Hopkins decisions Jones in belated rematch

By Madra Uladh: After a seventeen year wait, Bernard Hopkins finally got his revenge tonight over Roy Jones junior. But he certainly didn’t add any new members to his fan club. In a bout characterized by bizarre behavior from the executioner, and much booing from the Las Vegas crowd, especially when Hopkins was interviewed post-fight, the judges awarded Bernard the decision by scores of 9-3, 9-3, and 10-2. I had it 7-4 with the first round even, also for Bernard.

Hopkins fought even rougher than usual, throwing low blows when out of the referee’s vision, and leading frequently with his head. He opened two cuts on Jones’ left eye with two separate ‘accidental’ head butts..

But it was his reaction to Jones’ perceived fouls that struck most as bizarre. On the first rabbit punch in the sixth, he went down as though he’d been shot, and stayed down for a long time, prompting referee Tony Weeks to deduct a point from Jones. This point deduction was probably unwarranted as it was the first instance, and it was not a hard shot. A warning would have sufficed, but Weeks, moved by Bernard’s theatrics, levied the penalty.

When Jones rejoined the battle, after almost three minutes of rest, he bull-rushed Jones and fought his most spirited fifteen seconds of the fight. When the bell sounded, he continued until Weeks and security men managed to get him back to his corner. There was no point deduction for his illegal behavior.

Later, Bernard tried the same tactic again, this time a bit more hypocritically. After deliberately rabbit-punching Jones, Hopkins was on the receiving end of a similar retaliatory punch. Again, he went down and seemed to feign another near-death experience. The referee advised that there would be no point deduction as both men had fouled, and advised that if Hopkins couldn’t continue, he would forfeit.

Later, Roy landed a low punch and Bernard made another trip to check out the canvas. It wasmuch less egregious than Bernard’s own earlier low blow, but drew more melodrama from The Executioner. Weeks, by now tiring of Hopkins’ delaying tactics, ruled it accidental.

With Roy trailing in the twelfth, neither man made a serious effort to get the KO.

Jones showed that he can no longer move out of danger and must clinch more frequently. Hopkins showed that he can no longer box more than six rounds of sustained, high-energy boxing without taking a rest. Neither of these revelations should be too surprising, given the ages and of these two fighters.

This fight had little significance to anyone other than the two fighters. Jones probably won a moral victory by going the distance and making the outing much more competitive than most thought would be the case.

Hopkins got to even their series at one apiece, though tonight’s bout was with a greatly reduced Jones and a past prime Bernard.

Jones seemed to indicate that this would be his swan song. Hopkins mentioned the possibility of a bout with Haye.

For the sake of his wife and children, let’s hope he was joking !

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