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Boxing

Taylor keeps his titles by unanimous decision

By Associated Press
Published December 4, 2005

LAS VEGAS - Jermain Taylor did it again, and again he didn't do it by much.

Taylor beat Bernard Hopkins by decision Saturday night, retaining his middleweight titles in a fight that was strikingly similar to the first fight between the two in July.

Taylor won that fight by split decision, while he took the rematch by unanimous decision. The fight was so close that all three ringside judges favored Taylor by only 115-113. The Associated Press had Taylor up 115-114.

Like the first fight, Hopkins started slowly and tried to make up points as the rounds went on. He began pressuring Taylor in the later rounds and, when the fight ended, raised his hands in victory in belief that he had done enough to win.

The judges thought otherwise, giving Taylor the decision and keeping him unbeaten in 25 fights in a pro career that began after he won the bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics.

"I've still got a lot to learn but I did win it," Taylor said. "The man is a clever fighter. It's hard to hit him. You've got to double up everything just to hit him."

Hopkins said he thought he won the rematch just like he thought he won the first fight.

"I got stronger as the fight went on. I think I did enough to win it," Hopkins said.

Taylor had vowed not to chase Hopkins around the ring in the early rounds like he did in the first fight, when he ran out of gas late and barely held on for the win. He kept to his word, much to the displeasure of the crowd at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino that booed the lack of action in the first few rounds.

The fight didn't begin to heat up until the fourth round, and even then there was more clinching and posing than actual fighting.

Hopkins had an excuse for starting slow - he's a month away from turning 41 - but as the rounds went on, his corner began urging him to get closer to Taylor and turn the fight into a brawl.

Neither fighter ever appeared in danger of going down.

UNDERCARD: Israel Vazquez won the Ring magazine junior featherweight world championship with a three-round knockout of Oscar Larios; junior middleweight Ike Quartey (37-2-1, 31 KOs) def. Carlos Bojorquez (25-8-6) with a 10th-round TKO; junior welterweight Demetrius Hopkins (22-0-1, 9 KOs), Bernard Hopkins' nephew, won by fourth-round KO over Jesse Feliciano (13-5-2); junior welterweight Rock Allen (4-0, 4 KOs) def. Calvin Pitts (3-5-1) on a second-round TKO; junior middleweight Andre Berto (9-0, 7 KOs) def. Taronze Washington (8-3) on a first-round KO; junior middleweight Joshua Clottey (29-1) def. Marcos Primera (19-12-2) by unanimous decision.

--Information from ESPN.com was used in this report.

[Last modified December 4, 2005, 01:20:10]


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