How ironic. When Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 31 KOs) finally earns his pay check for a fight, he doesn’t win it. After missing the 12-round majority draw against Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs) live and reading all of the articles about a supposed robbery in the ring in Quebec City on Dec. 18, I had to watch it to see what the fuss was all about. And quite frankly it was about nothing.
I was expecting to see Hopkins dominate Pascal and hurt him with powerful, clean shots to take away the Haitian’s WBC light heavyweight belt. But I didn’t see that. He might have had Pascal a little hurt at the end of the 11th, but that’s about it. Where were the solid, clean shots, that had Pascal rubbery legged and snapped the sweat off of his head? There simply weren’t any other than a decent right hand in the ninth round.
I saw a close fight that Hopkins obviously blew by getting decked twice in the first three rounds. Commentator Antonio Tarver hit the nail right on the head when he said Hopkins might have won more rounds, but the two knockdowns hurt him on the scorecards.
Let’s not forget, this isn’t a schoolyard fight where one of the kid’s gives up and there’s a clear-cut winner, this is professional boxing where judges need to come to a decision and if this wasn’t a close fight there wouldn’t be debates about it today. It was a good fight and Hopkins’ best in years since beating Oscar De La Hoya, his last knockout, which was 11 fights and six years ago now.
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But as usual, the crying started right after the scorecards were read with Hopkins and promoter Richard Schaefer moaning about the decision. No doubt, there have been a lot of boxers who’ve been robbed over the years by bad and/or hometown decisions, but this wasn’t one of them. It was a close bout that could have gone either way. Hopkins also got the benefit of the doubt in the first round when he lost it 10-9 on one judge’s card. Usually a fighter who gets dropped in a round loses it 10-8.
As for the booing after the fight, did Hopkins and Schaefer stop to consider the Quebec crowed was booing because their man wasn’t awarded a win? They weren’t booing because Hopkins didn’t earn the decision. I knew anything but a clear-cut win for Pascal would be controversial because of Hopkins’ incessant whining and the fact he assumes he’s going to be given decisions because of his name.
I give him credit. He fought well, landed and threw more punches and ultimately earned a draw after suffering two knockdowns. But he lived up to his reputation as a whiner again. Funnily enough, if he fought like he did against Pascal in his five losses he probably would have won them and wouldn’t have earned that reputation. Schaefer is wasting his time though by talking nonsense about lawsuits if Pascal isn’t stripped of his title if he fights a rematch against Chad Dawson next. I’d like to see a rematch between Pascal and Hopkins too, but can’t see why the WBC would order one.