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  Articles > Boxing
 Ageless Wonder goes for “Fighter of the Year”

On May 21st of this year Bernard Hopkins went to Montreal and fought WBC light heavyweight champ and Canadian, Jean Pascal. At age 46, Hopkins beat Pascal by unanimous decision, in his own backyard and became the oldest boxer in history to win a world title surpassing the record previously held by George Foreman.

Tonight, Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) will attempt to become the oldest in boxing history to defend his championship belt. He will fight a boxer, in Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs), who is 17 years younger than him at age 29. If he beats him, the Executioner should take home fighter of the year honors in addition to stregthening his unique and strong legacy.

Dawson is regarded as a boxing technician. He has used a combination of precise punching and defense to pick apart opponents in the past. Since 2007, when he won his first and only light heavyweight title, Chad has built up his resume by disposing of a couple of the best light heavyweights of his time. He spent 2008 and 2009 beating Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver 2 times each. All four wins were by unanimous decision. Dawson will use his quickness and a tireless work rate to try and defeat the understandably slower Hopkins. The problem is not with his skills however, its with his heart. After his only career loss, last year against Jean Pacal, Chad admitted struggling for motivation to train for the fight and a lack of focus.

Bernard Hopkins has been one of the most focused professional boxers ever since he left prison back in 1988 after serving almost 5 years for multiple felony convictions. Hopkins lost his 1st professional fight on October 11, 1988. Think about that when you think about these facts. Hopkins became IBF middleweight champ in 1995. On September 29, 2001 at Madison Square Garden, the Executioner scored a TKO victory over Felix Trinidad and became the first undisputed middleweight champ since Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1987. Then, on February 2nd of 2002, he defended his title for the 14th consecutive time with a TKO victory against Carl Daniels. This put him past Carlos Monzon’s previous record of 13, and he did’nt stop until he defended it 20 times. That is focus.

Bernard lost his middleweight title and a rematch, at the age of 40, to Jermain Taylor. Both fights were tight and could have gone either way. He has spent the last 6 years fighting at 175 pounds and has only lost once, to Joe Calzaghe, in a close split decision.

A boxer needs 3 things in order to be successful: focus, fitness and to be fierce. Hopkins brings focus and fitness to the ring, always. In his 3 losses since 2004, a lack of nastiness has cost him close decisions, nothing else. If he can bring the fierceness, he will floor the former champ and age.

PREDICTION:

Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins by unanimous decision in 12 over “Bad” Chad Dawson

 Martinez KO’s Barker

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Friday afternoons weigh-in here at Caesars Hotel was surrounded by fans of Englishman Darren Barker, chanting in support of the challenger. The sounds were similar to those one would hear at a European soccer match. On saturday night here at the Boardwalk Hall Arena, when Argentina’s Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27KO’s) landed a nasty right hook to the head of Barker (23-1, 14KO’s) and scored a KO victory at 1:29 of the 11th round, that all ended. The only noise that could be heard from that point on was at ringside. It was singing from people of middleweight champ Martinez’s homeland, celebrating his win.

Round 1 of this WBC World Middleweight Diamond title fight was a feeling out period for both fighters, with Martinez landing the only significant punches of the round including a staight left which landed cleanly and with good force.

Starting in round 2, Barker began to employ a defensive fight plan that would prove effective through most of the fight. With his hands up and gloves protecting the temple areas of his head, he was able to frustrate Martinez by limiting his punching accuracy. “Dazzling” Darren, as he is known, was also able to land several straight rights of his own during the first 4 rounds. Included in his offense was a hammering straight right in the 4th which broke Sergio’s nose and left the champ bloodied. The fight was even through 4 rounds.

The turning point came in the 5th round when Martinez started to turn up the attack by throwing more multiple punch flurries. Atlthough he had outworked the challenger to this point, now the champ was bringing the punches in bunches and with more frequency. This forced Barker to cover up for most of the next six rounds and absorb increased punishment as the rounds moved along. This would be evident in the scoring as Martinez won most of these rounds.

In the 10th round Barker’s left eye started to swell more as Martinez really went on an offensive power attack. As Darren began to show signs of fatigue, his defensive focus started to suffer. Sergio took advantage of this by firing one power shot after another. By the end of the 10th the champ held a 25-3 glaring edge in power punches for that round alone.

Through 10 rounds, judges Lynn Carter(96-94), Victor Loughlin(97-94) and Alejandro Roche(99-91) all had Martinez ahead. SportsradioNY’s unofficial scorecard at ringside had it 97-93 for Martinez also.

In the 11th round “Maravilla”, as Sergio is known, finished off Barker. The champ hurt Darren with a right hook and then sent him to the canvass with another right hook which struck the challenger on the ear. Barker could not beat referee Eddie Cotton’s 10 count at 1:29 of the round and the fight was over.

Martinez had defended his World Middleweight title and Barker had proven himself a worthy middleweight challenger in his first fight in America.

Sergio Martinez did’nt become a U.S. boxing fixture until 2007, at the age of 32, having fought mainly in Spain and Argentina. He won the Middleweight title at the age of 35 when he dismantled Kelly Pavlik over 12 rounds in this same arena. Over the last 18 months he has defended his title 3 times, all three by KO. Included in the trio of beatings was a rematch against Paul Williams to avenge his previous majority decision loss, back in 2009, which was debatable. His only other loss was 11 years ago to Antonio Margarito, whom we all know is a confirmed cheater. Sergio could seek revenge against Antonio. He could also try for a mega matchup against either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. Time will tell. The only thing for sure is that most middleweight contenders do not want to fight him, including Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The things that Sergio Martinez is doing at the age of 36 are amazing to say the least. Most big name fighters accomplish these feats in their mid 20’s. The all-time great Middleweight from Argentina is Carlos Monzon, who dominated the division from 1970 until 1977. Sergio has done plenty so far but still has work to do in order to measure up to Monzon.

For now, however, he is the #3 pound for pound fighter in the world and the Middleweight champ. Thats a pretty good start for a guy that got going late.

 

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