Hopkins says he had Pascal beat up – but did he?
By Dan Ambrose: 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins has been complaining long and hard about his 12 round majority draw he received in his bout last weekend against World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, in Quebec, Canada. Hopkins thinks he should have won the fight, and even goes so far to say that he had Pascal beaten up in the fight.
I don’t know if Hopkins’ eyesight was hurt in the bout but as far as I can tell, Pascal looked relatively unmarked other than some slight bruising on his cheeks. This wasn’t a situation where either fighter got beaten up. There wasn’t really blood, no broken noses and not much in the way of swelling aside from the swelling on Hopkins’ face.
It makes me wonder if Hopkins is overestimating his own power. He might have been able to throw with greater power if he wasn’t diving forward head first all the time smothering his own shots by throwing in close. Hopkins lacked hand speed and he never really did have good power even in his prime years. His power hasn’t gotten any better as far as I can tell.
After the fight Hopkins said “I had the guy beat up. You don’t see Pascal jumping around happy.” Pascal wasn’t jumping around was because he was tired and obviously disappointed in his performance. He knows he didn’t fight his best fight. However, he still did enough to get a draw based on the two knockdowns of Hopkins early in the fight, and some of the other rounds in which Pascal did enough to win them. There was a lot of rounds that were close, because even though Hopkins was throwing more shots, Pascal was landing the harder punches that connected cleaner.
Hopkins would land 15 to 20 weaker shots on the inside while leaning forward and throwing little more than slow arm punches. And then Pascal would turn around and throw blistering fast hook or uppercut that would connect and snap Hopkins’ head around. There was more than a few huge punches landed by Pascal in every round and he always seemed to be the one landing the better shots in each round. To be sure, Hopkins landed more punches but they weren’t landing as clean as Pascal’s punches. And Hopkins is hallucinating if he thinks he beat Pascal up, because that didn’t happen unless Hopkins has a low bar for what he considers beating up someone.