HBO Sports will air a replay of the May 21 World Championship Boxing telecast: Tonight, Monday, May 23 (11:15 p.m.) on HBO.Tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 24 (11:00 p.m.) on HBO2. (Times are ET/PT)–Fight recap: Sports history was made Saturday night when Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO’s), at 46 years old, defeated 28-year-old former WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO’s), making Hopkins the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a significant world title. Not only did Hopkins take the belts from Pascal in front of 17,560 fans in his hometown of Montreal (an indoor boxing event record in Canada), but he defeated father time once again and solidified his place as one of the greatest athletes ever to compete over the age of 40..
With his unanimous decision victory, Hopkins became boxing’s oldest world champion, breaking George Foreman’s record, which was set 16 and half years ago. Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer for the heavyweight title on November 5, 1994, was 192 days younger than Hopkins when he captured his title.
Hopkins displayed his excellent conditioning and ring fortitude throughout the bout and hammered the point home at the beginning of the seventh round, when while waiting for Pascal to leave his corner, Hopkins dropped to the canvas and started doing push-ups (click HERE to see push-up highlights). According to the scorecards, that round went to Hopkins too. It was a great night of boxing with a spectacular performance by the ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins.
Bernard Hopkins & George Foreman Post-Fight Quotes
“[Beating the record] feels great. I did exactly what I wanted to do, which was break this record. I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I wasn’t going to be denied. You don’t get a chance to do this too often. You are supposed to win titles when you are younger…in your twenties, not when you’re 46.
“I didn’t feel 46 tonight. I felt more like 36.
“I can say I am a great fighter. It was exciting. I think everybody enjoyed themselves.
“I have been accused of being boring, but I saved the best for last. I am going to fight like this [with a more exciting style] as long as I am boxing. I believe I am an entertainer. When you are in your last performances, you give it all you’ve got.
“I want to box as well as I can, and I think there are still great fights to come before I leave this game.
“I give you breathtaking!
“I always fight with my heart, but I had to be careful too. I knew this guy was dangerous. He punched hard, but I knew I had to be strong too. Like I said before, I saved the best for last and gave you a blockbuster performance.
“I am going to keep fighting like this until I leave this game and trust me, when I leave, I will not be punch drunk, beat up or broke.
“Be happy I am still here because one thing we can say is that I am not wasting anybody’s time. I went in there with a guy who that is young enough to be my son.
“I don’t see anyone beating this strong bull from Canada. Coming from a veteran, he shouldn’t load up on his punches. He needs to take advice from this legend and not throw his punches so strongly.
“He is a tough kid and he hit me with some good shots, but I am in tremendous shape.
“I think Canada will welcome me back to fight [Lucian] Bute. I want either Bute or [Chad] Dawson.
“This is in the top two moments of my career, right there alongside beating Felix Trinidad and the relevance of that.
“I showed him a little bit of Hearns, Wolcott and Ray Robinson, but mostly, I showed him me.
“Thanks to Golden Boy for getting this fight together after the first fight. We had to deal with a couple of things that worked out for everybody, especially the fans which is very important.
“I would like to thank everybody in Canada that gave me the respect. I hope it was what everyone wanted.
“He [Pascal] is a quality and respectful champion. He will be one of the ones that will stay around for a long time if uses this education that he experienced tonight.
“I just felt that I had to show that guy [Pascal] that he was fading and I was growing stronger. I wanted him to see me doing something crazy. I am the king of mind games. [On doing push-ups in his corner prior to round seven.]
“If I want to box until I am 50, I will as long as I come out unscathed. I will fight as long as I am hungry.
“If I don’t win, this is over for me. I know there is no tomorrow. If I want to still box, I don’t want to embarrass myself. I understand the stats are against me. I had to put myself in a situation where I had to be near perfect.
“I want to thank everyone for enjoying history.
“I talked to George Foreman on the phone. He said he might come out of retirement to break my record [laughs].
“If you thought tonight was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
George Foreman’s Reaction:
“I was on the edge of my seat every round. It was such an exciting fight. Bernard was the better athlete, the smarter fighter and was in the better condition. Now that a 46 [year-old] has done it, next a 47[year-old], a 48[year-old], a 49[year-old] and a 50 [year-old] will do it, and if somebody does it at 60, then I’ll have to get back in there.
“Look, Hopkins did push-ups. What great conditioning, and he did it in Pascal hometown. Isn’t that something? He was just so much better. I’m happy for Hopkins and I’m happy for mature athletes.
“If my record goes down, you want to see it go down that way. If it was the Olympics, Bernard gets the Gold Medal and breaks the record for the world championship. This was the best I’ve seen Bernard take charge of the fight with a young strong champion like Pascal. Long live the king.”
MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT ADDED TO TNT AT THE DCC
MEMPHIS, TN – An action packed night of boxing just got better as Prize Fight, Greg Cohen Promotions and Global Boxing have just announced that they will add a world class Championship Fight to the already stacked card on June 11 at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, MS. “TNT at the DCC” is headlined by 2X Heavyweight Champion of the World Hasim Rahman 49-7-2 (40 KO’s) vs “Bad” Galen Brown and will now also feature the top rated Polish Middleweight, Patrick “The Machine” Majewski 16-0 (11 KO’s) against perennial contender Marcus Upshaw13-5-1 (6 KO’s) as they square off in pursuit of 2 middleweight titles. Majewski and Upshaw will be competing for the IBF International Championship as well as the NABO Middleweight Championship when they meet in a ten round clash on June 11. The all-action Majewski will put his undefeated record on the line against his toughest opponent to date in the battle tested and upset minded Upshaw.
Tickets for TNT at the DCC are on sale now and can be purchased at the DeSoto Civic Center Box Office, by calling ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by visiting ticketmaster on line at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are priced very affordable beginning at just $25. Doors for the event open at 7:00 PM and the first bout is slated to begin at 7:30 PM. TNT at the DCC will be broadcast via tape delay on Fox’s Sportsouth network throughout the southeastern United States on Comcast and nationally on DirectTV and DISH Network reaching nearly ninety million homes.
Benitez to be Named Honorary Captain of Team Puerto Rico
Team Puerto Rico Boxing is proud to announce that three-time world champion and Puerto Rican boxing great Wilfred Benitez will be named honorary captain of their team at a short ceremony next week.
Benitez was the youngest world champion in boxing history. At 17 years old, he won the World Boxing Association junior welterweight title by beating Antonio “Kid Pambelé” Cervantes by split decision. He remains one of the most decorated and beloved fighters in the history of Puerto Rico and the world.
“The whole concept of Team Puerto Rico was developed around the idea of promoting the best young fighters on the island, and what is better for this group of boxers than to honor one of the greatest Puerto Rican fighters and THE greatest young fighter ever? I grew up watching Benitez and we are all honored to give him this honor,” said Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment.
For his part, Gary Shaw, president of Gary Shaw Productions said, “This position is given to Benitez for his unparalleled skills within the ring and to recognize his life’s work. Benitez is one of the best in history, it is an honor for my fellow promoters, members of Team Puerto Rico and for me that he has accepted this position. I’m sure Team Puerto Rico, through their performances at Boricua Invasion I & II will honor this gentleman of boxing.”
Next Monday, May 30, Benitez, whose health has declined badly since his ring career, will receive a visit from Team Puerto Rico at his home, and will also receive a donation from the team and their four promoters, Shaw, DiBella, Javier Bustillo of Universal Promotions and Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing.
“Being able to help a boxing hero such as Benitez is not only an honor, but a duty for all the glory he provided this island. Next Monday, I will be there to support and shake the hand of this immortal of boxing, “said Javier Bustillo, president of Universal Promotions.
“It’s a great honor for Team Puerto Rico to work with maybe the greatest Puerto Rican boxer of all time,” added Margules. “This is the least we can do.”
Representing his teammates, featherweight super prospect Jose Pedraza says it’s an honor to present this award to Benitez. “Wilfred Benitez is a Puerto Rican boxing hero. I have seen several videos of him and he had unbelievable talent. For Team Puerto Rico, it will be an honor to share time with him, and to have him as captain.”
Team Puerto Rico Boxing was developed by Shaw, DiBella, Bustillo and Margules in order to group the best young talent on the island on one team.
Team Puerto Rico’s Next Appearance:
Back-to-back, on June 10 and 11 (Friday and Saturday before the 2011 National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday) at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, Gary Shaw Productions and DiBella Entertainment will present Boricua Invasion I and II, featuring members of Team Puerto Rico Boxing, the eight-man team of Puerto Rico’s future ring stars.
Friday’s Boricua Invasion I will feature the unstoppable welterweight on everybody’s “one to watch” list, Thomas Dulorme (11-0, 10 KOs) vs. former world champion DeMarcus Corley; Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico’s highlight-reel welterweight KO specialist Kenny “Battlestar” Galarza (14-1, 14 KOs) vs. Puerto Rican compatriot Irving Garcia and the future superstar already fighting in main events after just two bouts, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (2-0, 2 KOs). The main bouts of Boricua Invasion I will be televised on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Saturday’s Boricua Invasion II will feature four more members of Team Puerto Rico: featherweight Luis “Orlandito” Del Valle (12-0, 10 KOs) vs. Dat Nguyen; junior middleweight Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (12-0, 12 KOs); and light welterweight Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez (19-1, 9 KOs) vs. Vincent Arroyo. Also scheduled for action are Team Puerto Rico light welterweight Jorge “Machito” Maysonet Jr. (3-0, 2 KOs); plus a special off-TV appearance by Puerto Rico-born light welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (15-0, 1 KO) of Brooklyn. The main bouts of Boricua Invasion II will be broadcast live on Showtime: The New Generation.
Tickets for Boricua Invasion I on Friday, June 10 are priced at $175, $125, $75, $45 and are available through Ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. On Friday, doors will open at 6:00 pm and the action starts at 6:30.
Tickets for Boricua Invasion II on Saturday, June 11 are priced at $200, $150, $85, and $55 and are available through Ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. On Saturday, doors will open at 7:00 pm and the action starts at 7:30.
For VIP Package tickets to both nights, please call DiBella Entertainment at 212-947-2577.
The Roseland Ballroom is located at 239 West 52nd Street in New York City.
All bouts are subject to change.