Unstoppable: Bernard Hopkins Dominates Kelly Pavlik

Paul F. VillarrealCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2008

Boxing legend wins lopsided unanimous decision over fighter 17 years his junior

Bernard Hopkins thoroughly outclassed Kelly Pavlik in all facets of their matchup on Saturday night in Atlantic City. The pride of Philadelphia demonstrated superior speed, power, movement, defense, combination punching and ring generalship.

This performance by Hopkins—all 43 years of him—was one of the most inspiring, truly remarkable feats you will ever witness in any field of sport. A visibly emotional Hopkins clearly understood the magnitude of what he had accomplished, and he justifiably relished in his masterful outing at the end of the bout.

At best, Pavlik won three of the scheduled twelve rounds. A more accurate figure would be one round, and that is only because Hopkins took the stanza off to rest.

Pavlik was befuddled, could not get off, suffered a nasty gash over his left eye later on in the fight and was so completely routed that he chose not to speak with a reporter from the network I saw the bout on after the contest.

Hopkins said in his own post-fight interview that it was his finest performance ever, and I have to agree. The Executioner repetitively hurt Pavlik and received nary a scratch himself after thirty-six minutes of combat with the hard-punching, previously-unbeaten middleweight champion.

Pavlik falls to 34-1 with the defeat. Hopkins' record improves to 49-5-1. The bout was fought at a catchweight of 170 pounds, and Pavlik's titles were not on the line. Neither fighter was knocked down during the match. Each man received a one-point deduction from the referee (Pavlik for hitting behind the head, Hopkins for excessive holding).

The official scores for the fight were 119-106, 118-108 and 117-109. For the boxing layperson, this means that the judges gave Pavlik one, two and three of the twelve rounds, respectively.

I thought Hopkins could win this bout, but only by stoppage if Pavlik got careless. I could not have been more wrong. Bernard Hopkins dominated Pavlik, and was as carefree and relaxed between the ropes as he has been since at least his TKO victory over Felix Trinidad in 2001.