Bernard Hopkins has proven if babies cry long and loud enough they can sometimes get their own way. In case you missed it, the 45-year-old boxer was attempting to become the oldest world champion in history when he took on 28-year-old WBC and IBO Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 Kos) of Haiti in Quebec City, Canada on Dec. 18th. It turned out to be a competitive and exciting fight that ended in a majority draw. This means one judge scored the bout in favor of Hopkins 114-112, while the other two scored it a draw at 113-113 and 114-114.
But Hopkins kept moaning about the result and the spineless WBC has ordered a rematch, which is a slap in the face to the judges who worked the fight and to the thousands of fans who paid good money to see it. How are the judges to feel after the WBC has basically said they were incompetent and what about other boxers who deserve a fight with Pascal for the title? Hopkins had his chance and blew it.
We’d be having rematches on a weekly basis if they were ordered every time there was a split decision, close unanimous decision or a draw in a boxing match. We don’t see other professional sports organizations ordering games to be replayed when a referee makes a mistake or a goal is disallowed and they even use video technology.
I could understand if the decision was so outrageous, where one fighter dominated the other over 12 rounds and was then given the shaft when the decision was announced. But the Pascal vs Hopkins bout came nowhere near that. Hopkins was dropped in the first and third rounds and arguably didn’t win a round until the fifth. By that point he was already between four and six points behind in the scoring due to the knockdowns.
Sure, he came back strongly and fought well over the last seven rounds, but it was a close fight that could have gone either way by a couple of points. And that’s exactly what the scorecards reflected when a draw was announced. As usual, Hopkins moaned, cried, and whined about the decision until the first week of January when the WBC ordered the rematch.
However, it’s not fair to just schedule another fight for selective boxers, especially after the WBC put on the bout and chose the judges. Isn’t that just admitting the organization is ineffective and not to be trusted? Anyway, before making the mistake of ordering the rematch, the WBC should have looked into Hopkins’ history every time he loses a fight. All this guy does is whine every time he comes out on the wrong end of a decision. If he didn’t have a rematch clause inserted into the contract, that’s too bad for him.
Take Hopkins’ (51-5-2, 32 KOs) two fights against Jermaine Taylor for example. He fought Taylor, who was the undisputed middleweight champ at the time, and threw so few punches each round you could have counted them on your fingers and toes. He deservedly lost the July 2005 fight, which was scored inexplicably close as a split decision by scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 112-116.
The crying began and Hopkins was given a rematch with Taylor just five months later. This time he lost a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113… and well, you can guess the rest. Hopkins was also beaten by a split decision by undefeated Joe Calzaghe in April of 2008 by scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 113-114. The post-fight press conference was more of the same garbage Hopkins spews every time he loses a decision, but this time nobody paid any attention to him.
According to Hopkins, there’s some type of vendetta against him by all of the boxing organizations in the world. What other way is there to explain his losses, other than the fact he doesn’t throw any punches, except for the Pascal fight? It was a good fight against Pascal and a rematch could be entertaining, but this isn't the right way to go about it. I’d love to see Pascal knock this big baby out once and for all in the rematch and then hear what excuse he comes up with. He might as well start on some creative ones now.