What a Saturday night! Even the undercard was better than I expected. I will save my feelings toward the main event until a little bit later but it was a great night nonetheless.
In this edition of Ranting and Raving I speak on Vernon Forrest’s impressive showing, of course the disputed split decision regarding Hopkins-Taylor, the WBC’s decision regarding Vitali Klitschko, the middleweight division’s future and more.
Vernon Forrest Saturday night: He’s back, well at least in some capacity. Vernon Forrest looked absolutely fantastic on the Hopkins-Taylor undercard as he made Sergio Rios fall down as much from hopelessness as the Viper’s punches. One thing we can be sure of, Vernon is ready to step up his competition and jump up to the AA portion of his minor league rehab.
I was a tad bit critical of Forrest’s choice of opponent Saturday but after watching the fight it really didn’t bother me. His intention was just to get some work in and shake off the rust. I have absolutely no problem with that. Good luck to Vernon the rest of the way, I wish him good health.
The New Disputed Middleweight Champion of the World: First off Jermain Taylor IS the Middleweight champion of the world. I’m not going to act like I did during the 2000 election when I refused to call George Bush president elect. Taylor has the belts.
Now to say he took those belts from Bernard Hopkins is a different matter. The judges took the belts from Bernard. Forgive me but I have the old school ring mentality that says to be the man, you have to beat the man! Taylor did no such thing. He stole some early rounds, was gassed at the end and ultimately was taken to school by the older, wiser man in the championship rounds. Hopkins did enough to earn a draw at least (which is how I scored it) and retain his title.
I cannot wait for this rematch. My gut feeling tells me that Bernard will pick up where he left off and take rounds 1-3, coast until the 8th or so, and bring class back into session in the championship rounds. He will regain his belts and his place in history and then it would be a nice time for him to retire.
Duane FREAKING Ford: There are only two explanations for Duane Ford scoring the 12th round for Jermain Taylor. One is that he has an agenda and wants a new, young middleweight champion and would trash boxing dignity to do it. Or two he is a halfwit.
I personally would like to think that Mr. Ford is an intelligent man, therefore leaving halfwit out of the question. It is a growing suspicion with me that a lot of people in the boxing industry wanted Hopkins to lose. Think about it, it is the perfect fit. Hopkins, widely seen as an outsider for most of his career, is left outside and on the short end of a controversial decision. And that my friend is karma. I do believe that Duane Ford knew the score, knew that Jermain Taylor was good for boxing, and did not want to miss an opportunity to make history.
The WBC finally makes the right call: The Worst Boxing Council is finally going to force Vitali Klitschko, their champion, to fight the winner of the Monte Barrett versus Hasim Rahman bout for the title.
As the regular readers of this column know I have been on Klitschko and the WBC pretty hard for their recent shenanigans and it is about time the WBC grew a pair and told their champion how things will be done. If Vitali had his way he would fight Corrie Sanders 20 times and call it a career.
New P4P: Okay I have not done one of these in a long time so here goes.
1. Floyd Mayweather: After the Hopkins loss it is a no brainer.
2. Diego Corrales: All he does is win, and brilliantly at that.
3. Winky Wright: The most likeable man in boxing, he has been left out in the cold for years and has barely ever complained. Oh yeah, two wins over Shane Mosley and a shutout of Felix Trinidad doesn’t hurt either.
4. Bernard Hopkins: Tough loss but it is what it is.
5. Marco Antonio Barrera: The only reason he is above Erik Morales is because of his recent victory over him.
6. Erik Morales: Constant warrior, war with Manny Pacquaio proves he belongs here.
7. Oscar Larios: He figured out that you can’t stand in front of the active McCullough, thus stopping him with pure boxing skill.
8. Zab Judah: Welterweight champion, impressive W over Cosme Rivera, he is only going up from here. However one win over Cory Spinks does not put you in the top 5.
9. Juan Manuel Marquez: Poor guy, everyone left the featherweight division on him. Or was it because of him? The most ducked man in boxing next to Winky Wright cracks the top 10.
10. Ricky Hatton: It is him, Jose Luis Castillo, and a few others you can flip a coin to determine. A win is a win though and JLC lost a thriller to Corrales, whereas Ricky Hatton beat a future HOF in Kostya Tsyzu.
Who benefits most from Taylor victory?: I don’t want to sound like a Tito-holic even though I never was a big fan, but Felix Trinidad may benefit big time from a Jermain Taylor victory in the proposed October rematch. Yes, Jermain is big and strong but he lacks the endurance, ring generalship, and patience that Hopkins and Wright needed to beat Trinidad. I am not saying I would pick Tito over Jermain, but I would not argue with Trinidad getting a shot after Hopkins and Wright.
To close out this edition of ranting and raving we go to Evert Brisceno: I just have to give props to the kid from Nicaragua. He was all heart against Fernando Montiel. He lost almost all of the early rounds and battled back to take some late rounds. He had Montiel up against the ropes for most of the second half of the fight and I could not help but cheer for the underdog. It was an inspiring performance and hopefully not the last we have seen from the exciting Nicaraguan.
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 1
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 2
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 3
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 4: Klitschko Brothers, Ouma
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