Bernard Hopkins did something Saturday night that we have not seen in our lifetime in the sport of boxing.
Hopkins, who will be 44 in January, beat one of the top ranked fighters in the sport, previously undefeated 26-year-old Kelly Pavlik. We’ve seen George Foreman shock the experts at the age of 45 by knocking out Michael Moorer to win the heavyweight championship. But that was one very good punch over 10 rounds of being beaten and dominated by Moorer. And no one will ever argue that Moorer was anything but a mediocre heavyweight.
Hopkins, though, beat up Pavlik — dominated him for 12 rounds, winning a lopsided unanimous decision.
Pavlik, after impressive wins over Edison Miranda and twice over Jermain Taylor, who had beaten Hopkins, was considered among the best fighters in the sport, and was expected to beat Hopkins into retirement. So when the exact opposite happened, you have to marvel at Hopkins and say that he is among the greatest middleweights of all time, though he is now fighting at light heavyweight (he and Pavlik fought at a catch weight of 170 pounds). Not the best, per se, because the quality of opponents of great middleweights like Marvin Hagler and Carlos Monzon was tougher. But for doing what he is doing at such a high level at the age of 44 nearly puts him in a class by himself.
Hopefully, if Roy Jones Jr. can beat Joe Calzaghe, we will finally see the Jones-Hopkins rematch, though it won’t be nearly as compelling as it once might have been when both fighters were at their peak. Jones won a unanimous decision over Hopkins in May 1993 at RFK Stadium. Then again, who knows if Hopkins has reached his peak yet?
If you didn’t get a chance to see the fight on HBO pay-per-view, the network will be showing it on Saturday at midnight and again at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 12:35 a.m and Monday, Oct. 27. 6 p.m. It will be shown on HBO2 at 6 p.m. Sunday and 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28.
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