[QODLink]
Sport
Hopkins becomes oldest boxing champion
Bernard Hopkins beats 28-year-old Jean Pascal as he claims WBC and IBO light-heavyweight title at the age of 46.
Last Modified: 22 May 2011 10:36
Hopkins, right, eclipsed Foreman's record to win praise from the former heavyweight champ [Reuters]

Forty-six-year-old Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man to win a boxing world title when he defeated Canadian Jean Pascal by unanimous decision to claim the WBC and IBO light-heavyweight belts.

Hopkins eclipsed the achievement of George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to win the heavyweight title in 1994.

"It feels great," Hopkins said in Montreal on Saturday night.

"I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I wasn't going to be denied. You're supposed to win titles in your twenties, not when you're 46."

The bout was a rematch of the duo's controversial majority decision draw in Quebec City last December which Hopkins thought he had done enough to win but only one of the three judges awarded him a win.

On Saturday, however, all three judges awarded the canny, former undisputed world middleweight champion the fight with Hopkins claiming 116-112, 115-114 and 115-113 majorities.
 
That result seemed unlikely when, after a quiet opening round, Pascal, 28, came to life in the second round and landed several hard punches, including a combination against the ropes that had the crowd of 17,560 roaring its approval.

In the third, Hopkins, 52-5-2 (32 KOs), turned the tables, feinting with a left and then landing a booming overhand right hand that buckled Pascal's legs, forcing the younger man to hold on.
 
Pascal, 26-2-1 (16 KOs), returned the favour in the fourth, landing a big right and then following up with a right-left combination that had his opponent looking hurt at the end of the round.
 
Although Pascal was the younger man by 18 years, he appeared to tire surprisingly early in the fight and took advantage of every second of the one-minute rest between rounds to catch his breath on his stool.
 
When he appeared to take especially long to stand up at the beginning of round seven, Hopkins mocked him by doing push-ups in his corner while he waited.

Confused

By that stage, Hopkins had seized control of the contest, with Pascal beginning to look confused.

An overhand right in the eighth round nailed Pascal, as did another right in the ninth.

In the 10th a short right hand spun Pascal around and he staggered forward, touching the canvas with his gloves, but British referee Ian-John Lewis did not call a knockdown, instead ruling the Canadian had slipped.

As the fighters emerged for the twelfth and final round, Pascal in particular appeared exhausted, but he summoned the last of his energy to attack Hopkins with everything he had left, landing two hard rights as the two exchanged furiously at the final bell.
 
But it was not enough and Pascal, who claimed the belts by beating Chad Dawson in August, was left to praise the new champion.
 
"Bernard fought great tonight," he said. "He is a great champion. he has really good defence and a lot of tricks. I am a young fighter and I am green. These two fights will make me better in the future."
 
Hopkins, who made his professional debut in 1988, was delighted with his achievement.

"It was exciting," the American said.

"I've been accused of being boring but I've saved the best for last. I'm going to fight like this until I retire. But I want to fight for as long as I can."

Hopkins also received tribute from Foreman, whose record he broke.
 
"What great conditioning," he said. "And he did it in Pascal's home town. Isn't that something? He was just so much better. I'm happy for Hopkins and I'm happy for mature athletes."

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list