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Jun 30th
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Home Boxing Hopkins Robbed Of History In Controversial Draw
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Hopkins Robbed Of History In Controversial Draw

hopkins-vs-pascalSaturday night in Montreal, Quebec Canada, Bernard Hopkins stepped into the ring as a huge underdog, having 18 years on his opponent and fighting Jean Pascal’s backyard. The task that Hopkins was tasked with, defeating his younger opponent for the WBC light heavyweight championship and doing it as the oldest fighter to be in position to win a major title.

The stage was set for Jean Pascal, 26-1-1 (16), to make his statement over the former world champion. It seemed that would be the case in the first three rounds as Bernard, 51-5-1 (32),  was knocked down twice, once in the first and again in the third round. The first knockdown seemed to be more of a push, but was still counted as a knockdown. That hole was a pretty deep dig for the 45 year old fighter, but a hole that Hopkins has been in before. The fifth round looked to be a turning point for Hopkins as he realized that the younger fighter may have overlooked the body shot. The “head first” game plan seemed to dry up completely in the sixth round as the Hopkins motor started to run. Hopkins, always a smart fighter, took advantage of his opponents game plan and started to pressure Pascal. At the end of that round, Showtime’s Jim Gray spoke with former world champion Glen Johnson (a great friend of the Fightin’ Words Radio Network and mine) who stated that Hopkins would start to take over the fight and win it in the late rounds. Those words, at least for me, turned out to be prophetic, as Hopkins started to take over the fight. Rounds 5 through 8 went Hopkins way easily, as the former champion chased his younger opponent down and beat him to the punch, throwing combinations with precision. Pascal, who continued to back away, tried to counter punch, but that plan seemed to only re-energize his 45 year old opponent. Round 9 saw Pascal get back into his groove, but it only lasted that round as Hopkins again took over the fight, winning the next three rounds.

Hopkins had looked to have broken George Foreman’s mark as the oldest man to win a major title, but as the judges cards were read, the mark still stood. Judge Steve Morrow scored the fight 114-112 in favor of Hopkins (the same score I had) while judges Claude Paquette (113-113) and Daniel Van de Wiele (114-114) saw the fight a draw, which was officially ruled a majority draw. After the fight, a very frustrated Bernard Hopkins laid into the Showtime cameras, declaring that Pascal was given a hometown nod. Showtime’s Jim Gray told Hopkins that he had won the fight in the reporters eyes. When Pascal was interviewed, he stated he had done enough to win the fight, but the look of exhaustion and the marks on his face showed that he was in a battle.

Where does this go now? Quite possibly to a rematch, even though Pascal has a rematch with the fighter he defeated previously, Chad Dawson, already on the table. The WBC has said it will sanction a rematch of Pascal-Hopkins and the rematch of Dawson could all be pushed back with some step aside money. I am hopeful that Hopkins will get another shot, IN THE USA, sometime in the near future.

Bob Carroll

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