Hopkins The Master Pensioner

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[Sports: Boxing]


Last night in Atlantic City's, Boardwalk Hall, in New Jersey, we witnessed a proven fact that the boxing ring is indeed is "A Place For Old Men", if you are  Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins.

He administered a "text book" dismantling of the invincible, undefeated, World Middleweight Champion, Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik by a 12 round-one-sided, unanimous decision. Kelly should thank God that the fight was "a catch-weight" contract fight -170 lbs.- or else he would've been an ex-champ.

Kelly was so totally of out the realm from the first round on, that many commented that it would've been more merciful or humane, if Hopkinshad ko'd Kelly to spare him the 12 round humiliation. Maybe they were right. I gave Hopkinsevery round, even when Kelly "appeared" to be fighting back.

"The Fighter Of The Year"---"The Upset Of The Year"---"The Loser Of The Year"---"The Fight Of The Year"---, was witnessed in one fight, in one Atlantic City ring, because those who "mortgaged" the ranch on the sure thing slam-dunk victory by Pavlik over Hopkins, are probably beating a path to Wall Street for "bail-out" monetary support.

Bernard Hopkins with this victory over Kelly Pavlik proved without a shadow of a doubt, that when he is in the ring, the ring is "No Place For Young Men".

This perhaps clarifies why Hopkins stopped his "trash talk" of his opponent -Pavlik- like with Tito Trinidad, and Winky Wright, and was so "diplomatic" at the press conferences, praising Pavlik as the best fighter around and his "toughest challenge". Hopkins the master psychologist actually had already "defeated" Pavlik with all of his praises, leading the lamb to slaughter. Kelly actually bought into his invincibility over Hopkins until he met his Kryptonite.

As Kelly returned to his corner right after the second round, he looked lost, realizing that he bit off more than he could chew.

I watched every corner after every round, and in Kelly's corner there was desperation and pleas to do things he realized that he could not do against Hopkins.

Yet in Hopkins' corner there was complete tranquility, and a "stick to our battle plan" refrains. I heard Hopkins' corner man telling him just before the last round: "I know you could knock him out but stick to the battle plan and if it comes take it, but stick to the plan".

In the later rounds you could hear Jack Lowe telling Pavlik that, "you got to knock him out, don't let him steal this from you." Desperation, desperation, desperation in a losing cause, as Kelly stumbled back to his desperate corner, round after humiliating round with no way to solve the puzzle.

What's next for the Executioner? Perhaps a re-match with Roy Jones, Jr., one of his yesteryear conquerors, if Jones gets by Joe Calzaghe next month in Madison Square Garden. Roy Jones being an eye witness to Bernard's victory over Pavlik perhaps is saying to himself, "If this old man could it, then I could beat this youngster, Calzaghe".

But, "aye, there is the rub", as William Shakespeare would always say, Calzaghe is "no youngster", he is as old as Roy Jones. So the Executioner will  have to fight the winner of this "Senior Citizen " fight. Speaking of Senior Citizens, should I come out of retirement and try my luck at a young pup?

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