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Originally written 7/17/05

So, you want to make a nice Scorethis coming October by betting on a fight? Simply save this article, and keep it some place handy. Then, on October 9th, the date of the rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor, simply refer to this article, and proceed to cash a nice ticket.

Saturday night, Taylor defeated Hopkins to become the undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World courtesy of a split decision in Vegas. Was the decision just? I believe so. Actually, I don’t think it should have been a split decision. I thought it should have been unanimous. Taylor did everything right thru the first 9 rounds of the fight, winning the majority of the early rounds and making it so Hopkins basically would have needed a knock out or a couple of 10-8 rounds in order to pull it off.

While most people say in order to dethrone a champ, you need to do so decisively, what people don’t understand is that fights are judged one round at a time, and Taylor won more rounds than Hopkins. Fair and square, he is the champ.

But the rematch will be very different, and here’s why.

In boxing, generally, fighters take a few rounds to figure out their opponents. In Hopkins case, he traditionally taken 5 or 6 rounds to do so. You can watch all the tape you want, but there is no substitute for actual rounds against an opponent, to figure him out, and then start to exploit their weaknesses. Hopkins has always been a master at that. That’s what made him champ for a decade.

In Saturdays fight, it took Hopkins a little longer to size up and exploit Taylors weaknesses. Credit Jermain Taylor for that. He made Hopkins fight at his pace early on and was taking full advantage of his youth and speed.

But as we got to the championship rounds, actually from round 9 and on, the tide started to turn drastically. From that point on, Hopkins was able to land at will and had Taylor hurt and in trouble at least two times. Taylor was exhausted, and had nothing left on his punches.

If this was 20 years ago, and the fight was a 15 rounder, Hopkins would have won by knockout, no question about it. He simply ran out of time Saturday night.

But come October, when the bell rings to start the fight, the big difference is that it will NOT be round one. It will be round 13. The hard part, the part which there is no better in boxing than Bernard Hopkins, figuring out the opponent, is already done. 

The 2nd time around, Hopkins should win with relative ease. More than likely by KO and more than likely sometime before the 10th round.

While Taylor won Saturday night fair and square, it was clearly evident to anyone who knows boxing that the better fighter lost the fight.

The only thing that can stop Hopkins in the rematch is father time. He is 40, and when you’re 40, every month that goes by is working against you. But it is only 3 months, providing there are no delays.

Naturally, we’ll need to get a good price on the wager. Hopefully, the betting public will fall in love with Taylor and keep the price reasonable.

So there you have it. Tuck this article away in a safe place. Pull it out on October 9th. Then, on October 10th, walk to the window and cash your winning ticket on Bernard Hopkins. It’s really that simple.

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