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Jorge's Corner
The Voice of Boxing in Central and Northern California


Hopkins Vs Taylor
Las Vegas Nevada
Dec. 3, 2005

  Bernard Hopkins’ hope of several huge paydays before retiring ended in tragedy when he failed to accomplish a pivotal aspect of his plan. He failed to beat Jermain Taylor. Bernard’s plan backfired when the immediate rematch was delayed. The period of rest and recovery gave Taylor time to grow confident. Hopkins underestimated Taylor’s determination. Hopkins’ delusional self imagine, along with a lifetime of risk taking, betrayed him into reaching beyond his capabilities.

I believe Hopkins planned to set up several large paydays by permitting Taylor to win their first contest, believing he could return and easily defeat him. I said so, after their first fight. It was a large gamble, but no larger than other ex-felons take daily. Bernard has always lived on the edge. His behavior has continuously demonstrated a disregard for societies standards. He has refused to conform or accommodate many exceptions. It was this same rebellious nature that’s made him a great fighter; sadly, it was also his down fall. His biggest strength was his passionless, highly technical, ability to dismantle opponents. His weakness is his inability to judge another’s character. His evaluation of Taylor’s strengths never went beyond the physical. He should have spent more time studying strategy and less time scheming.

Hopkins learned that a strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness. His over confidence deceived him. He failed to attack and allowed Taylor to grow more confident as the fight progressed. Instead of using his experience to subjugate, dominate and maneuver Taylor into a weakened position, he allows him to grow bolder. Bernard’s lack of activity, confirmed his delusional over confidence. He gave Taylor too much time between fights. Although I still believe Hopkins is the better boxer, he is not the better man. Taylor simply wanted it more. Hopkins lack of passion and misguided self-importance led to his demise. He also learned the judges were not as impressed with him, as he thought. Hopkins believed himself not only to be the better boxer, but the better man as well, another of his many mistakes.

Hopkins forgot to take measure of the “whole” man. Instead of studying his opponent’s character, he focused on the lack of maturity. He failed to take careful measure of his heart. He failed to take into account the millions of subtleties that make a champion. In the end, after all the noise and fans are gone, Hopkins will be faced with the demoralizing realization that it was arrogance that defeated him. It is no coincidence that Oscar De La Hoya, is in his corner. The passion of boxing has long since disappeared from Oscar, as it has for Hopkins. Boxing, and all it once meant has turned into just a business, passionless, based on money, and void of excitement. Although, I agree money is the bottom line in the boxing business, but it is only one of the many aspects that are important. Hopkins has been little more then a mercenary for years. His fights stopped being exciting ages ago. He surrendered the idea that there was any personal honor involved. I cannot remember the last time I saw him fight with passion or display anymore than amusement. Although I can admire a technician, there is little to respect about someone who does it with so little passion. I am personally glad he lost. I was tired of watching another businessman compromise this sport. The reason why I love boxing is because there is so much emotion, excitement passion and fury. Bernard’s mercenary attitude reminded me of a burnt out government employee, doing as little as possible, just punching a clock, and putting in his time for retirement.

I’ve studied fighting men all my life. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with them on the battlefield. I have prayed beside them inside bunkers while rockets rained upon us. I have tasted sweat and smelled the cordite after an engagement. I have watched men bleed and die. I’ve learned the man who fights only for money, is the easiest to defeat. I have learned that in order to defeat an enemy, you must know and understand him. Not only how he fights, but why he fights. You must know the things that drive him and the things that weigh him down. Hopkins failed to take the “whole” man into account. A major flaw in planning. Great generals form Sun Tzu to Napoleon would shake their heads at his arrogance, and failure to prepare. They’d be even more disgusted to learn that once engaged, he failed to fight with abandon, and leave nothing in reserve. I’m sure Hopkins and Oscar will rationalize his loss, “its only business”. They'd be right, while at the same time, be completely wrong.

Fight fans wishing to witness a major boxing event should be advised, Vicente Escobedo, the former Olympian is scheduled to be at Arco Arena in January of 2006. Vicente is a pleasure to watch. He moves like lighting and strikes like thunder. He has the right combination of intelligence and fury to make it to the top. He trains like a man possessed and attacks his opponents like a shark attacks its prey. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he doesn't stumble along the way. Residents of Woodland should be proud to call him a “native son”. I am proud to call him and his brother, friend.

No matter what else may be important, it's still about doing the right thing. We will all be tested as we move through life. We will all stumble and fall. Some of us will get pushed aside and stepped upon. Too often those with power abuse their positions and inflict physical or emotional damage upon us. It never gets easier, yet we must carry on. Those that get up will have to make compromises. We must still choose what is right, rather than what is easy. Remember that people with money are not better people, they are not funnier, or smarter, or in any way “better” than you. They just have more money. Anyone who thinks otherwise is full of shit; you can tell 'em I said so.

Remember to send up a pray for our men in uniform in harm’s way. Having spent my time in the Persian Gulf, I am very grateful to be here. I Thank

God For Boxing!

Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez