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Bernard Hopkins vs Teddy Atlas Was The Best Bout On Friday Night Fights

BY Michael Woods ON May 27, 2011
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591Bernard Hopkins made his way through the ESPN car wash today, appearing on just about ESPN show in existence. He capped the day with an appearance on Friday Night Fights, which beamed a signal from the Reno Events Center in Nevada. It turned out that Hopkins' tangle with Teddy Atlas was more compelling than the talents of the supposed upper tier American heavyweights on display.

The Executioner talked about how he was able to become the oldest man to win a title, and said the key was maintenance, watching what he ate 24-7. (I watch what I eat; I watch it go from the plate, to the fork, to my mouth, to my gut. One day, I will secure 20% of Hopkins' discipline in this area and I will be a slimmer, trimmer winner.) Hopkins said that he wasn't posturing when he and Pascal beefed during press conferences, that he truly took umbrage when Pascal accused him of taking PEDs. Hopkins admitted that he looks for psychological advantages when he signs the contract for a bout. The boxer explained that he took shots at Donovan McNabb because he is still the present, not the past like McNabb. He also said he was a bit nervous while he waited for the decision in Montreal last weekend. He explained his pushups before the round began, saying he decided that he'd get into Pascal's head by showing him that he was fresh.

Hopkins chatted with Teddy Atlas, and busted his chops for saying the week before the bout that it was possible that Pascal would stop Hopkins. Atlas didn't let the chopsbust lay; Atlas said Pascal wasn't busy enough, and telegraphed his shots. he then lauded Hopkins as a pros pro, a master of basics.

"At 46, you're taking advantage of what's there or in some cases, what's not there. I think that's very fair to say. Would you agree with that Bernard?" Atlas said.

"No, I don't Teddy. What I agree with is that I have the ability to make a guy fight my fight. That's a part of strategy," Hopkins answered.

Atlas wouldn't give up. He called Hopkins "terrific" but said Pascal wasn't throwing straight, wasn't using his jab, was only fighting in spots.  Atlas said that guys in this era simply don't measure up, that they don't even master fundamentals.

These two could argue for a month and neither would give ground. This was some compelling TV, for the hardcore fight fan anyway. TSS Universe, you agree with Atlas, or Hopkins, or what? Frankly, sorry for being a Libra, but I agree to a degree with both men. Hopkins is a snake charmer in the ring, and Pascal absolutely cooperated by not working hard enough, not making the 46 year old push his body to the max.

Hopkins said he will fight Chad Dawson in the fall. Hopkins said he looks forward to Dawson having Emanuel Steward in his corner. The vet said he can look mellow but can explode. "I won't understimate him...I know he's going to be better than he was on the undercard," he said. He laughed when it was pointed out he has some grays in his beard, and said he was against dye-ing.

"I am the Archie Moore of this era," he said, and then looked at some video of Moore fighting.

Chris Arreola (age 30; from Riverside, CA; now 32-2 ) got the nod in the main event at the Reno Events Center. Weighing in at 236 pounds, tight and trim for him, Arreola met Kendrick Releford (living in Texas; age 29; now 22-16). This was Arreola's second fight in 13 days; he beat Nagy Aguilera KO3 on May 14. He looked sharp, though Releford is usually in catching mode, so that helps anyone look good. Arreola admitted that he liked the trimmer torso, because it helped him with his head movement. Atlas said he likes Arreola at this weight, maybe a couple pounds more or less.

Releford took a knee, off a left uppercut,  in the sixth. He'd eaten a lot of clean shots, and certainly earned his check. His dad was working his corner, for the record. The ref saw enough in the seventh, after a right uppercut-left hook combo landed on a clearly gassed Releford. The end came at 2:43.

In the TV opener, Maurice Harris (24-14-2 entering), age 35,  took on Tony Thompson (35-2; age 39) in a heavyweight eliminator. The winner would get to fight Eddie Chambers, and the winner of that fight would fight a Klitschko. The lefty Thompson kept Mo at bay with a jab, and then got to work in close early on. He scored a knockdown off a right hook which Mo didn't see in the second. In the third, Mo went down again, off a minor right to the chin. This occurred as Teddy Atlas said, "Does he want to stand up, that is the question?" TT clubbed Mo, who went to the deck from fatigue with 1:15 left. He got up, but had the look of a man who didn't want to be in the ring, so the ref stepped in and halted the affair, a TKO,  at 1:51 of the third. Not sure what is going on in Mo's life but his desire wasn't in the room.

Comment on this article

the Roast says:

Atlas is a blowhard. He can never admit when he is wrong when someone else dares to disagree with his divine boxing knowledge. He picked Pascal to win, possibly by stoppage. Wrong! Give B-Hop his due. Weak American heavyweights. Old Tony Thompson KO's less old Mo Harris for the right to fight mediocre Eddie Chambers for the right to get Knocked out by a K-Bro. A somewhat trim Chris Arreola spars with a guy with 16 losses for I don't know what reason. All hope is gone for the heavyweight division. Love them or hate them, when the K-Bros walk away there is nothing else left.

ali says:

They both made good points....Hopkins said he's a master at making people fight the way he wants them to and that's the truth....Teddy is right when he says alot of the fighters today don't have fundamentals Pascal didn't and Hopkins took advantage of it....But next fight will prove who's right cause Dawson does have fundamentals and is train by a hall of famer.

amayseng says:

the fact is the bernard is a master of making a guy fight his fight,

i mean, didnt pascal beat chad dawson by making chad fight his fight?

he sure did, or else the ever fluid and busy dawson would have easily out pointed

pascal, but he couldnt and didnt.

hopkins beat pascal in back to back fights and knocked him down twice in this last

one.

MUCH respect to bernard, atlas is a good trainer, but he was not respectful about

hopkins accomplishment.

this isnt 1950, if it was, hopkins would be well known around the world not like

today when boxing is not near relevant..

DaveB says:

I still think if you throw enough against Hopkins, you get it done. If a boxer can throw approximately 50 punches a round against Hopkins, he wins. It doesn't matter what Hopkins does. It matters what you do. Hopkins looks lost when someone ramps up the offense. Throw jabs at him even if they miss and keep busy. I'm not sure about Dawson beating him either because Dawson fights in spurts. I always thought Taylor was a B fighter but when he fought Hopkins he fought offensively enough that he was able to get it done. Even thought Taylor was a B talent (IMO) just being offensive was enough to give Winky Wright, Froch, Abraham, Hopkins, and Pavlik all they could handle. Taylor would wilt and just couldn't bring it home in most cases.

mortcola says:

Atlas was once the eccentric philosopher of trainer-commentators; his D'Amato roots were a good thing. Now he's getting punchy....just illogical and somewhat paranoid. His backhand compliment to Hopkins, that B-Hop, although AMAZING, just took advantage of a green fighter, is partly right but mostly wrong, and, distressingly, ignorant of boxing history. Every great fighter who does not simply steamroll his opponents capitalizes on the opponent's flaws. SRR capitalized on Fullmer's crude bull-rushes; Foreman capitalized on Frazier's size and vulnerability to uppercuts; Leonard capitalized on Hearn's wide open rib cage; Holmes capitalized on Cooney's and M. Frazier's greenness.....yada yada yada. Jermaine Taylor capitalized on B-Hop's stale conservatism, before B-Hop found his enthusiasm for fighting again. Every fighter, upon losing, exposes his flaws, or has them pried open, where before those flaws were irrelevant. After all, "green and wild" Pascal shut down supposed P4P contender Dawson. Put B-Hop in context - how was his beat-down of Tarver compromised? Trinidad? How about how he came closer to shutting down the buzzsaw of Calzaghe's rapid-fire physical dominance than anyone else? A look at ALL B-Hop's significant wins supports Bernard's case and reveals Atlas' as a muddy-thinking curmudgeon - B-Hop analyzes, sabotages, and dominates, and loses when he analyzes too much at the expense of letting his hands go. Period. To say that the loser gets revealed is stating the obvious; to say that the loser is "just..." or "nothing but", is often cheap armchair criticism, not boxing wisdom.

admin says:

Dave, I'm with you. Simple advice, really...but c'mon, volume volume volume! Make the old guy work hard! When I saw Pascal running in the second fight I KNEW he was a goner!

I still think if you throw enough against Hopkins, you get it done. If a boxer can throw approximately 50 punches a round against Hopkins, he wins. It doesn't matter what Hopkins does. It matters what you do. Hopkins looks lost when someone ramps up the offense. Throw jabs at him even if they miss and keep busy. I'm not sure about Dawson beating him either because Dawson fights in spurts. I always thought Taylor was a B fighter but when he fought Hopkins he fought offensively enough that he was able to get it done. Even thought Taylor was a B talent (IMO) just being offensive was enough to give Winky Wright, Froch, Abraham, Hopkins, and Pavlik all they could handle. Taylor would wilt and just couldn't bring it home in most cases.

amayseng says:

Atlas was once the eccentric philosopher of trainer-commentators; his D'Amato roots were a good thing. Now he's getting punchy....just illogical and somewhat paranoid. His backhand compliment to Hopkins, that B-Hop, although AMAZING, just took advantage of a green fighter, is partly right but mostly wrong, and, distressingly, ignorant of boxing history. Every great fighter who does not simply steamroll his opponents capitalizes on the opponent's flaws. SRR capitalized on Fullmer's crude bull-rushes; Foreman capitalized on Frazier's size and vulnerability to uppercuts; Leonard capitalized on Hearn's wide open rib cage; Holmes capitalized on Cooney's and M. Frazier's greenness.....yada yada yada. Jermaine Taylor capitalized on B-Hop's stale conservatism, before B-Hop found his enthusiasm for fighting again. Every fighter, upon losing, exposes his flaws, or has them pried open, where before those flaws were irrelevant. After all, "green and wild" Pascal shut down supposed P4P contender Dawson. Put B-Hop in context - how was his beat-down of Tarver compromised? Trinidad? How about how he came closer to shutting down the buzzsaw of Calzaghe's rapid-fire physical dominance than anyone else? A look at ALL B-Hop's significant wins supports Bernard's case and reveals Atlas' as a muddy-thinking curmudgeon - B-Hop analyzes, sabotages, and dominates, and loses when he analyzes too much at the expense of letting his hands go. Period. To say that the loser gets revealed is stating the obvious; to say that the loser is "just..." or "nothing but", is often cheap armchair criticism, not boxing wisdom.


this is a perfect post.

i also thought hopkins beat calzaghe. when i watched it live i thought calzaghe outworked hopkins for a win, however, i have watched it 4 times without the volume on and the hbo crew to yip and roar when joey missed a combination and now i see hopkins won that fight, clean and clear.

in the taylor fight hopkins was waaaay too conservative and didnt let them hands go enough.

although i had him winning one of the two fights.

ali says:

@Mortcola Great post!!!!!....Your boxing I.Q is on point....I remember when Dawson was undefeated and beating soild guys like Adamek, Tarver, and Johnson and people saying Dawson was a bad match up for Hopkins..... But now that Dawson took a lost to Pascal where it was clear as day he wasn't the same fighter we seen in past fights and we all know he was going through somethen at the time of the fight....Now that Hopkins has an impressive win against a much younger fighter in Pascal a guy that beat Dawson he's the favorite in alot of people eyes now wow!!!! Just remember styles make fights and if Dawson fights like he has in the past with a little better work rate I expect him to beat Hopkins by UD when they do square off im going to put $ on that.

the Roast says:

Yep. Mortcola nailed it with that one! Perfect post from one of TSS best. Out of the ballpark by the plummy bastard.

mortcola says:

Awwww shucks. Couldn't of dunnit without you guys.

brownsugar says:

Sweet POST Mortcola...nuff said!

Bernie Campbell says:

Hopkins AKA Big Butt Hole! Bellew would slap his behind around faster than you could say Jackie Robinson!

SouthPaul says:

Both Roast and MOrtcola nailed it. Teddy has become an annoying boxing personality . Living off his far away..barely seen yesteryear accomplishments. A lot more bark than bite...he's a better screamer/verbally abusive than he is a trainer .

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