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Pascal-Hopkins II - Should It Happen? Will It Happen? Where Should It Happen?

By James Slater - Despite the fact that he failed to come up with the history-making win last night in Canada, living legend Bernard Hopkins once again proved he is one of the most amazing fighters of the past 25-years or so. Pushing age 46 as he is, “The Executioner” has no business pushing young and physically strong fighters such as light-heavyweight king Jean Pascal the way he did.

Getting up from two early knockdowns and then pretty much dominating the fight in the second half as he did, B-Hop once again left fight fans in awe.. Sadly, two of the three judges’ scorecards left these same fans feeling uncomfortable. The fight was close, too close to say Hopkins was outright robbed, but many people feel the ageless wonder from Philly was denied a win he earned with sheer heart, class and greatness.

We must see a rematch, right?

Certainly Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy is demanding one with the WBC. Not only that, but the Golden Boy CEO is talking about filing a protest.

“This is what is wrong with boxing,” Schaefer is quoted as saying by Fightnews.com, whilst referring to last night’s drawn verdict. “It’s a disgrace. We are going to file a protest. The WBC will order an immediate rematch. And we will see what other legal remedies we have because this is wrong. This is wrong.”

Though Schaefer is bound to be biased seeing how he not only co-promotes Hopkins but is also friends with the fighter, there won’t bee too many fans disagreeing with his disagreement with last night’s result. The way Hopkins took the fight to the younger, supposedly stronger fighter was incredible, yet his efforts were not seen as enough by two of the three scoring officials.

Again, the fight was close and the two knockdowns - the first of which Hopkins disputes as being legit - proved to be a big factor in the scoring, but didn’t Hopkins do enough to make history as the oldest fighter to win a major title? No-one likes a draw at the best of times, but when history is on the line, a draw is even more unsatisfying. So, will there be the rematch Schaefer talks about, and if so where will it happen? Not in Canada, that’s for sure.

Hopkins, seemingly no way near as angry as Schaefer despite the fact that it was he who was doing the fighting yesterday, is proud of his latest “masterpiece.”

“I feel great,” B-Hop said post-fight. “I fought a young man’s fight in a young man’s sport. I got hit with shots, I took them. I got hit in the back of the head, they called it a knockdown. I believe I hit him with a short right hand, they called it a slip. But I ain’t complaining. It’s a Canadian referee.

“You all seen it. A masterpiece. Taking a young guy to school. You saw a 45-year-old come to Canada and get a draw. Just say the two knockdowns were legitimate, I still get a draw in Canada. I’m not crying over spilt milk, the only thing we’re saying is we thought Canada was a place you could come and whoever wins, wins and whoever loses, loses.”

Hopkins is as entitled to be proud of his latest ring appearance and he is entitled to question the decision. Was it a “hometown” verdict given to Pascal? Some will argue it was, others will say it was not. But in the interest of fairness, a rematch must happen, and on neutral ground.

How long Hopkins (who will turn 46 in January) can possibly keep going is a valid question, but judging by the way he looked last night, B-Hop is close to being as good as he was when he was beating Kelly Pavlik two years ago. As Hopkins said after last night’s draw: “I’m not going anywhere. I’m the most dangerous 45-year-old fighter in history.”

Jean Pascal, who came so close to losing his title, will no doubt agree!

Article posted on 19.12.2010



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