Calzaghe Recovers From a Rocky Start To Beat Hopkins By Split Decision

Joe CalzagheBy Sean Ocampo: Reigning WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe (45-0-0 32 KOs) recovers from a first round knockdown to salvage a split decision victory over universally recognized Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (48-5-1 32 KOs) in a rough and dirty fight at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The scores were 114-113 for Hopkins, 115-112, 116-111 for Calzaghe.

In the first round, Hopkins dropped Calzaghe with a strong right hand that momentarily stopped the aggressive Welshman. Calzaghe was also cut on the side of his nose during the round. As the fight progressed, Calzaghe shook-up his cobwebs and slowly got into his game by aggressively throwing combinations to Hopkins. The left hand of Calzaghe would normally push the 43 year old Hopkins back and at close range, Calzaghe's volume punching would frustrate Hopkins.

Hopkins' 1-2 combinations and most especially his patented straight right hand wouldn't land as much as it did during the first round. The Hopkins puzzle was slowly figured out by Calzaghe through relentless volume punching thrown on different angles. Hopkins' lead right hand shots would normally land at Calzaghe's arms.

There were no deductions from the fight despite of the roughhousing tactics coming from both fighters. However, Hopkins was a victim of two devastating low blows from Calzaghe, but there were no deductions from the fouls. These tactics were often initiated by Hopkins' clinching and rabbit punches, but Calzaghe would retaliate with own tactics.

With the win, the 35 year old Calzaghe captured the Ring Magazine belt and the title as the universally recognized linear Light Heavyweight Championship of the world. He is now looking for greater and better things after this victory. He is looking forward to a probable fight with another ring legend, Roy Jones Jr. later this year.

As for "The Executioner", he believes that he won the fight clearly. But I guess it is time hang up those gloves and move-on as a business partner of Golden Boy promotions. He has nothing else to prove to the sport of boxing.

Article posted on 20.04.2008

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