Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hopkins tops Pavlik

Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - If Juan Ponce de Leon were alive today and searching for the "Fountain of Youth," he may want to skip the trip to Florida and pay a visit to Philadelphia's own Bernard Hopkins.

The 43-year-old Hopkins (49-5-1) put on a boxing clinic Saturday night en route to embarrassing the previously undefeated Kelly Pavlik (34-1) in front of a near capacity crowd at Boardwalk Hall.

The bout was fought in the light heavyweight division so Pavlik remains the WBC and WBO middle middleweight king but "The Ghost" may have lost far more than any title.

Hopkins used amazing quickness, a sharp overhand right and his vaunted defensive skills to befuddle Pavlik and pitch a virtual shutout, winning 119-106, 118-108 and 117-109.

Despite hailing from Philadelphia, "The Executioner" was clearly not the most popular fighter in the ring at the outset. Atlantic City has adopted Pavlik and the Youngstown, Ohio native received a thunderous ovation when he arrived in the ring.

Things changed as the night wore on. Hopkins started winning round after round and using Pavlik's left eye as target practice. Sensing they were witnessing history, the partisans turned and started chanting "B-Hop" by the middle of the fight.

By Round 8 it was over. Pavlik, who many had placed in the best pound-for-pound fighter discussion, looked lackadaisical and needed a knockout. Since Hopkins has not hit the canvas since 1994 and is basically boxing's version of Omar Vizquel or Bruce Bowen, that outcome was very unlikely.

Hopkins cruised to the finish line and Pavlik looked stunned and on the verge of tears after the fight. .

In the semifinal Steven Luevano (36-1-1) kept the WBO featherweight title by winning a 12-round snoozer over the previously unbeaten Billy Dib (21-1) of Australia.

In the opening bout of the night, Atlantic City bantamweight Qa'id Muhammad (3-0) stopped Mexico's Samuel Gutierrez (3-4) by TKO at 2:29 of the fourth round.

Welterweight Danny Garcia (8-0) of Philly remained undefeated when he caught journeyman Deon Nash (5-6) of Louisiana with a right-handed uppercut at 2:14 of Round 3.

No surprise here, the technically sound but light hitting Yuri Foreman of Brooklyn (26-0 but just 8 KO's) pitched a shutout against Vinroy Barnett (22-7), 100-90 on all three scorecards, in a junior middleweight match.

The junior featherweight swing biut between Jorge Diaz (6-0) of New Brunswick, NJ and Saul Gutierrez (5-11-2), Samuel's brother was canceled due to lack of time.

Daniel Jacobs (11-0) of Brooklyn blitzed Tyrone Watson of Flint, MI in a super middlewight encounter. “The Golden Child” needed just 2:29 to win by TKO in Round 1.

In a hard-fought WBC middleweight title eliminator, Marco Rubio (43-4-1) of Torreon, Mexico won a 12-round split decision over Enrique Ornelas (28-5) of La Habra, CA, 115-113, 113-115 and 116-112.

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