LAS VEGAS - Bernard Hopkins didn't act his age, but he didn't win the fight either. Jermain Taylor, 27, established himself as the future of the middleweight division, and now Hopkins can only look back and hope his legacy as a champion is secure.
His second narrow loss Saturday night to Taylor did nothing to damage Hopkins' reputation as an ageless fighter, though it may have finally ended a remarkable career just a month before he turns 41.
If it did, Hopkins (46-4-1) has no regrets.
"My career has been tremendous," Hopkins said. "I really have nothing to be mad about because I changed my life around. I went from being a convict in prison to being wealthy and having a great boxing career."
Hopkins thought he did enough to pull out the win in a fight that mirrored the first bout in July, which was won on split decision by Taylor. But again the judges saw it otherwise.
Taylor won by unanimous decision, but all three judges had it very close at 115-113.
"I give nothing but respect to Bernard Hopkins. He fought very well tonight and he has proven that he is a tough fighter and a true champion," Taylor (25-0) said. "But right now I am the champion and I feel like I am the champion. I knew I was going to win and I thought I won the fight."