Hopkins Had A Great Night, The Same Can't Be Said About The HBO Broadcast Crew…LOTIERZO

What's left to be said about former middleweight and current light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins 52-5-2 (32)? It's been conveyed in this column for years that Hopkins is the most unique in and out of the ring all-time great in boxing history. His lifestyle, his approach to fighting/boxing, his toughness and his understanding of the sport of boxing in the ring and at the negotiating table far exceeds that of any past fighter or champion. And everything that took place in his title winning effort against Jean Pascal in his last bout further endorses that.

This past weekend Hopkins took apart former title-holder Pascal 26-2-1 (16) in a rematch following the draw they fought five months ago. With his unanimous decision victory, Hopkins at age 46 becomes the oldest professional boxer in history to win a world title. And don't let anyone say Pascal was some sort of cupcake or soft touch. Pascal posses faster hands than Hopkins at this stage and he's a bigger puncher, especially with his right hand. If Pascal was taught how to fight and upgraded his corner he'd be really good. And he'll no doubt be better the next time out due to his 24 rounds spent fighting the professor himself.

Hopkins fought a beautiful fight against Pascal, and like in their first fight, after the fifth round and having been down or shocked a few times, school was in session. After being down by a round after the fifth, Hopkins began to press the fight and disrupt Pascal with a punch that is unconventional for him, the right lead. Landing a right lead is like a hard jab and usually disrupts the opponent and forces him to have to reset. Mix in a few counter left-hooks and Pascal's style of attacking in waves and spurts waves virtually solved. As long as the fighter applying the strategy has a big enough chin to absorb the big counter-right that Pascal sometimes landed in return, everything will be alright. And one thing we know about Hopkins is his chin and toughness are equal to any fighter you'll ever see.  Combine that with his boxing aptitude and determination and Hopkins adds another chapter to boxing history and his storied career.

In the next few days and weeks Hopkins will be praised and lauded like he's never been before by others. And that's great and well deserved by Hopkins. However, I've been there and said it all for years and am not a bit surprised by the event or accomplishment.

So I'll pour cold water on the night instead.

The broadcast team of Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward had one of their worst nights. And the three of them had me wanting to mute the volume and watch Hopkins work in peace without sound. However, I enjoy getting annoyed sometimes and left the volume alone. Their bad night started with praising Steward for turning Chad Dawson into Thomas Hearns after spending one training camp working with him.

Before the main event, Dawson fought Adrian Diaconu in a light heavyweight elimination bout. Both Dawson and Diaconu had been defeated by Pascal and were looking forward to fighting the Hopkins-Pascal winner. From the onset of the bout Lampley and Kellerman were praising Dawson for his new found leverage and power. However, by the mid-point of the fight they backed off of saying Dawson was reborn and began saying it'll take Steward more than one fight to bring out Dawson's potential and make him fight with more urgency. Really, I wasn't aware of that, thanks Jim and Max.

Then the main event started and the now team of three (Lampley, Kellerman & Steward) continued insulting our intelligence by trying to tell us that Hopkins changed his style and is now a crowd pleasing attacker in the manner of Matthew Saad Muhammad. Wrong. Hopkins, fully realized that because of Pascal's greater hand speed and power, he couldn't wait on him. In fact waiting on Pascal was too risky for Hopkins and Bernard knew the only way to neutralize Pascal was to disrupt his sporadic attack. Hopkins, by asserting himself and getting off first, re-directed Pascal's wave of sudden punches. And once that happened and Pascal had to think his way through the fight he became desperate, and that's the last thing you want to show Hopkins, because he'll increase the pressure and keep feeding you what you don't want. Once that was the case Hopkins owned Pascal mentally, physically and stylistically. Hopkins saw everything Pascal was throwing or trying to throw. And once he had Pascal looking for the lottery punch the fight was his.

In addition to everything else Hopkins did to unsettle Pascal, thumbing the eyes and kidney punches, remember, he's not going to ruin you just by using the rule book. And the push-ups: Only a superstar has the prerogative to pull a stunt like that. The ref didn't even say anything about it. Imagine a four round fighter trying to pull that nonsense. Hopkins will use any extracurricular device to undo his opponent.

However, the broadcast team of Lampley, Kellerman and Steward were telling the audience that Hopkins at age 46 suddenly realized that boxing fans want exciting fights where fighters take risk, and Hopkins wants to give the fans what they want. How ridiculous is that? Hopkins wants to win and add to his legacy and cash a big check. He could care less if he has to stink the place out or go to war like former light heavyweight hall of famer Matthew Saad Muhammad – as long as he gets what he wants.

Hopkins didn't reinvent himself this past weekend against Jean Pascal. He changed his style and plan of attack because the situation and opponent demanded such. Just a year ago Hopkins was being torched for his rematch with Roy Jones and for it being a terrible fight. The difference is Hopkins couldn't fight Jones the way he did Pascal, because that would've been to Roy's advantage. And you better believe that if, and yes I said if, Hopkins fights Chad Dawson next, the fight will more resemble the type fights we've been seeing from Hopkins over the last decade more so than his last bout with Jean Pascal. And the same applies to a Hopkins-Bute fight. If they meet the fight will be fought at a measured and systematic pace. And no doubt the HBO broadcast team will tell us Hopkins is old and no longer a crowd pleaser.

When Kellerman talked about the “new” Hopkins during the interview, Bernard was quick to jump on the bandwagon. That doesn't mean he actually believes it, but he's smart enough to recognize a good PR pitch when he hears one.

I'll say it now. Hopkins is an old fighter and isn't a crowd pleaser, unless his opponents style dictates that he has to be in order to win. What Bernard has left is intelligence, toughness and conditioning, and with the talent pool being what it is in professional boxing, that's more than enough.

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

Wow! Masterweaver F-Lo is coming down hard on HBO -- Humbuggery Bullspittin' Organization. YUP! AIGHT! Somebody oughta quit callin' me a hater. I haven't put a hex on one single fight journalist. Reality is what it is. But many are blinded by it. As I've been saying for a bit, for some reason -- I don't have a clue why -- HBO's broadcasting teams are giving their stinky-finky-think-we-are-dinky jive on. Holla!

-amayseng :

i agree with the writer what were they talking about bhop is now just exciting.. what he did to trinidad, tarver and pavlik wasnt exciting?? lampley is an idiot, max gets ahead of himself, hence the knockdowns which should have been scored but werent and steward is actually decent.. showtime has the better commentators... much better...

-teaser :

so many times in a good fight these guys are talking about anything but what is going on at the present time ......what this or that fighter did last nite or last year or how bad they looked.....in the mean time the same fighter is mounting a comeback after being staggered or just landed a great hook or combination ....and seems like from their commentary (or lack of it ) nothing just happened....please call the fight guys and save the "stories" for between rounds.

-undisputed34 :

awesome copy..


Maybe the whole Dawson-Steward thing is all about HBO. I like Steward as a commentator and trainer but DAMN! Im gettin sick of Emanuelle Steward being like some sort of savior for every young boxer! You know Steward is gettin paid by HBO and they just tryin to set up some sort of future by thinkin for us. We know and great article for pointing it out. Chad dont need to much help..he just needs some fire in his belly....PEACE

-"B" :

Hey guys hows it going? If it's just me then I guess I am just tripping lol. But tell me if I am wrong or not.....When You read Radam G's comments do you ever think to yourself while in the middle of reading " What the H*** is this dude talking bout " lol. Sometimes I have to make sure it's actually English I am reading and not some form of pig latin. I am not saying you aren't a true boxing enthusiast but please man just calm down and keep it simple. I actually enjoy the comments on this site. You are all over the place bro. Tell the voices in Your head to Speak one at a time lol

-brownsugar :

Hey "B" no boxing site can boast of having a reader as unique as The One and Only Radam G..

-brownsugar :

I can't stress enough how inspiring Bhop's performance was to a "mature" man such as myself. I've even thrown away my rogaine and my last bottle of viagra lol..

-Radam G :

YUP! It is you, B! I suspect that you are the typical dimwitty, mudholed person who is narrowminded, without proper English education or class, and feel that you are entitled to control the flow of persons and actions. This is why you have a need to attack me. [Di alam wala tungkol ako. Mabasa iyan kung marunong ka, pero di pswedi. Is the former English enough for you. This Universe does not require English for i___ B to understand and to be in his mudholed comfort zone.] Beside, this is a boxing Universe. Why don't you quit faking and then shaking and learn boxing slanguage, language and phraseology? This way you would not find the need to hypocrite. If you could, you would go to the Spanish section of this Universe and start attacking. You and I are as different as sh*t and food. [Thanks be da heavens for dat.] My food will be digested and turn into sh*t. You are alway____and have already reached your fill. Now maybe toxins, germs and bacteria will carry you away. Simply pass right by my every post. No one needs your sh*t. I will just set the example and put you on my block. And when my IP tracker track you using another pseudonym, I'll set the other example for you and won't response to your hate-filled, need-to-control clowning and super jive balderdash. Holla!

-Radam G :

I'm reminded of what the late, great trainer/cutman Chuck Bodak did when I was a kid. An alley-talking, express-everything-in-my-way-to-understand reader pseudonym "B"-like fighter was in training camp, feeling entitled and fu*king with everybody. Chuck told the sucka to piped down and dat da sucka doesn't know syet. Anybody, who know CB, also knew that he could get down with psychology and cooking and serving boxers mad meals or maddog ones for the entitled, faking-and-shaking clowns of intolerance and wanting to always be in their comfort zone. CB would tell you a million times that everything is not as it appears, but you can make a fool of an arrogrant person and cause him to believe anything. So what the late, great Chuck Bodak did, was to make his famous meatloaf to teach the sucka a severe lesson. Now all the fighters in camp knew what CB was going to do. Anyway, he put chocolate frosting on the meatloaf. So when the smart-arse B-like dude saw what he believed to be cake on the table, he went right for it. And CB invited him to it, too. Dude ate down the whole iced-up-with-chocolate-frosting meatloat, and believe that it was a cake the whole time of chewing. Everybodee and dey mommas were gettin' their laugh on. But when dude was told about the psychological trick done on him, he still rejected the actuality of the reality. And believed that he had just eating the best cake that he had ever tasted. Dude got kayoed in his next bout. My point for telling the above is to show how an arrogrant nutcase can believe anything and never, ever accept the truth. Chuck Bodak was a GREAT TEACHER. Holla!

-the Roast :

Tell us how you really feel Radam!

-"B" :

Lol . Well first off I never said I didn't like reading your opinions RG. It was more of joke than anything. But as for your letter you just wrote......I think my point was proven . But then again a" dimwitted" person such as myself wouldn't know either way right lol. Hugs all around for the sensitive guys on tss . You guys be blessed as always!!!!!!

-Radam G :

@the Roast, I will feel even more SUPER if the HEAT on the Bulls keep puttin' da BEAT! I'm lookin' and bookin' for the series to end in Chi-Town sa Sabado! Ano ba oras na? Yall musta fo' got! Holla!

-undisputed34 :

wow..i was going to comment on the discussion "B"and radam were having but i think itll be best for me to mind my own business and just say im proud to represent miami, florida. GO Heat!! and Go Glen Johnson!! Warriors boxing!! i remember when i first walked in to train there...i said i wanted to box and they put me in the ring the with no training whatsoever..i sparred this guy who looked like a bodybuilder and was scared to death!! little did i know he had less experience than i did lol...we both fought for our lives and i knocked him out..i thought i was champ of the world even though neither of us had the slightest clue of what we were doing..those were the days... @ B, as far as the run-in with Radam, it seems that there is or was an individual that frequents the site under more than one user id..either attacking individuals indiscriminately or Radam specifically..just so you can get some perspective. or atleast thats my understanding of the situation. @ b-sug...you might want to hold your horses on the viagra..its a wonderful thing my good man lol.. on another note..anyone here live in NY?

-the Roast :

@UD34, We got a couple of prominent New Yorkers on this site. 2007 ROTY donputo69 and 2009 ROTY Fe'Roz. Both former champs have been away from their keyboards for awhile but they will be back. Looks like your Heat may get the best of my Bulls but the Mavs are waiting. Championships don't come easy Ringo. I see Froch by wide UD over old man Glen. I respect the hell out of Glen but his time has passed. He aint no B-Hop. Keep on punchin brozilla.

-Radam G :

@the Roast, da fat lady is clearing her throat and is gettin' ready to sing on your Bulls like a muthaender. And just for the record, I was the 2007 ROTY, da Don was 2008, da one and only Fe'Roz wore the crown for 2009 and da smooth, witty B-Sug had all da game in 2010. The guy for 2011 is still up for grabs and a touch of heaven. Holla!

-the Roast :

Thanks for clearing up the TSS history RG. Fat lady wont be singing tonight!

-the Roast :


-Radam G :

Well, WOW! Da fat lady almost didn't sing, but the Bulls got soft and the HEAT got intense. So fat lady had to quit the pretense and howled like a raving animal in the wild. The Heat treated the Bulls like a lost child. But there is always next year. And everybodee and dey momma can get their heads clear. But for the time being, the Heat is the best. And that is quite clear. They are going to beat down the Mardicks [Word intentionally misspelled for effect.] in the West. Holla!