Hopkins/Pavlik: Hypnotized

By Armstrong Okobia: I had this crazy dream last Saturday. I dreamt that there was a ghost lurking around and its presence was quite daunting. Then appeared a grim reaper of sorts that bears the name: The Executioner, who came to envoke his judgment.

He not only manhandled this ghost, but carried out this execution in such an inhumane fashion that there have been calls for finding a more humane way to execute sentenced individuals who cross his path.. I thought I was dreaming, but I wasnít. I'm sure that many who witnessed the beat down last Saturday also thought they were dreaming. No folks welcome to reality.

Bernard HopkinsBernard Hopkins aka B-Hop, laid a beat down on Kelly the Ghost Pavlik. The systematic boxing lesson was given from round 1 to 12 in such a masterly fashion so as to ensure, there would be no doubt as to who dominated. Hopkins who had been accused and rightfully so, of having less animated fights, canít be accused of that on Saturday as he came to fight. I for one was not surprised. Before I get accused of jumping on the bandwagon, I refer to an earlier article of mine (see The Ghost vs. The ExecutionerÖÖÖHalloween approaching date 13 Oct 2008). In this article I state that in order for Pavlik to win he needs to do one thing: Keep the pressure and output up. He tried to keep the pressure up, but there was no output. Then what happened is what I said would happen as we have witnessed this time and time again. So much so I have given it a name. Its called ďHypnotizedĒ. In the previous article I speak of it. Itís a state that fighters get into when they face this living legend and watch as he takes away your most treasured weapon. Itís a state of shock and confusion. They start fighting at his pace and doing what he wants them to do. Mainly out of confusion. Then they crumble and we watch them painfully go through the execution. I say painfully, because whether you like B-Hop or not, you feel for the other guy. Time and time again, we hear the same thing afterwards. It wasnít my night. I couldnít get off. I donít know what happened. We do. When you go back and watch the tapes you will witness what we witnessed. An execution being carried out.

I must say that I was a bit surprised to hear the predictions floating around that Kelly would knockout B-Hop. A decision maybe, knock out, sorry donít think so. In all his fights, when has B-Hop ever been really hurt? Give me just one instance. I mean I have seen him buzzed a couple of times, but never seriously hurt. So I could not come to realms with him getting knocked out especially when you take into consideration that his chin is practically cemented to his chest and his left shoulder is set at an angle that doesnít allow for clean shots. Something he learned from Bowie Fisher, he old trainer he taught him all the old tricks of the trade from defense, to inside fight to down right dirty fighting.

Then they said that Kelly would out hustle him. Now I must agree, I too wonder how long B-Hop can keep this up. I mean this guy is 43 and you can only go to the well so long. I also saw that during the Calzaghe fight he was winded after the 9th round or so, but that was due to the constant pressure JC was putting on him in combination with punch output. Notice I say in combination. Though JCís punches were not that heavy or powerful, it made B-Hop move, duck, block everything which caused him to use energy which was key. Kelly didnít do that. He plodded forward with no output. Against B-Hop thatís suicidal as you will simply get counterpunched to death.

Lastly there were predictions of B-Hop getting dominated. Question: when has B-Hop ever clearly lost a fight or been dominated? The only fight, and even B-Hop agrees to this, that he lost was against RJJ. Other than that, his losses to Jermain Taylor and Calzaghe could have easily gone the other way. The first fight with JT should have been a draw as I donít know how anyone could have given JT the 12th round. Even during the Calzaghe fight, many British sports reporters on hand had Hopkins winning the fight by 1 or 2 points.

Call me crazy but I think that the weight (170-175) suits Hopkins. He has actually said on many occasions that he could have fought at LHW in the later stages of his career. He seems to carry the weight well and has taken his speed with him on the way up. Is it me or does anyone throw a better straight (counter/lead) right hand than B-Hop? Amazing.

Ok, where do we go from here? For Pavlik, its back to the drawing board I guess. In some ways you have to feel for this kid. In hindsight he probably should not have fought B-Hop because it was a damned if you do damned if you donít situation. If he won, he beat an old man. If you lost, you have it coming. I just hope that this loss doesnít affect Pavlik emotionally. He got beat physically, but I also saw a fighter that was also beaten psychologically. Nice to hear that B-Hop offered to train him and teach him some tricks of the trade. Kelly donít be too proud to take him up on the offer. As for B-Hop. Alright already, for those who doubted your greatness, they will not any longer. Champ you have nothing to prove. Thanks for sharing with us the sweet science. I hope you chill, though deep in my heart I think you wonít. I just wonder who will be your next victim.

Article posted on 19.10.2008

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