Jean Pascal vs. Bernard Hopkins II: Round-by-Round Analysis

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By Nick Tylwalk

It's nearly time for the main event, in front of what's being reported as a record crowd for an indoor boxing match in Canada. Jean Pascal will look to thrill his home fans by winning a rematch against Bernard Hopkins, who is attempting to become the oldest boxer to ever hold a world title.

Before we get to the action, Larry Merchant narrates a video package that takes us further into the mind and character of Hopkins. Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman are on hand at the Bell Centre in Montreal to call the action, and they will be joined by Emanuel Steward, who saw new trainee Chad Dawson win a comfortable decision in the co-feature.

The tale of the tape shows that Hopkins is two inches taller, but the two fighters are almost even in reach. They enter the ring at the same weight of 186 pounds. Hopkins is 46 years old, while Pascal is 28.

Kellerman talked to both men while they were face to face earlier in the day. That kind of setup definitely favored Hopkins, who is a noted trash talker and a master of head games.

Hopkins makes his way to the ring first, sporting a ski mask and making the 'X' sign as he stands in front of fireworks. The former middleweight champion is 51-5-2 with 32 KOs. There is a hilarious re-working of "My Way" playing in the background with the lyrics changed to predicting that Hopkins will win by TKO tonight. B-Hop shook off two early knockdowns and controlled the rest of the fight to earn a draw in the first fight.

Pascal also gets a showy entrance as he soaks in the cheers from the fans packing the Bell Centre. The Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight champion is 26-1-1 with 16 wins by KO, and he has yet to lose since moving from 168 pounds to 175 a few years ago. A spurt fighter, he needs to prove he isn't going to run out of gas in the likely event that this fight goes the distance.

The judges and referee are all from overseas, so home cooking shouldn't be a problem if it goes to the scorecards. Michael Buffer introduces both fighters in English and French, and we're ready for a scheduled 12 rounds of boxing.

Round 1

No surprise that there was a good staredown before the fight. Hopkins is the one moving forward at the start. Hopkins gets Pascal off balance with an early left. Neither man is especially busy in the first 90 seconds. Both men miss jabs, and Pascal comes charging wildly in. Pascal lands one shot and backs off. He charges in again and lands two punches.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal

Round 2

This pace definitely would be comfortable for both guys. Pascal rushes in and misses a right hand. Hopkins swings with both hands and draws air. Pascal gets right back in his face and touches off a brawl. Dawson joins the HBO crew at the announce table. Hopkins tries a two-punch combo that is mostly blocked. Pascal lands a jab and B-Hop circles away. Pascal flurries a bit along the ropes and ends up in a headlock. Pascal complains of a head butt. Hopkins dodges a wild right.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal

Round 3

Hopkins gets hit with a right hook as he comes forward. He steadies himself and fires back with two shots. Pascal catches Hopkins with a sharp left hand; Hopkins fires back to the body. There's a clubbing right hand by Hopkins, and Pascal has to grab to catch a breath. B-Hop lands a stiff jab that sets off more wrestling. Steward thinks Pascal was hurt by the right hand. Both men land some shots at close range. Hopkins leans on Pascal and forces another break. Pascal finishes strong with a flurry in the closing seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 4

That mean right hand may have been a game changer for Hopkins, but there's a long way to go. Pascal does more holding on the inside. Pascal goes to the body and hooks to the head. Hopkins jabs and advances. He lands a two-punch combo and scrambles away from the return fire. Both men tag each other with body shots, and Pascal lands a hard right hand to the head. Hopkins comes forward again. He eats a huge right hand and a left and looks a bit stunned by those.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal

Round 5

Hopkins looks steady on his feet as he jabs. He counter with a quick right as Pascal misses wildly. Pascal goes to the body with a right. Jean lands a hard left hook and an uppercut. Pascal tries more body work and is quickly grabbed. Clubbing right by Hopkins but Pascal responds quickly. Hopkins fires rights to the head and body and holds Pascal's head down. Both men miss wildy as B-Hop smiles. Hopkins flurries with his tongue out.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 6

Hopkins charges off his stool and goes right at Pascal. He grabs Pascal around the waist in tight. Hopkins tries multiple jabs and attempts to get in close. Hard right by B-Hop. He's sticking and moving well. Bernard landing once and then clutching. The ref cautions both men for excessive holding. Hopkins sticks his tongue out again and ends up in a clinch. Hopkins swarms Pascal and makes it ugly once again. Bernard lands a right hand in the last 10 seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 7

Hopkins does push-ups before the action begins. Both men try some inside punching. Hopkins flicks jabs to keep Pascal at bay. One-two by Hopkins and Pascal ducks down very low. Wild misses by Pascal as he plays to the crowd for a moment. Pascal leaps in for a left hand. Both men land but Hopkins is much more accurate. Right hand leads and left hooks are finding their mark for B-Hop. Pascal eats a left hook as he tries to get off. Pascal goes down, but the ref correctly rules it a slip.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 8

Has Hopkins figured out Pascal again? Sure seems that way. pascal rushes in and lands two shots before Hopkins slips away. More rough stuff as Pascal ran into another clinch. Hopkins lands a very sharp right hand and immediately starts complaining about getting hit behind the head in return. Hard hooks fly both ways and the ref is really earning his pay. Clubbing shots from Pascal but they don't land flush. Pascal eats another right though he does land a left in return.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 9

Pascal strikes first with a right hand upstairs. Pascal's glove touches after a punch, but the ref says it was a slip. Both men land power shots in the center of the ring. Nice counter right by Hopkins as he backs up. Pascal charges in and more wrestling ensues. Hopkins ducks and jukes to avoid most of a Pascal flurry. There's a short right hand by Hopkins before he is admonished by the ref again. B-Hop lands lefts to the body and head before the bell that may have stolen him the round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 10

The HBO crew believes that should have been a knockdown in the last frame. Hopkins does the early punching in some ugly, including a left hook, while Pascal scores with an uppercut. Hopkins lands a straight punch, and though Pascal's glove seems to touch, the ref says it's no knockdown. Pascal holds like mad. Hopkins fires a left and eats a left hook. A brawl breaks out in the final 10 seconds with both men doing some work.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins

Round 11

Pascal needs to land something dramatic to rgain the momentum. Hopkins just won't let him because he is timing his attacks perfectly. Pascal gets Hopkins' attention in the corner but the ref breaks them up. Hopkins tries a looping right. B-Hop jabs and follows with a right. Pascal can't get room to land anything serious. Hopkins narrowly avoids a gigantic left hand. Pascal fires a right hand along the ropes as Hopkins tries to jab his way away.  Nothing but wrestling in the last 10 seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal

Round 12

No shocker but it looks like we're going the distance. Hopkins stays busy until he is held. Right hook by Pascal and multiple jabs by Hopkins. Short shots at close range by both fighters. Big miss by Pascal but he avoids the counters. Pascal is stalking. Big three-punch combo by Pascal and a counter right by Hopkins. Pascal lands a big right hand and Hopkins appears wobbled a bit. B-Hop is wobbly but he is staying away. Less than a minute to go. Hopkins bulls his way in with his head down. Pascal leaps forward  with haymakers flying. Ten seconds left. Nothing lands down the stretch, and we will go to the cards again. Lampley has his pom-poms out, but we need to wait for the official scores.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal

Tylwalk: 115-113 Hopkins

The judges score it 115-113, 116-112 and 115-114, all to the winner by unanimous decision... and new WBC light heavyweight titleholder... Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins.