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Canada goes against Hopkins

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Perhaps not surprisingly, in an above average fight, Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal drew tonight for the WBC, IBO and WBC Diamond Light-Heavyweight titles at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec, Canada.

Hopkins, now 45 but on the verge of turning 46 what with his birthday taking place next month, had planned to target and beat George Foreman’s record of becoming the oldest ever champion in boxing, and to many fans around the world tonight, it seems that he should have been so!

Haiti born Pascal hit Hopkins early with a big right hand and then again in the middle of the round and the aging boxer had to hold. Bernard tried to control Pascal with the jab with little effect. In the closing seconds, Jean hit Bernard just behind the ear which sent him down and counted, however questionable the knockdown was. Hopkins looked more embarrassed than hurt and immediately complained to referee, Michael Griffin, that he was hit behind the head.

In round 2, Pascal lunges rather wildly but scores with some decent right hands and a big left to end the round. Hopkins struggles to get into a rhythm at this point.
Hopkins found himself on the canvas again in the third by a left to the head but is up and unfazed.

Pascal hit Hopkins with a left and right combination that buckled the challenger’s legs in the fifth. Hopkins also lands some punches himself but only managing a couple at a time and gets caught by Pascal as he moves away.

It was the sixth round where things took a turn for the worst for the champion as he seemed to take a long breather throughout this round while Hopkins went to work on him. Bernard attempts to make a statement to end the round by trying to hit the 28 year old with two rights but misses.

In rounds seven and eight, Hopkins confidence grows as he continues to hit Pascal with relative ease and taunts him in the latter round.

In round 11, Hopkins scores with some mean looking body shots and Pascal trips over his opponent’s feet and hits the canvas.

Hopkins confidence is so high at this stage that he had been dropping his hands in the last couple of rounds, believing that a defense was not necessary.

In the final round both guys hit each other in good looking exchanges but Hopkins controls Pascal’s lunges with his infamous clinches.

After the bell rang, Hopkins looked confident that he won the bout while Pascal looked pensive.

Scores of 113-113, 114-114 and 112-114 for Hopkins were read out much to the disgust of the crowd, who started booing, probably in favour of Bernard Hopkins since they started chanting his name at the midway point of the bout.

Hopkins stated: “I felt like a champion and wasn’t hurt, i had a lot of energy and was dominating. This was a sure enough robbery!”

Pascal, maybe attempting to save face, said: “”We got fair judges in Canada. I did enough to win the fight. I have no problem in fighting him again”

While I personally believed that Hopkins was showing his age in the early part of the fight, I am not the only one who believes he clawed his way back to what should have been a deserved victory, but with the bout taking place in Canada it wasn’t just his age against him here.

Bernard Hopkins probably will not want to retire on the face of this draw and will most likely want a rematch on neutral territory or in the USA.

Most importantly, and as ever as I have stated in the past, boxing, again, was not honest tonight.

One has to wonder when the sport will redeem itself in the public eye.

Perhaps it is a question of if.

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