Jean Pascal Vs. Bernard Hopkins: Round By Round Recap

Nick TylwalkCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2010

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 03:  Bernard Hopkins enters the ring wearing a hood before his light heavyweight bout against Roy Jones Jr. at the Mandalay Bay Events Center April 3, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hopkins won by unanimous decision.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Quebec City is playing host to the last big boxing match of 2010. The WBC light heavyweight title is on the line and a large crowd is on hand to watch hometown favorite Jean Pascal take on boxing master Bernard Hopkins, attempting to stave off Father Time one more time at age 45.

Steve Albert, Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver are in the house to call the action. They set the scene for a very intriguing matchup between longtime middleweight champion Hopkins and the much younger Pascal, who is facing by far his most accomplished foe.

Jim Gray had a chance to talk to Hopkins earlier in the night, and The Executioner says he feels Pascal will be similar to Robert Allen, attempting to overwhelm him with power punches.

He speaks briefly about chasing down George Foreman for a place in history and his antics with the title belt during the press conference earlier in the week.

Pascal also had his moment with Gray, and the titleholder says he was anxious to fight a legend like Hopkins. He says he was not bothered by B-Hop's mind games, and that even though the fans will be urging him on, he needs to relax and be himself to win.

With a ski mask covering his face, Hopkins hears it from the crowd as he makes his way to the ring. Bernstein mentions that Ronald Reagan was president when he first started compiling his pro record, which now stands at 51-5-1 with 32 KOs.

The ring entrance production values are superb, as pyro goes off behind The Executioner while he makes a throat-slash gesture.

Pascal makes an even more dramatic entrance amidst a chorus of cheers. Born in Haiti and raised in Canada, he is 26-1 with 16 victories by way of knockout.

Classy Jimmy Lennon Jr. introduces both fighters in fine bilingual style, and the fans are ready for a scheduled 12 rounds of boxing for Pascal's WBC light heavyweight belt.


Round One

Here we go. Pascal circles to his left as Hopkins cautiously comes forward. Both men attempt some tentative right hands, then Hopkins scores with a more solid right. Pascal backs away in the face of jabs and a few power shots. Pascal lands a counter left hook while getting rushed.

There's another sneaky left by Pascal, which Hopkins answers to the body. Pascal lands a nice right hand before they clinch. Hopkins comes in, and Pascal catches him with a quick right hand. Hopkins goes down near the ropes and even though he's clearly not hurt, the ref calls it a knockdown.

Tylwalk: 10-8 Pascal


Round Two

Hopkins was complaining that the punch hit him behind the head, but replays made it appear it caught him right behind the ear. Pascal is not overly anxious and is still making Hopkins chase him. Mostly feints and retreats in the first 90 seconds.

Both men flick out jabs. They clinch and the ref warns Pascal about leading with his head. Hopkins comes in and Pascal catches him with counter hooks. Hopkins just misses a big counter right. Pascal leaps in with a left-right before the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal


Round Three

Pascal won't want every round as close as the last one. He strikes first with a left hand upstairs. Pascal partially lands another as he rushes in. Hopkins goes to the body with both hands to set up the overhand right.

Pascal tries body shots and jabs, and Hopkins stands his ground in an exchange. Pascal rushes in again and sends Hopkins down for a second time with a pair of left hooks. Hopkins still doesn't look hurt, but Pascal is on top of him for the final 10 seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-8 Pascal


Round Four

Hopkins has his work cut out for him now. He comes forward and is whacked with a right hook. Pascal misses with a wild left hook and gets caught to the body. Hopkins lands another good left to the body.

Pascal bounces off the ropes as he evades a left. Hopkins lands a left hook to the head. Both men swing away with right hands.

A clubbing left sends Hopkins down again, but this time it's correctly ruled a slip. Pascal tries to let his hands go before the bell but can't land flush.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round Five

The announcers mention that Hopkins was hit in the back of the head several times by Roy Jones, but Pascal hits much harder in 2010. Hopkins makes Pascal wince with more body work. He's been able to find success with both hands downstairs. He comes forward again, but Pascal backs him up with a pair of hooks.

Hopkins goes to the head and body with a combination. Both men score as they trade along the ropes. Pascal landed a pretty solid hook there. He invites Hopkins into the corner ans they exchange again right before the bell. Close round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round Six

The fans try to pump up Pascal in the first minute of this frame. Pascal stalks but gets hit with a right hand to the head. The ref pulls them apart from a tight clinch. Hopkins lands a left hook but ends up missing the following shots.

Pascal hasn't been very busy, though he does connect with a counter left. Hopkins charges forward and tries to free up his right hand.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round Seven

Hopkins is coming forward more than usual but doesn't seem uncomfortable doing it. He's working the body well on a consistent basis. Pascal covers up from some body shots and has to dodge a big right.

Pascal has had to concentrate strictly on defense for this round, and he hasn't been able to answer the body shots. Pascal seems content to try to find one big shot off the counter, but he couldn't find one in that round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round Eight

Pascal is beaten to the punch early on. Press row has it a very close fight in Pascal's favor. Hopkins scores with a left hook and mocks him for a moment. Both men miss wild hooks.

There's a charge with one partially landed hook by Pascal. The champ lands a left and both men swing away. Hopkins pushes the fight to the ropes and forces the ref to intervene. Pascal clubs with the right hand; this round is a toss-up.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Pascal


Round Nine

Hopkins scores with a right hand and a quick combination before he's tied up. Pascal is having trouble keeping his older challenger off of him right now. Hopkins gets another right hand in. They go toe to toe and Hopkins complains about a shot behind the head. Hopkins lands a big right hand that dazes Pascal.

That may have woken him up too, as he comes forward swinging. Hopkins calms things down for a second, but they decide to trade with 20 seconds to go.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round 10

Pascal comes forward and walks into a short left hook. Hopkins lands a body shot while shrugging off an uppercut. Pascal holds on as his challenger presses him. Hopkins lands a right and just misses a left hook.

Pascal lands his own left hook and is quickly tied up. Both men connect along the ropes, causing Hopkins to stick his tongue out. Pascal lands a nice counter while Hopkins comes in. Pascal chases Hopkins into a corner but can't land clean.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round 11

This fight should be up for grabs in the championship rounds. Both fighters try to work at close range. Hopkins goes left-right to the head. Pascal lands a counter right followed by another. Pascal is knocked off balance by a left upstairs and a hook to the body.

Tarver thinks Hopkins may be looking for a knockout. Pascal scores with a left hook on the inside. Pascal goes down during an exchange, and it's correctly ruled a slip. Both men swing to the bell and even a few seconds beyond.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Hopkins


Round 12

The fans cheer before the final frame. Hopkins is right on top of the champ. Pascal tries to let go with uppercuts. The ref is busy as they tie up repeatedly. No one is getting cheated as they attempt to trade along the ropes.

Pascal lands a hook to the head while he gets shoved back. A bunch of missed punches but Pascal is landing some counters. Hopkins flurries and backs off. They trade shots right until the final bell, and we'll go to the scorecards.

Tylwalk: 10-10

Tylwalk: 114-113 Hopkins

The judges score it 114-112 Hopkins, 113-113 and 114-114. The decision is a majority draw. Jean Pascal retains his WBC light heavyweight title.

Nick Tylwalk is the editor and co-founder of Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or the site's feed @boxing_watchers.