by Jeremy "Fasttalker" Bjornberg - 07/18/2005
Doc's was able to conjure up another huge underdog win as Jermain Taylor shocked many boxing experts with a stunning decision won by taking the fight to Bernard Hopkins the first seven rounds of the match. Taylor won five of the first seven rounds at least as he landed shots to the head and body of the 40-year-old champ. At some points of the fight Taylor was even able to stun the iron-chinned champ. However after round seven, the rugged Hopkins was able to solve the inexperienced Taylor and he effectively counterpunched Taylor and eventually hurt him in rounds 10 and 11. Taylor was always able to weather the storm but at some points he seemed very unsure of himself.
Doc's called a unanimous decision for Taylor but I scored the fight a draw. Hopkins could have won the fight cleanly I believe if he hadn't given away the early rounds. Taylor seemed to realize that he didn't win any of the championship rounds and usually that is the mark of taking a champion's belts. It is very doubtful Taylor beat Hopkins in the traditional sense, but his early lead nonetheless gave him the undisputed middleweight championship of the world. Hopkins was devastated after the fight and he is expected to immediately take his contracted rematch. Taylor seemed to tire so he would be well advised to not go on the media traveling circus that Antonio Tarver did after he beat Roy Jones Jr. Hopkins will be harder to beat in a rematch, as he has not aged, as many including myself predicted. Hopkins is just a slow starter and Taylor took advantage.
The undercard was called correctly by Doc's as well as Oscar Larios easily beat down Wayne McCullough. The most significant fight to me was the comeback of Vernon Forrest, who devastated Sergio Rios with a second round KO. This was especially impressive considering Forrest is a slow starter and had been off for 31 months. Forrest was fighting at 154 and he seemed stronger at the weight. I think a grudge match with Ricardo Mayorga is going to be shortly coming. Forrest is a nice addition to the 154 pounders, as Kassim Ouma was downgraded after he suffered a surprise beating on Thursday night. Roman Karmazin dominated Ouma, and he counterpunched effectively the whole fight including two knockdowns The most impressive part was Ouma never did anything to Karmazin offensively. Ouma was definitely not himself as he normally throws a lot of punches and this night he was not able to throw combinations.
On Friday night fights my fellow Minnesotan Jason Litzau (15-0, 14 KO) saw his knockout streak end but saw his star potential take a turn for greatness. He suffered his first knockdown at the hands of John Nolasco when he took a left hook that knocked him senseless at the end of round seven. Litzau was so disoriented he confusingly went to the neutral corner before his own. He was able to rebound and earn a tight but well-earned decision. Litzau hurt Nolasco in rounds nine and 10 and he actually was more energetic as the fight went on. It was Litzau's first time past six rounds and he passed the test with flying colors. Although the performance was his career best, he did show a tendency to be overly cocky and pull straight back with his hands down, something both Marvin Hagler and Teddy Atlas pointed out. His trainer and manager, Bob Van Syckle, must also be commended. He took over and pulled Jason together as well as taking care of a broken nose. Van Sykle stayed under control and delivered as good of a performance as his star pupil. Litzau is now legitimately a contender at 126 pounds and it won't be long before the major networks are using the "American Boy."
Next Saturday Showtime has Lucia Rijker against the legend Christy Martin. Don't miss out on Doc's pick on this battle as Doc's has won five picks in a row.
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