Bernard Hopkins made history at the Bell Centre in Montreal by becoming the oldest man in boxing history to win a major world championship. Hopkins bested defending light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal by unanimous decision in the rematch of their controversial December 2010 bout. Heading into the night the record for the oldest man to win a boxing title was held by George Foreman for his KO of Michael Moorer.
Hopkins came out to start the fight in his usual form, taking it easy in the early rounds and looking to figure out the rhythm of the fight while the always aggressive Pascal came forward throwing hard shots. In round four it was Pascal that landed a hard punch early that appeared to hurt Hopkins. Unlike their first bout, a fight which saw Bernard knocked down twice, Hopkins was able to stay on his feet and avoid taking too much damage. Starting with round five, the complexion of the fight changed.
Hopkins started to fire his straight right hand and land it with regularity as Pascal appeared to fade. The straight right hand would be Bernard's go-to punch as the fight wore on and Pascal was never able to make the adjustment to avoid that shot. Jean's endurance appeared to be an issue as the fight wore on and he missed more and more with his wild power punches while Bernard's simple attack and skillful (and old-timey) rough house tactics frustrated the younger champion.
The pattern would repeat as the fight wore on into the championship rounds. In the twelfth round, with Pascal seemingly needing a knockout to get his hand raised, the champion came out hard and stunned his older foe with some hard shots. Unfortunately for Jean Pascal, he did not have it in him to continue the assault and Hopkins made it to the final bell still upright.
SB Nation had scored the bout 116-112 for Hopkins and when the official scorecards were read, they seemed to be in agreement. The judges had the bout 115-113, 116-112 and 115-114 all for the new light heavyweight champion of the world, "The Executioner" Bernard Hopkins.
It was a monumental night for boxing, one that showed that there is more to the fight game than power punching and speed. Bernard Hopkins, a man who made his entire career on ring savvy and the ability to control the spacing and pacing of a fight, truly did it his way. A fact that the boxing world will forever remember.