by Hans Olson, ringside
Bernard Hopkins has made history.
Beating unthinkable odds, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter to ever earn a major World Championship, supplanting the record that George Foreman had held since 1994.
Big George was impressed.
“I was on the edge of my seat every round. It was such an exciting fight. Bernard was the better athlete, the smarter fighter and in the better condition. Now that 46 has done it, next a 47, 48, 49 and 50 will do it” said Foreman in a media release after the fight. “I’m happy for Hopkins and I’m happy for mature athletes.”
In a tactical fight that exploded with intense action throughout, Hopkins used his skill and ring craft to dominate the younger Jean Pascal.
The bout opened up with a very tense 1st round, each fighter taking time to feel the other out. After a close 2nd, the brutal right hand that defined the early part of “The Executioner’s” career returned with a vengeance.
Pascal had a good 4th where he landed the harder blows, but Hopkins nullified the attempts of Pascal as the fight wore on. Although Pascal (26-2-1) had many moments in the fight, it was the many moments in between that Hopkins (52-5-2) dominated. Additionally, in the tough exchanges Hopkins seemed to be just as successful as Pascal; giving just as hard as he was taking.
The middle portion of the contest included many hijinx; both fighters clowning the other.
This seemed to bother Jean Pascal, who would make it a fight through the championship rounds…but it was too little, too late.
Hopkins won on all 3 scorecards, the judges seeing the fight 116-112, 115-114, and 115-113. Boxinginsider.com had it slightly wider for Bernard at 117-113.
In the evening’s co-feature, Chad Dawson made his return to the ring an emphatic one, putting on a boxing clinic in front of 17,000+ in attendance.
Dawson opened up the fight establishing good distance, using nice feints and pushing Diaconu back with hard straight lefts. The next few rounds followed the same pace and tempo, but in the 4th things momentarily changed. With the fans roaring behind every punch, “The Shark” finally started to have some success against “Bad” Chad Dawson.
It wouldn’t last.
Dawson came out in the 5th with high intensity, and carried it throughout the rest of the fight. As the battle waged on, Chad never let Adrian’s brief successes last longer than necessary. The final rounds closed out with nice action, both fighters looking to do their best to get a finish. In the end, it would be Dawson walking away with the unanimous decision, scores reading 117-111, 118-110, and 116-112. Boxinginsider.com had the fight 119-109 in favor of Chad Dawson.
In earlier action…
-Canadian heavyweight hopeful Didier Bence (2-0) made quick work of Dwayne Storey (4-7), scoring a TKO at 1:38 of round two.
-Nicholson Poulard (half brother of Jean Pascal) took a unanimous decision over Frankie Santos with all 3 ringside judges scoring the contest 100-90.
-Mikael Zewski looked impressive disposing of Ruben Galvan with a vicious uppercut in round 3.
-Eleider Alvarez dominated David Whittom over 4 rounds to get the unanimous decision.
-Quebec’s Kevin Bizier improved to 15-0 when landed a beautiful left hook to the body of Mauro Lucero
– Oscar Rivas destroyed Zsolt Zathurczky, knocking him down 3 times to get the TKO.