Don't Call Him Old, Just Call Him A Legend: Hopkins Beats Pascal, Is Oldest Man To Win Title...WOODS

BY Michael Woods ON May 21, 2011

HopkinsPrepares4JonesJr2_Vega8Hopkins said after he felt 36, not 46. He said he's saved his best fights for last, that every fight til the end will be a thriller. (Hogan)

All must hail the cagiest pugilist of this, and maybe any era, after 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins schooled 28-year-old Jean Pascal in the main event at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night. Hopkins was looking to be the oldest man to win a legitimate title, to surpass George Foreman, who was 45 when he won a crown by beating Michael Moorer in 1994, and after a bit of a slow start, he got cooking, rendered Pascal into a sad stew of uncertainty, and passed Foreman in the record books. A timely, sharp jab, and lead rights that rarely missed proved problematic for Pascal, who helped the Philly fighter out by not pressing the action, and forcing the elder man to test his stamina to the max. After 12 rounds of professorial magic on the part of Hopkins, the judges weighed in, and bless them, they didn't screw it up. They scored it 115-113, 116-112, 115-114 for the wiliest of pugilists.

Hopkins won the stat battle, going 131-409, while Pascal, who some will say was criminally weak in the volume department,  was 70-377. He said afterwards he wants to go out "a winner, not punch drunk, not broke." He said yes, he did get hit with clean shots, but that he can take a nasty shot if need be. He called Pascal a "strong bull" who will come back if he doesn't get too disappointed. He said Pascal needs to take some mustard off his shots, and not go overboard in loading up. He said he'd like to fight Lucian Bute in Canada after he fights Chad Dawson. Pascal after called Hopkins a "great legend. We need a part three and the fans want to see a part three." He said Hopkins "has a lot of tricks. It was a close fight, he won the fight." he admitted he's still "green" and that his two bouts with Hopkins will bring him to the next level.

Hopkins is 192 days older than Foreman was on his special night, on the night of May 21, 2011.

Hopkins (51-5-2 entering; age 46; from Philadelphia; ex longtime middleweight champion, ex light heavyweight champion) needed extra time to make weight, and on a third attempt, he was 174 pounds, 14 ounces, on Friday, while the WBC and TSS light heavyweight champion Pascal (28-0-1 entering; age 28; from Haiti, lives in Montreal) weighed the same. Both were 186 pounds unofficially on Saturday night.

Ian John-Lewis was the ref. He made Pascal return to center ring to touch gloves with Hopkins before he'd let the bell ring to start round one. 17,560 people were in attendance at the Bell.

The two men fought in December, and battled to a draw, though Pascal knocked Hopkins down in both the first and third rounds. Hopkins outlanded the younger man, 153-86, helping bolster his case as he told the world he was robbed. Pascal got under Hopkins' skin, not something many men can boast, when during a pre-fight press conference he accused Hopkins of being a "cheater," of using PEDs ("Are you willing to take the test?"), and demanded he take a pre-fight test to insure his cleanliness.

In the first, Hopkins didn't get knocked down. Pascal ran excessively to start. Hopkins caught him with a left as he moved in to attack with a minute left, but Pascal landed a couple more meaningful blows. His trainer asked him to "make him work" after the round.

In the second, both men got fiery early. Chad Dawson, looking to meet the winner, was in the booth. He said he'd fight either man happily. Hopkins tried to make Pascal miss badly, and then counter him.

In the third, Pascal landed some clean shots, as he looked to run less, and throw more. Hopkins then looked to make his mark with 1:40 to go. He lead with his head shortly after he scored with a combo, and a sharp right. Hopkins was properly warmed up now.

In the fourth, a right hurt Hopkins at the end of the round. "They must think they got an ordinary emeffer in there," said trainer Naazim Richardson to Hopkins after.

In the fifth, Pascal started slow but landed a few clean shots after a minute. The ref warned Hopkins for using his head. He then held Pascal with his left in a headlock and whacked him with his right. Hopkins shuffled, stuck out his tongue and clowned at the end of the round. The older man acted as the aggressor in this round. Pascal's trainer Marc Ramsey asked his guy to keep closer to Hopkins after the round. The score could've been 4-1 Pascal or 3-2, Pascal, after five.

In the sixth, Hopkins ran out of his corner and bombed with a right. He told the judges that he wanted it more. The ref warned both men to break clean after two minutes. Hopkins didn't comply. He thumbed Pascal with a jab. He followed Pascal to his corner, then Pascal followed Hopkins to his. This gamesmanship, the Graterford style stuff, had to favor the vet.

In the seventh, Hopkins did a few pushups at the start of the round while Pascal was still on his stool. A right landed clean on Pascal at 1:55. Again, a right lead hit home in the last minute. I had Hopkins up 4-3 after the seventh.

In the eighth, Manny Steward said Hopkins looked better than he has in any fight since he fought Tito Trinidad. Hopkins landed nasty right, after a setup jab, at 1:32. His jab was quick and timely, and his right hand was sharp and accurate. Left hooks by Pascal excited the crowd, but he likely lost the round. I had Hopkins up 5-3, while Harold Lederman saw it 4-4.

In the ninth, Hopkins came out jabbing. A short right had Pascal's gloves touching the canvas, but it wasn't ruled a knockdown, as it looked like maybe he slipped. But on a replay, it looked like a real-deal knockdown. Hopkins may have stolen the round with a lead right late. He did in my eyes; I had it 6-3 Hopkins.

In the 10th, a lead right had Pascal's glove hitting the canvas, but again, no knockdown was called. The fight went over its alotted DVR time during the tenth.

In the 11th, Pascal got the crowd jazzed, as he was more busy than we'd seen.

In the 12th, Pascal landed a couple power shots, and Hopkins answered. But Pascal scored with a right hand, and buzzed Bernard. Hopkins moved, buying time.  He bought enough to go to the cards. Lederman saw it 115-113 for Hopkins.

SPEEDBAG Manny Steward did double duty in Montreal. He worked Chad Dawson's corner in "Bad's" win over Adrian Diaconu, and then the main event with Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman.

--FYI HBO will run Wlad-Haye live, at 4:45 ET on July 2, and then re-run the bout after dark.

Comment on this article

#1 PacFan says:

Brilliant! Clearly, 46 is nothing but a number. Hopkins showed IMO the best performance in his entire career. He mixed it up by pressing and boxing his opponent all night. He took over 3/4 of the rounds to win by landing good shots and the other 1/4 he boxed and picked him apart. Unfortunately this was the first time I've ever seen B-Hop get hurt more than one occasion but it was all due to him wanting to entertain the fans.

#1 PacFan says:

Pascal by far is the worst conditioned fighter I have ever seen. For the first half of the fight he hardly threw any punches and he was already gassed out by the fifth round. When he beat Dawson he didn't look well conditioned but he threw a lot more punches compared to tonight. His corner men were not that good, they didn't have any tactical advice for Pascal just to put the right hand higher. They didn't show any urgency and I expect Pascal to make some changes in his team. Overall I was disappointed by his performance. He should have pressed the action more to steal some rounds and cruised through the end. My main concern is his conditioning, he is a very young fighter and he shouldn't have this problem.

the Roast says:

Lets get this party started! Congratulation to Bernard Hopkins the oldest fighter to ever win a major championship in the history of boxing! B-Hop clearly mind f***ed Pascal in the lead up to this fight. I scored it 116 to 113 for Hopkins. There were two knockdowns that could have been called in Hopkins favor but weren't. No matter. That Ref sucked. Every time Pascal hit behind the head he warned Hopkins. No matter. Hopkins would not be denied. Amazing performance by a 46 year old athlete. From the old school tube socks to all the tricks of the trade, Hopkins wins an inspirational fight for the old guys everywhere.

Real Talk says:

I'm so happy Hopkins pulled it off man .....I can't thank you enough. This fight had me on the edge of seat. Hopkins buzzed Pascal then got buzzed a little after in the early part of the fight. Hopkins is truly a throwback fighter. That thumb to the eye is old school. I remember I was in a little scuffle with this older cat a while back an I got to dropping the right hook on'em. He didn't like what he was seeing an slipped in with the thumb to the eye LOL. I grabbed'em until I got my sight back LOL. Very effective. I glad Hopkins made history an got this win. I feel like he one it for Unc June. I knew when Hop got'em jumping from the feints he had'em and when he got to bouncing, giving'em them angles and jabing and boxing it wasn't nothing Pascal could do. The jab set up so much. The lead right and the good body work paid dividends. One time he timed Pascals rythm and popped him with the jab, another time I thought the jab was coming but he snuck the right in there. Just skills man and heart, when he got hurt late in the fight he started rumbling like a soldier. My Lady set he aint boxing he fighting, I said yup you can tell the difference. She got a lil bit of Larry Merchant in her. In the first round she was like I wish they do something LOL. I had to bring her up to speed and let her know that the first round is the size'em up rd. and master boxers don't really get oiled up til the 4th. Be right back cuz she wants to get on real quick. To be continued. Good article EM. Dueces

the Roast says:

Good point about the feints Real Talk. Larry Merchant was missed in the play by play. Glad your girl could fill in. Go for that happiness my friend. You know as well as I do that life is too short. I'm raising a glass for your Uncle June.

FighterforJC says:

Bhop's win saved certain cities from breaking out in riots, lives getting lost unecessarily and private property getting destroyed.

the Roast says:

Where is the TSS U? Hopkins just made history!!!

the Roast says:

@FighterforJC, in what role do you think God played a role in Hopkins win tonight?

Real Talk says:

That's Real Talk Roast, I see you've been watching Get me the Greek like me LOL!!! Peace n Blessings brother. I'm loving this win for my Uncle Johnny (June) Ruffin. Feared by suckers but respect by men who were respected. Dueces

undisputed34 says:

unfortunately i missed it..but ill definitely be watching it as soon as i get the chance..kudos to bhop..i knew he had it in him..

random question....if it's possible for great fighters from different eras to borrow each others nicknames (the sugars ray,ray and shane), you guys think anybody would be offended if bhop borrowed...dare i say it......The Greatest?...what do you guys think?...anybody?

FighterforJC says:

@FighterforJC, in what role do you think God played a role in Hopkins win tonight?

I don't speculate God's "involvement" in anything other than that which is clearly recorded in Scripture.

Real Talk says:

P.S. Roast thanks for the advice. I know this one is a keeper, she always has me laughing. Like that Anthony Peterson vs. Bam Bam Rios fight, she was making laugh so hard talking about the low blows t o the jewels Rios was taking like he didn't even feel'em. She's like a homie and a Lady all in one. She reminds me of school fights the way she watches'em. She is stupid LOL!!! I'm holding on to this one. Hopkins deserves this man because of all the discipline and mental toughness. One thing he and my Ucle June have in common, when it's all said and done nobody an I mean nobody can say that wasn't a man right there. Dueces

the Roast says:

@F4JC, so you think God is only involved by the book? I myself as a man and an individual have a problem with "God's" selective involvement. I think "God" is whatever the undividual interprites God to be. What do you think?

undisputed34 says:

@ real talk, excuse me for commenting on your conversation with the roast, but that sounds like a wonderful thing you have developing over there..the fact that you can indulge in the same things together and find enjoyment in them is a small thing and yet a tremendous thing simultaneously...the small things are what life are comprised of. many blessings..i also recalled you mentioning something of your uncle passing away? (forgive me if im mistaken) respects to you and him both..

@ the roast...if you don't mind me giving my opinion on your statement to fighterforjc, i think that god's involvement was absolute and yet minimal. i am not sure what your belief system is so forgive me if i offend. i think that God's role was minimal in the sense that it was the will and ability of hopkins that brought him to victory. God's role was absolute if you (and hopkins for that matter) believe that the will and ability, not to mention the very breath in his lungs is a gift from God. if you believe in God, and are familiar with his word, then you are aware of the concept that he is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient and that he has created all things. if that is so, since he created all things and that includes you and i, that would mean that he dwells within us as well and is involved in everything we do. he would not selectively involve himself with us. we could only selectively involve ourselves with him..

kapi says:

because of fighters like Hopkins you can understand why they named it The Sweet science , one of the very few sports where high impact contact and hurt can be inflicted using the mind and not just brute force , brilliant show by Hop - anyone who thinks it was boring can move on , there are more than few cage fighting going on .

FighterforJC says:

@F4JC, so you think God is only involved by the book? I myself as a man and an individual have a problem with "God's" selective involvement. I think "God" is whatever the undividual interprites God to be. What do you think?

No, my point is I can't speak for God unless it is something He has already stated in Scripture. He is absolutely involved in every little detail of our lives. And what you said is exactly the definition of creating a god in your own image. That means you're creating a god with the traits that you find desirable and throwing out traits that doesn't suit you. Scary thing, if you ask me, not only that, it's a completely powerless god that you can't put your faith in.

brownsugar says:

@Roast.....present and accounted hard drive went out on my pc...repairs pending..I hate typing with one finger on my android but this stupendous event merits the effort.****** VIVA HOPKINS LONG LIVE THE CHAMP******* from start to finish, one of the most unique and entertaning bouts I've seen in a long time....from the "face-off" to the modified "I did it my way" tune performed live in the ring, to the push-ups before the start of round 8, Bhop provided total entertainment and drama infront of a packed hostile Canadian crowd(gotta love those passionate Canadian Fans)...Pascal and Bhop closed out the preceedings with a hand shake, mutual respect and positive postfight comments..Awesome...I nearly sheds a tear in my beer....I'm so glad Bhop proved me wrong...but he says he feeds off the naysayer(Bhop I did it for you Buddy). Hope Pascal can learn the TSs someday...Veterans like Bhop cannot be beaten with AMBUSH TACTICS twice in a row it seems. A GREAT matchup with the fight matching the hype...Bring on Dawson who looked solid shaking off the rust against an excellent opponent who refused to go quietly.

brownsugar says:

Lol REALTALK, you said it all man...great comments

brownsugar says:

And by the way God is real, he answers my prayers everyday ...except he won't respond to prayers asking for certain boxers to win....I know...I tried already.

the Roast says:

I'm not a God kind of guy. Faith. Either you got or you don't. I don't. For those of you that do, more power to ya. I do believe in B-Hop. That was some boxing lesson he gave Pascal. Kind of weird that Roy went out face first on the same night Bernard made history. These two will be linked forever.

ali says:

This was the most exciting fight I have ever seen Hopkins in...But after seeing the way Chad Dawson is fighting now I don't think he can beat him...I know Hopkins has said until somebody beats him up he will continue to fight but I think he should hang em now he's done it all and don't want him to go out like my boy Roy Jones Jr....He's talking about fighting until he's about 50 at some point his age will show up in a fight I just hope when it doesn't he's not k.oed badly.

mortcola says:

Nice work, B-Hop! It was a pleasure and privilege to watch. And it was free. This is almost sweet and improbable enough to be Hollywood. Not just crafty like Moore, or powerful like George....B-Hop has increased his work rate, rediscovered his power, and maintained his timing at this old age. Really very cool. However, Pascal's green-ness and tendency to either wing or hold off on punching whenever Bernard messed with his rhythm are major reasons why Bernard was able to dominate. Dawson is a much better technical fighter, with a more consistent punch rate, than Pascal, and will be tougher in many ways. But Dawson is also a rhythm-based fighter, and if Bernard can flummox, bull, and confuse him, there will be openings for Bernard to crack Dawson with straight rights. I make B-Hop the underdog in that fight, due to Dawson's sharpness....but a live underdog.

DaveB says:

The key to victory for Pascal was to throw about 50 punches a round. I think he could of outworked Hopkins but at the same time Hopkins took that option away from him. Pascal waited on Hopkins and in doing so waited himself into a loss. Hopkins does very well against a fighter whose rhythm he can disrupt and against someone he can play head games with. Hopkins also knows every trick in the book good and bad. He can even play the good and bad guy equally well. What was up with Pascal letting Hopkins off the hook the couple of times he had him hurt? It was like he stood there and admired his work when he should have kept the punches coming. The best time for Hopkins to fight Dawson would be right now while Dawson is in transition. That fight should be interesting now that Emmanuel Stewart is in Dawson corner.

Radam G says:

Ali is such ____ fish. One never knows the way that the tides will carry him. What a fun _____! Enough said!

Radam G says:

It's mind over matter, forget da chit chatter! Throw away da jitter jabbin.' It cannot handle da hardcore reality stabbin.' Old school always beat dat New Jack sissy jive. Somebodee oughta give me a high five. B-Hop has been sippin' on The fountain of youth gin, and Genie Naazim's "Swim without gettin' wet" juice. Behind those "Pearly Gates," watching -- I bet -- was da Old "Mongoose." Old B-Hoppy made da New Jack fighting Jean Pascal look quite sloppy. Old B-Hoppy can whup SuperBad Chad, as if he were his poppy. Holla!

ali says:

Ali is such ____ fish. One never knows the way that the tides will carry him. What a fun _____! Enough said!

What did say now that hurt your feeling...

Radam G says:

Hehehehe! Dude is super funny and actually believes that he has some type of power with steam, but it is more like a match's beam. I guess some people are looking for somewhere to vent. In their real-time life, there is apparently such a dent. To ease the pressure of reality, they attack anybody's comment. To them, this pugilistic Universe is God Sent [sic]! And trying to mudhole it, to become their way, is their intent. To have it narrowminded and to control da flow, they are automagically bent. And will change or take one's spit outter content. Holla!

undisputed34 says:

guys, i think pascal can come back from this..this fight aside, i dont think there was anything he could have down with Bhop, but i dont think the problem lay as much with his conditioning as it did with his mental..bhop defeated him before they ever reached the ring...i think that he is carrying too much muscle on his physique and because of that he will be ill equipped to handle anyone who can fight continuously from bell to bell. he should cut out the weights if he is lifting, or at least anything to do with his biceps. if he is not lifting, and can do nothing about the bulk, then he should definitely get a team behind him that can teach him what his strengths with that body type would be and how to force them on his opponents. he really looked like in some spots he didnt know what to do, and was only trying to respond to what bhop was doing. it seems like in the art of boxing these days, fighters dont learn how to think in the ring anymore..

undisputed34 says:

oh yea..i also think if bhop tangles with chad, the result will be similar to bhop/pascal...dawsons problems IMO stem from some mental thing he has going on as well..though i think he has more natural talent than pascal.

amayseng says:

i didnt even enjoy this fight to be honest, I WAS A NERVOUS WRECK the entire time

until the final bell. wow, what a performance by bernard. those two knockdowns should

have been ruled, they both followed a punch. just to watch bernard adjust after round

3 and add in the straight rights , feints and left hooks was just incredible. we as fans

must appreciate this moment as this guy is a true throwback to the era of great, great


what a masterful performance, two consecutive wins over pascal in a row, yest the

first fight was won by bernard as well, just because 3 people got it wrong doesnt

mean 30 million didnt...

i would be pleased with hopkins hanging them up and walking off into the sunset but

he is too competitive for that. i think he beats dawson, just too intelligent for chad

who seems to have no spirit in there and no adjustments, just the same punches

all the time...

and bute, although quick and agile, may be too small for bernards right hand...that

buzzing power will deter you, ask pascal, tarver and pavlik.....

but would be more comptetitive than dawson at this time.

amayseng says:

also, bernards jab was truly set up numerous things and kept pascal from attempting to score..

did you guys notice how bernard would shoot that jab to pascals sternum, then the head, then the sternum, then feint in and send a straight



pascal had no idea what to do.

the Roast says:

@amayseng, good points, this fight was an edge of your seat event. I was going nuts in front of my TV. You still think the other old warrior Glen Johnson is gonna beat Froch and his super hot girlfriend?

amayseng says:

@roast, yes i really do think glen will be overwhelming to froch and beat him. remember froch was out boxed by a shot and past prime taylor until that knockout. froch was also out boxed by a past prime kessler. of course glen is not in his prime but he went to war with a very young, active and strong cloud and came very close to winning that fight. i think froch has limited skills, very limited and he is very slow with poor agility and mobility. i think glen out works him. froch has nothing to keep glen off of him and very outworking and scoring to win the fight.

gotta watch out for these old guys...what is sad is that shane mosley gave up after 3 rounds against pacman. i know pac is a phenom but shanes jab looked sharp and stiff and shane still had the physical tools to make it a better fight than he did. nazim had him fighting the right fight but shane gave up after the knockdown. sad.

teaser says:

wow !!! did you see B hop change gears in 6 ,7 and 8? he was faster ,more mobile ..just awesome ....even time for a few push ups!! he got under pascals skin early and made him loose his cool ....wild energy sapping swings...not good for a boxer who tires in the later rounds...he looks too muscled up ..... B hop played him perfectly....hurt him a few times ....pascals legs didn't look good after the 5th ....the only time B Hop was hurt was right after a clash of heads that seemed to freeze him and that's when Pascal hit him ...too bad the ref didn't call that knock down in the 10th....he let a lot of things go for both fighters...all in all it was a pleasure to watch ....congratulations B hop !!

DeadRinger says:

What makes it so incredible is that Hopkins wasn't even the underdog in this fight. Pascal is a hungry young fighter going up against a 46-year-old and the old guy is the favorite coming in. When has that ever happened? Maybe in Archie Moore's day, but I doubt it was as pronounced as it was last night. Incredible win for an incredible fighter. Compare that to Roy Jones, whose legacy diminished with every return to the ring.

michaelabii says:

B - Hop surely has surpassed Roy Jones Jnr in terms of his place in boxing immortality ! This was a very impressive performance from a 46.5 year old mastercraftsman. Oh and by the way, Nazeem continues to impress me with every fight. This guy knows how to work a corner like the very best of them. Watching B-hop right after the Dawson fight showed me that B-Hop will have a real shot at beating Dawson. Good as he is Dawson fights "Lazy" - and does just enough to win and I think its not by design, thats just his own unique fighting mentality. Thats why he pulls his right hand back real slow after popping an opponent. He also moves straight back with his head upright (an old habit thats hard to drop) and notice when he gets his man in a corner he throws slow tentative jabs before unleashing his combos. The combos are great when he lets them go - its just that those pawing jabs let the opponent know whats coming. I want to se some real fire from this guy. Pascal, green as he is comes off as being the more intense fighter in my opinion. Hopkins is arguably in contention with Manny Pac for greatest fighter of this generation. A real "man" in my opinion.

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