Bernard Hopkins is not the easiest guy to root for. His fights are great for purists, but often fought at a snail’s pace. He himself is cantankerous, has a big mouth, has apparently fucked over promoters in his past, has a giant chip on his shoulder, and sounds a bit like a cross between the Cedric the Entertainer character in Barbershop and the prisoner Damon Wayans played on In Living Color. But since his time in jail, the man lives right, lives without vice, keeps his body in great shape, and has taken care of his money. This has allowed him to have an autumn of his career that has allowed him to pass Roy Jones as the greatest fighter of his generation. All props to the old man – now some other observations from a night of HBO World Championship Boxing.
- It is amazing how much better the atmosphere is abroad for a big fight. Yeah, it’s Montreal but still. On a boxing board I frequent, users talk about how hokey it is – which is strange considering that the hokiness is that every seat is full and the crowd is into it. This crowd was there for the co-feature, which is pretty impressive by US standards. Made for a great atmosphere – a championship fight that felt like a championship.
- Co-feature was Chad Dawson-Adrian Diaconu. Diaconu is a hard warrior, but Dawson just too fast and skilled. We know Dawson has the tools, and he was able to stay out of the hitting zone consistently. Diaconu tried to walk him down, but Dawson’s reach advantage was too profound.
- On the other hand, Dawson once again had an opponent he could hurt and did not step the pace up. He was content to shuck and jive to a decision, and that does not serve him in the long run as he tries to become a big money fighter.
- With the main event, Jean Pascal’s conditioning for a young guy was messed up. How does a 28 year old not be able to fight 3 minutes a round? He would rest and then charge occasionally, like some kind of bull. The bull rushes made Hopkins think because Pascal hits hard, but it is just not a good way to be able to generate offense.
- Pascal’s power to me made Hopkins try to punch first and punch hard. He hurt Pascal a few times, and the fight was more exciting than most Hopkins fights as a result. He had to leave his safe zone.
- I had it 115-113 Pascal, but there were a ton of close rounds, and Hopkins’ unanimous decision was not a robbery or even a poor decision. The fight was a nightmare to score and Hopkins did outpunch Pascal though neither landed a hell of a lot. I was surprised the judges actually reached consensus, but props to the old man.