Taylor, Trinidad reach split decision

Posted: July 19, 2007

LAS VEGAS - More than almost anyone else, Jermain Taylor and Felix Trinidad bring unique perspectives to Saturday night's matchup of Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins and Winky Wright, who vie in a 170-pound catchweight bout at the Mandalay Bay.

Both Taylor, the WBC/WBO middleweight champion, and Trinidad, the former welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight titlist, have swapped punches with both of the main-eventers.

Taylor won a pair of close but disputed decisions against Hopkins, the first of which, on July 16, 2005, snapped B-Hop's division-record of 20 successful middleweight title defenses.

On June 17, 2006, he battled Wright to a draw.

Trinidad, who is contemplating coming out of retirement, had his 40-bout undefeated streak snapped on a 12th-round technical knockout loss to Hopkins on Sept. 29, 2001, and was on the wrong end of a one-sided unanimous decision against Wright on May 14, 2005, his only losses.

Taylor can't quite make up his mind about the outcome of Saturday's showdown.

"I don't know who's going to win," he said. "It's one of those tossup fights.

"If Winky comes out from the first round against Hopkins like he did against me [pressing the action], I believe he'll win. But if he lets Hopkins dictate the pace, it'll be Hopkins' fight."

Trinidad, who never quite mended fences with Hopkins - remember those incidents, in New York and Puerto Rico, where the Philadelphian threw down the Puerto Rican flag? - strongly backs Wright, with whom he has become friendly.

"I do believe that Winky will beat Bernard Hopkins," said Trinidad, who has not fought since he the loss to Wright.

"Winky is very strong. I have seen him training in the gym, and I don't think Hopkins will be able to penetrate his defense." *

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