You cant say the Executioner didnt tell you the outcome beforehand. Months
before last Saturdays master-class over middleweight champion Kelly
Pavlik, Bernard Hopkins proclaimed that I aint afraid of no Ghost.
Pavlik found that out in spades via a thorough boxing
education, as Hopkins outfought, outfoxed, and shockingly outpunched
his younger foe over 12 dominating rounds.
breaking out the black robe and executioners mask for the ring walk,
stormed out for round one countering and feinting the robotic Pavlik. A
master of distance, Hopkins easily peppered the reigning middleweight
champ with jabs while making a concerted effort to work the body with
with many past Hopkins opponents, Pavlik struggled to find a rhythm
early, but was able to land a decent right to the body. Also, the
Youngstown, Ohio native found some reprieve after Hopkins received an
early warning for holding the head.
two saw Hopkins compound Pavliks confusion with surprising
combinations. After landing a thudding left hook, the Executioner
followed up with a hook to the body and a straight right to the head.
Wary of exchanges against his larger foe, Pavlik sought to establish
the jab but found that weapon compromised by Hopkins own stiff lead
continued his woeful offense into round three, as Hopkins continued
opening up early with combinations rarely seen in his past fights. Secure that Pavlik was too slow and open defensively to counter,
Hopkins blasted him with a lead right hand followed by a jab. Pavlik
continued to plod forward, and Hopkins assaulted him with a double left
hook combo. To finish up another dominating round, the Executioner
clocked Pavlik with a hard left hook before landing another straight
the fifth, Kelly had yet to post a round, and the pro-Pavlik crowd
began to turn against him, marveling at the underdogs performance.
Without pressure debilitating his stamina like the Calzaghe fight,
Hopkins continued his free reign to set the fights pace. Taking a
solid right, Pavlik fired his own right hand only to eat a right-left
combination in return. The inside offered no relief, as Hopkins deftly
controlled Pavlik there and prevented him from landing any significant
the eighth, a frustrated Pavlik lost a point for hitting behind the
head. No stranger to fouls, Hopkins received his own deduction in round
nine for excessive holding, likely to catch a much needed breather.
Still, Hopkins clean punching won him the rounds, particularly his
landing of a half dozen hard right hands, and a wince-inducing left to
desperate, swollen right and bleeding left eye Pavlik finally got on
board in the tenth, establishing a decent offensive round behind a huge
right hand upstairs and consistent work to the body. However, Hopkins
let his discouraged foe know his advantage was only temporary, snapping Pavliks head back with a short right followed by
flurries on the inside to conclude the round.
men went into the trenches in round eleven, content to ignore the
referee and maul each other. The old master was at home here, and spent
most of the round gathering his energy and lulling Pavlik into a trap.
Over the rounds closing half, Hopkins landed his umpteenth right hand,
and subsequently tied up Pavlik to prevent any possible follow-up.
to duplicate his late KO of Felix Trinidad seven years ago, Hopkins
began the twelfth winging homerun right hand shots. Two connected and
badly stunned Pavlik, driving him back. Showing heart, Kelly responded
with a hard right of his own, which only enraged Hopkins who responded
with taunts and combinations.
the bell, both camps spilled into the ring to separate the two, who
continued jawing and throwing shots. Hopkins, once again proving his
critics wrong, stood at first defiant to the crowd. The stance then
became proud as the audience showered approval and respect at one of
the best performances the sport has ever seen from a 43 year old
fighter.Scores for the lopsided Hopkins decision were 119-106, 117-109, and 118-108.
Once the emotions calmed, both men were gracious to each other in the post-fight interviews.
fight will make you or break you. Go back to the gym and learn that
slickness and youll be a bad man, Hopkins stated to Pavlik,
continuing the boxing lesson that had begun in the ring. Dont let
this fight destroy you You need to bend your knees more like your coach
was telling you. Middleweight is your destiny.
just could not get off tonight. I dont know why, a still stunned and
disappointed Pavlik stated. He didnt fight like he was old. He fought
good and gave me a lesson I felt like a sub-novice fighter tonight.
Were all, myself included, going to learn to never underestimate Bernard Hopkins.
the Executioner, hell remain a viable option for the winner of
Jones-Calzaghe next month. And since Hopkins knows styles make
fights, hell likely pass on facing Chad Dawson, whom he wouldnt hold
a speed advantage over and is much more dynamic offensively than the
current middleweight champ. Still, Hopkins many take his chances and
relish the opportunity to take another highly touted, undefeated young
gun to school.
Kelly Pavlik, he can return to the middleweight division and seek to
repair his image by facing mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio
(who scored a split decision win over Enrique Ornelas on the
undercard), or test fate by immediately going after hard-punching
way Pavlik has exciting options, and now realizes at this time he has
no business fighting above 160 pounds. Hopefully as Hopkins advised,
Kelly will use this fight to focus on developing better defense and
The win lifts Bernard Hopkins record to 49-5-1, 32 KOs, while Kelly Pavlik falls to 34-1, 30 KOs.
Zab Judah To Fight on Jones-Calzaghe Undercard, Preps Return to 140
welterweight champion Zab Judah has confirmed that hell be a part of
the Jones-Calzaghe undercard in a catchweight bout (144 pounds).
Judah is currently preparing his body to slim back down to 140 pounds, but did not want to rush the effort.
working on my weight, Judah explained to espn.com. I started at 140
and mentally I know that is where I should be. Im planning to go back
there and dominate. I stay ready. Ill be ready. Im just here to show
my fans I am still dominant and I can put on good fights and give great
At press time, Judahs likely tune-up opponent will be Ernest Too Slick Johnson (18-2-1, 7 KOs).
Judah wins impressively, he would become a lucrative and fan-friendly
option for junior welterweight fighters Ricky Hatton, Paulie
Malignaggi, and Kendall Holt.
Lucian Bute Defends IBF Super-Middleweight Title Against Librado Andrade
Friday (October 24), Showtime will televise an exciting matchup between
undefeated IBF champ Lucian Bute (22-0, 18 KOs) and iron-chinned
brawler Librado Andrade (27-1, 21 KOs).
will be facing his stiffest test to date, and is aware that he may have
to switch tactics if Andrade shakes off his normally concussive punches.
know he is a tough fighter, Bute explains. But Im just as tough as
he is. Ive never lost a fight, let alone been knocked out. Id love to
knock him out, but a victory is a victory. As long as I walk out of
that ring still a champion Im happy.
is more skilled then Andrade, and that should see him through this
bout. But it remains to be seen if the Canadian KO artist will be able
to stand up to Andrades relentless pressure once Andrade walks through
If you have Showtime, dont miss this one.
Throwback Fighter of the Week: Smokin Joe Frazier
Bernard Hopkins is proudly carrying on the Philly fighter mantra, no
one defines that tradition more than former heavyweight champion Joe
Turning pro in 1965 after an Olympic gold medal run, Frazier quickly sliced through the heavyweight ranks.
1966, Frazier began to known on the national scene after rising from
the canvas twice to gut out a tough decision over Oscar Bonavena, and a
vicious TKO of George Chuvalo. The latter featured the bout being
stopped after Fraziers punches dislodged Chuvalos eye socket.
Frazier continued his winning ways and finally gained recognition as the undisputed world champion in 1970 after a 5th round knockout of Jimmy Ellis.
Frazier had not won his title from the former champion, as Muhammad Ali
was stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing to enlist for the
destroying light-heavyweight champion Bob Foster in two rounds, Frazier
met Muhammad Ali in 1971 in the most anticipated bout in boxing
history, The Fight of the Century.
massive combinations and punishment in the early rounds, Frazier
continued pressuring Ali and took over the second half of the bout.
Powered by his bob and weave, low crouch and snapping left hook,
Frazier had Ali out on his feet in the 11th and scored a decisive 15th round knockdown to seal the decision.
fight was not without its price, as Frazier remained hospitalized for
weeks after the fight and never regained his pre-FOTC form.
two pedestrian title defenses in 1972, Frazier was brutally crushed by
George Foreman in 2 rounds, hitting the mat 6 times in the process.
fared better in the long awaited rematch with Ali in 1974, but
ultimately lost a close decision due to Alis controversial tactic of
holding Frazier behind the head to prevent him from landing the left
bounced back with strong rematch KOs of Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis,
but once again fell short when faced with his hated nemesis Muhammad
what is widely considered the greatest heavyweight fight of all time,
Ali barely escaped the 1975 Thrilla in Manila with a 14th
round TKO when Fraziers corner stopped the bout. Ali to this day
claims he would have quit if Frazier came out for another round, and
states it was the closest Ive ever felt to death.
Completely spent as an elite fighter, Frazier was again bludgeoned by George Foreman in their 1976 rematch, losing by 5th round TKO.
After attempting a comeback in 1981 which resulted in draw, Frazier retired for good.
A first ballot Hall of Famer, Frazier made 7 title defenses and is the only man to hold a win over a near prime Muhammad Ali.
Joe Fraziers final record stands at 32-4-1, 27 KOs.