Boxing


Hopkins Finds Fountain Of Youth To Dominate Pavlik

Bernard Hopkins20.10.08 - By Bill Calogero, TheDailySports.com - Bernard Hopkins left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is far from “over the hill” as he dominated Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik over twelve rounds to win a one-sided unanimous decision last night from Atlantic City. Hopkins’s boxing exhibition was broadcast live on HBO PPV.

Many, including myself, thought that Former World Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins would put up a gallant effort, but fail in the later rounds to a what seemed like an unstoppable force in Kelly Pavlik. What took place was by far one of the future Hall Of Famer’s best performances of his entire career..

Hopkins was able to have his way with Kelly Pavlik from the opening bell through the completion of the bout. There was no slowing down for B-Hop. There was no lack of action. There was no evidence of age being an issue. Bernard Hopkins found a “Fountain Of Youth” and threw a beating on Kelly Pavlik.

Hopkins came out in the first round bouncing on his toes, working his jab and being the aggressor. He was able to beat Pavlik to the punch every time. B-Hop was able to set a pace during the very first round that would continue for the duration of the contest.

Bernard Hopkins schooled Kelly Pavlik. He had plenty of bounce in his feet, worked a snappy effective jab with hooks to the body and right hands to the head all night long. In addition to that, his hand speed was so overwhelming to Pavlik during the fight that he was never once able to muster up a dominating round. He won two rounds on my scorecard, but both were close.

Pavlik was in shape too. He never once looked tired, HOWEVER he did look stunned several times. In a nutshell, he was not able to get his punches off. His normal “One-Two”, which usually comes at you, as straight, hard punches were non-existent. I do not recall Kelly throwing ANY straight punches. All of his punches were coming in looping or from angles. Why? Because of B-Hop’s lateral movement. Pavlik could not get beyond that. Add Bernard’s aggressive attack, and the end result was an over whelmed, and out boxed Kelly Pavlik.

All the fingers should not be pointed at just Kelly Pavlik either. What about his “team”? They didn’t seem to have any answers either. No adjustments were made nor even tried during the bout. I think they all believed that Bernard Hopkins would tire and be there in front of Kelly as the fight progressed. It never happened and the end result was a brilliant performance for Bernard Hopkins and I hope a learning experience for Kelly Pavlik.

The only blemish during the fight was referee Benjy Esteves. I think the point deduction from Pavlik during the eighth round for hitting behind the head was a poor call, but at least Esteves had warned Kelly during a prior round. When Esteves deducted a point from Hopkins during the ninth round for holding, without a warning at all, I thought that was a little over the top. It was a clear case of making up for the call he had in the eighth. Either way, the deductions could not have made a difference in this fight. B-Hop won and there is not much anyone could say in defense of Pavlik’s performance except that he stayed on his feet and he is still the World Middleweight Champion. AND…he is at least three million dollars richer.

One judge at ringside scored the fight 119-106, one had it 118-108 while the third saw it at 117-109, giving Bernard Hopkins the unanimous decision win. TheDailySports.com scored the fight 118-108, also in favor of Bernard Hopkins.

Bernard Hopkins improves to 49-5-1 (32 KOs), while Kelly Pavlik loses for the first time during his professional career, dropping to 34-1 (30 KOs).

I think B-Hop’s performance should get him a shot at the winner of the Roy Jones Jr. vs. Joe Calzaghe fight coming up in a few weeks. My crystal ball says it will be Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Kelly Pavlik should stay in the Middleweight Division. I think his next fight will be a decisive win over Marco Antonio Rubio (who won a hard-fought WAR with Enrique Ornelas on the undercard), which should set up a fight with Arthur Abraham. I think win, lose or draw against Jones, a Joe Calzaghe vs. Kelly Pavlik is also still a fight people want to see.

The Bernard Hopkins win over Kelly Pavlik last night was a great fight to watch if you like action. Although it was totally one-sided, it was an entertaining fight to watch. I have never been much of a Bernard Hopkins fan, but last night’s performance was one of the best I have seen in a very long time. Bernard Hopkins, still at the top of his game at 43 years old, truly has found the Fountain Of Youth.


You can hear more on this fight and other top boxing news including reports on all of the fights this past weekend and previews of next week’s on the “Talkin Boxing With Billy C” and the “Billy C Morning Show” radio programs. Listen on www.EastSideBoxing.com or go to www.TalkinBoxing.com to find out how to sign up for podcasts or locate a radio station near you.

Article posted on 20.10.2008



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