After 17 years, Hopkins avenges loss to Jones

When they asked Hopkins and Jones to pose face to face they never dreamt they’d go this far. AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

Bernard “the Executioner” Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) finally avenged his May 22, 1993 loss to longtime rival Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 40 KOs) by winning a unanimous decision, Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Though Hopkins is now 45 years of age and been boxing since 1988, he dominated nearly every round on the judges’ scorecards (117-110, 117-110 & 118-109) over the more lethargic Jones who is four years younger and been boxing since 1989.

From the outset it appeared Jones was only there for the paycheck. The crowd who came to see the legends throw hands, must have been sadly disappointed after the first five rounds. At least Hopkins was trying to do his part by being on the attack and scoring with his left hooks and body shots. The only time Jones got excited was when he was being nasty or fouling Hopkins with either a low blow or an occasional rabbit punch. After a while both fighters were giving a clinic on how to cheat.

With Jones behind on the scorecards heading into the sixth round, he pulled a fast one on Hopkins by hitting him solidly on the back of the head. Hopkins dropped to all fours as the referee had to call for the doctor. After giving Hopkins time to recover, the fight resumed with Hopkins running at Jones with just seconds left in the round. The two engaged in a heated exchange that finally had the fans excited. The bell to signal the end of the round went unheeded as the boxers continued to slug it out until the referee had to pull them apart.

Soon both corners were spilling into the ring and security was called to stop the melee.

The 7th round was similar to the first five rounds as Jones and Hopkins engaged in numerous clinches and neither landed anything of note. Another fracas almost started in the eighth round when Jones stuck his tongue out at Hopkins, which prompted Hopkins to sneak a punch to the back of Jones’ head. Upset, Jones returned the favor and again, Mr. Hopkins went to the canvas.

After Hopkins went down again in the 11th from a poke below the belt, the fans started wondering if he wasn’t playacting. Jones then innocently turned to the crowd and shrugged his shoulders.

In the end, Hopkins won the fight but may have taken more of the punishment. He later collapsed  in his dressing room and had to be taken to a Las Vegas hospital. Jones went to the same facility to get the cut over his left eye stitched up.

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