Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hopkins - Taylor II Prediction

In the first fight Bernard Hopkins drew on all his considerable talent and mental toughness and did the best he could with what he had. But something was clear for the first time – Bernard was and is a fighter in decline, however slight. Yes, he can meet and beat almost every top middleweight in the world even now. And yes, his level of conditioning is light years better than most 25 year old men anywhere on earth. Unfortunately, at the most elite level of boxing even a slight loss of a fighter's physical powers is enough to result in him being pushed out of the championship. Jermain Taylor has perhaps the best vision of where this fight will go. He knows what Bernard has left and he knows he can handle it. Further, despite the fact that Bernard is a physical dynamo by any measure, in Jermain Taylor he is meeting another special athlete and one who is in his physical prime. Moreover, Taylor undoubtedly is continuing to improve his game and it is highly likely he learned a great deal from the old master the last time out. Don't look for Bernard to be overwhelmed by anyone, however, even if he continues to do battle into his 50's. Taylor will be better, stronger, faster, and way more confident. Hopkins will be cagey, strong, well-conditioned, and mentally tough – but it won't be enough this time. Taylor by a much clearer 12 round decision.

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