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My take on Pascal vs. Hopkins

By Terry Arthur: The fight between the iron chinned WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins had opinions divided as to who would be victorious. The casual fight fans could be forgiven for thinking that Pascal would outwork and dominate the nearly 46 year old Hopkins, but as knowledgeable fight fans know, Hopkins is a Wiley old fox who can outthink and nullify a younger opponent, as recent victim Kelly Pavlik will testify.

Firstly, I would like to confess that I am not a fan of the Hopkins that holds and tries to spoil a fight. He doesn’t endear himself with the neutral fans with some of his controversial statements, or the fact that he seems to be a sore loser, but the man can box.

Round 1 ; After tentative opening moments Pascal comes swinging and gets caught of balance with a hard right to the head. With Hopkins uncharacteristically pressing the action. both men landing with Pascal backing up, he hits Hopkins with a clubbing right to the back of the head and Hopkins hits the canvas. 10-8 for Pascal.

Round 2 ; Pascal takes the early ascendancy on the back foot, but B-Hop rallies late to make an even round. 10-10

Round 3 ; Pascal has more success countering as Hopkins still presses the action. With 32 seconds remaining he catches Hopkins with a sweet right to the ribs and he is on the floor for the second time. Hopkins is up fast and there is a flurry of missed punches from both fighters at the end of the round. 10-8 Pascal.

Round 4 ; Pascal now pressing the action, but Hopkins starts to dominate the round with superb combination punching. After landing a good body shot Hopkins again gets clubbed to the back of the head and goes down, but it is deemed an illegal blow. Discounting the knockdown for a Hopkins round. 10-9.

Round 5 ; Beautiful body shot for Hopkins early on, but Pascal has some good work in a round where they both find the target regularly without getting the upper hand. 10-10.

Round 6 ; Cat and mouse round with a lackadaisical Pascal looking for a breather. big right for Hopkins midway sees the only significant punch from Pascal coming with only 25 seconds left in the round. Hopkins 10-9

Round 7 ; With Pascal still retreating Hopkins works the body and lands right hands, a good left hook, a lead left hook and a straight right. In a convincing 7th. Hopkins 10-9.

Round 8 ; After a right, left combination form Hopkins he was caught coming in, but he taunts Pascal. Pascal puts together some inside work as he ups the tempo to even the round. 10-10 At this point the fight is 77-76 Pascal.

Round 9 ; Hopkins busy with good combinations. Pascal ups the pace with some landing and a flurry of punches from both men into the final seconds. 10-9 Hopkins.

Round 10 ; A scrappy round with both fighters landing as Pascal stalks Hopkins, comes inside and gets held. some good exchanges through round ten, but too close to call. 10-10.

Round 11 ; Stiff punching from both sides as Hopkins coming forwards landing and getting countered. Good body punches from Hopkins. In the last 30 seconds Hopkins lands, feet get tangled and Pascal goes down. A frantic close to round 11 sees both fighters landing. 10-9 Hopkins.

Final round ; Some brawling up against the ropes with Pascal holding. A barnstorming finish from both fighters letting go with everything right up until the final bell. 10-10 even.

After watching the fight I thought Hopkins had won convincingly, but when I looked back at the scoring that I had done round by round my final scores were 116-115 for Hopkins. When you take into account those knock downs he suffered in the early rounds you realise that the fight was a much closer affair. Having said that I scored some rounds even which could have gone either way, but some rounds were scrappy and for my money neither of them did enough to win them.

Question now is, where does Hopkins go from here. Personally I would love a rematch, but if Pascal has to fight Dawson, he has to fight Dawson. After that fight there should be a rematch, but if Pascal loses Hopkins might prefer to fight Dawson and who would bet against the age defying Bernard Hopkins?

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