Sunday, July 17, 2005
Jermain Taylor, World Middleweight Champion!!
We are just so dog-goned proud! That he's a "hometown boy", that he's an amazing, disciplined, athlete, and most of all that he is so atypical of young star athletes these days: polite, articulate, and respectful.
Alex could not sit still for most of the day leading up to the fight, and jumped around the living room for most of the actual event. He was so wound up, he even had Bella (yes, of COURSE she was still up) yelling, "J.T.! J.T.! J.T.!" It was a really wonderful thing to be a part of, even from a distance. Part of me can hardly believe I'm saying this, since this is, after all, a sport where a couple of muscular guys try to beat the tar out of each other...doesn't seem much like "me", does it? But when an athlete is as gifted as Jermain, it is a joy to watch him do his thing.
I think some of my favorite fight analysis came from my Uncle Jesse:
"Atta boy JT!!!!!!
Was proud of the way he took it to the champ. Hopkins is a wily veteran loaded with tricks, but he waited too late to start fighting. JT might be fortunate to get the decision over a reigning champ but a win is a win is a win.
Judges don't like standing around and stalling for time because you're getting too old to cut the mustard. Also, JT is a poster child for what boxing needs, a genuine nice guy who overcame a hard knock background to rise to the top. OTOH, Hopkins' attitude is repulsive and his showboating during the fight was probably distasteful to the judges. Hopkins also repeatedly threw low blows, "accidental" head-butts, and should have been penalized for hitting during a clinch, and the judges could have figured that into their decision.
JT got some big time experience and he will continue to improve. JT will whup Hopkins with a lickin' stick if there's a rematch."
Ed.--Whuppin' folks with various kinds of sticks (lickin', ugly, dumb, etc.) may be an Arkansas/Southern colloquialism...if you need an explanation, just drop me a line, and I'll fill you in!
For more on Jermain, see http://www.jermaintaylor.com.