Taylor, the Arkansas native would hold on for dear life. Honestly, the guy held worse than most of today’s heavyweights! Jay Shady – oops – I mean Nady – really should have threatened to take a point from Taylor for all the holding. All he did was say “Jermain you’re holding” and separate them – only to watch Taylor give his opponent a big old bear hug just seconds later – this went on more and more in the later rounds. It’s one thing to hold when you’re really rocked – but every time your opponent lands a punch – what’s that? How about slipping the punch and countering?
Even though Taylor hugged all night, and Hopkins landed more power shots – neither were the clear winner (just like the first fight). I again scored this fight a draw, yet the official triple score of 115-113 was acceptable in my opinion (hell at least it was consistent this time around). The only thing that bothered me about the judging was that all three judges gave the first six rounds to Taylor (except for Patricia Morse Jarman who gave the 4th to Hopkins) – while I had it 4-2 Taylor after six. I could understand 5-1, but 6-0 after six? I don’t agree with that at all.
I think that most of the spectators and viewers must have felt the same way I did – except for one guy in front of a microphone - Jim Lampley must be the president of the Jermain Taylor fan club. Listening to, what seemed to me, biased commentary all night was almost comical at times. Many people are in the opinion that HBO wanted Taylor to win this fight and become the new “force” in the division (Taylor means more potential dollar signs for the network than does Hopkins) but come on guys! It’s as if “Bad Intentions” could do no wrong – like he was destroying his man and in complete control of the fight. Turn down the sound when you watch the replay this Saturday night at 10pm – I guarantee you’ll see a different fight than Jim did.
I must admit though, unlike Tarver-Jones III, I did see some positives in this fight. At almost 41 years of age, Bernard Hopkins does have some skills left and could have another money fight in him – unlike Roy Jones Jr who is completely shot and needs to retire. And while Antonio Tarver is declining (and for some reason was scared of RJJ in their rubber match) – Jermain Taylor is coming up, still has the chance to get better and perhaps even dominate his division. But just for the record – he did not impress me at all in his two fights with Hopkins. They say that styles make fights, and perhaps B-Hop’s style just threw Taylor off his game, I guess we’ll see. I’ve heard rumors that Jeff Lacy and Jermain Taylor may square off if “Left Hook” gets past Joe Calzaghe next year (which he should). Let me give my prediction now – Lacy knocks Taylor out, in devastating fashion, with hardly a scratch on him.
All in all, I gave these people another $50 installment of my hard earned money, only to watch what I knew was coming all along – two guys showing up for a payday, too scared to really fight. To say that I’m fed up with this crap and pissed off is an understatement – and I know that I’m not alone here. I like writing positive articles about great match-ups, entertaining fights, great fighter accomplishments, etc. I hate to write negative rants loaded with sarcasm and trash talking – but they say you write what you know – and lately there hasn’t been much to cheer about in pro boxing. One thing’s for sure – these boring (and over priced) PPV cards are truly killing the sport – and we fans are somewhat to blame. As long as we keep enabling them – the promoters and networks will keep killing our wallets. For those of you who were smart enough NOT to buy this card (unlike my dumb as$) – enjoy your FREE replay this weekend on HBO. But be warned – you may just fall asleep on your couch before the final bell sounds
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