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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hopkins Wins, Green Upsets Jones


Hopkins Decisions Ornelas

At 44 years old, Bernard Hopkins can still dish out a beating. Tonight, Hopkins won a 12 round unanimous decision against Enrique Ornelas, who had previously been a sparring partner to the living legend not too long ago. The official judges scored the bout 118-110, 120-109 and 119-109. I had it scored 119-109 for Hopkins.

Hopkins started at a slow pace, but finished the fight very strong. In the 1st round, Hopkins showed a skilled defense as he slipped many of Ornelas' shots. The crafty veteran was successful in making Ornelas come to him, so he could land quick, clean shots. At the end of round 2, Ornelas caught Hopkins with a solid left hook, but Hopkins, as he has showed his whole career, can take a solid punch and took it well. Both fighters picked up the pace in the 3rd round when they were exchanging and landing clean punches in close quarters. Hopkins was doing a lot of holding and hitting.

Ornelas was more aggressive in the 4th round, but Hopkins had a strong 5th round. He caught Ornelas with a flush left hook. Then, Hopkins hammered Ornelas with a big right when Ornelas rushed toward him. Hopkins delivered his counter punches quicker as each round passed. Ornelas connected with a right in round 6, but Hopkins beat Ornelas with speedy counter punches for most of the round. Hopkins was very accurate placing his shots in the 7th round, and momentarily hurt Ornelas when he connected with a right to the head. Hopkins started to beat Ornelas to the punch much faster and more precisely than in the previous rounds. Hopkins snapped Ornelas' head back in the 8th round with series of right crosses and right uppercuts.

Ornelas became frustrated because he was having difficulty landing his punches in succession. Hopkins' superior athletic ability was not helping him. In the 11th round, Hopkins nailed Ornelas with a sequence of right hand leads. Ornelas had no answer for them. Hopkins was landing perfect counter punches and fighting very smart in spots. In the 12th round, it seemed as if Hopkins was headed to a unanimous decision victory. You would expect Hopkins to box, right? No, Hopkins started to attack and go for the knockout. He landed a series of body shots and connected with a sharp right uppercut. Ornelas could not match Hopkins' hand speed in the exchanges.

Hopkins stays one step ahead of his opponents. He creates his offensive output by illusions. Hopkins' opponents think they are in a range to counter him or to land their punches, but never really are that close to landing multiple punches in a series. He's out thinking them the whole time as Ornelas found out. Hopkins will sometimes tie his opponent up, hit them in close quarters or throw right hand leads and connect from a surprising distance. He also baits the opposition in by using a lot of head and shoulder feints. Hopkins uses his jab more for a range finder than to hurt opponents. For instance, Hopkins lets Ornelas chase him around the ring. Ornelas starts to move where Hopkins wants him to go without realizing it. Then, Ornelas gets frustrated when he cannot land clean punches. Finally, Hopkins starts to inflict damaging blows.

Hopkins was hoping to acquire a rematch with Roy Jones Jr., but Jones lost earlier today to Danny Green when he was stopped in the 1st round. However, Hopkins was optimistic a fight can still be made when he stated the following: "Roy Jones Jr. lost on his feet, not on his back. A knockout and TKO is totally different. It was a TKO and there were punches thrown. I've seen more of them miss than hit. It was more of a flurry...Let the man at least defend himself, when he's going down or basically quit."

What's next for Bernard Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KO's), who turns 45 years old in January? Hopkins has other options besides a fight with Roy Jones Jr. He could fight undefeated super middleweight Lucian Bute, who is a big draw in Montreal and just defeated Librado Andrade by a 4th round knockout. Also, David Haye was mentioned because Hopkins has set a goal to win a heavyweight title in 2010. Haye captured the WBA belt from Nikolay Valuev in November. After the fight tonight, Hopkins also went onto say, "I am going to be the heavyweight champion of the world in 2010." Tomasz Adamek presents another possible big pay day for Hopkins because he can sell out the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ with his Polish fanbase. With Hopkins hailing from Philadelphia and Adamek now training in Jersey City, NJ, after moving to the states from Poland and recently moving up to the heavyweight division, this fight would be intriguing as well. Finally, there's undefeated light heavyweight Chad Dawson. He presents a big challenge to Hopkins because he is in his prime, possesses great hand speed and is a southpaw.

Garcia KO's Colin

Danny "Swift" Garcia improves his record to (15-0, 10 KO's) with a sensational 2nd round knockout over Mexico's Enrique Colin (23-5-3, 19 KO's). Colin's size appeared to make Garcia a little tentative to throw early in the 1st round. However, in the final seconds of round 1, a left hook-right hand combination by Garcia floored Colin. Colin was able to make it out of the round. In round 2, Garcia stunned Colin with a big right. Colin was hurt and Garcia sensed it. Garcia feinted with his left and fired another huge right hand that dropped Colin again. This time, Colin could not get back to his feet. Garcia, a 21 year old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, defeated a tough veteran and is quickly moving through the ranks in the junior welterweight division.

De Leon Defeats Wilson

In a 4 round featherweight match, 30 year old Guadalupe De Leon (8-9, 4 KO's) defeated previously unbeaten Derrick Wilson (5-1-1, 2 KO's) by a split decision. All 3 judges scored the bout 39-37, two of them in favor of De Leon. Prior to his victory over Wilson, De Leon had lost 7 consecutive fights.

Green Upsets Jones

Once upon a time, Roy Jones Jr. was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Now, he is seriously endangering his health if he continues boxing. It what was supposed to be a tune-up bout before engaging in a potential rematch with Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr. was knocked out in the 1st round by Australia's Danny Green (28-3, 25 KO's). Green nailed Jones with an overhand right that dropped the former 4 division world champ. Jones rose to his feet, but was in a daze. Green pounded a stunned Jones with a barrage of punches until the referee stopped the bout. Green retained his IBO cruiserweight title and has now won his last 7 bouts. The official time of the stoppage was 2:02.

After accumulating an impressive career record of 49-1, 38 KO's, (only loss coming by disqualification to Montell Griffin and was avenged with a 1st round knockout) Roy Jones Jr. is 5-5 in his last 10 bouts, with 3 of the losses coming by knockout. Jones' overall career record now stands at (54-6, 40 KO's). In 2004, Glen Johnson kayoed Jones in the 9th round with an overhand right that looked eerily similar to the punch Green landed. Both punches hit Jones on the top of his head. Jones also lost a one-sided decision to Joe Calzaghe in 2008, but won two consecutive fights prior to facing Green.

Jones' most notable victories have come against Jeff Lacy (TKO 10), Felix Trinidad (W12), Anthony Hanshaw (W12), Antonio Tarver I (MD 12), John Ruiz (W12), Clinton Woods (TKO 6), Eric Harding (TKO 10), Richard Hall (TKO 11), David Telesco (W12), Reggie Johnson (W12), Lou Del Valle (W12), Virgil Hill (KO 4), Montell Griffin (KO 1), Mike McCallum (W12), Eric Lucas (TKO 11), Vinny Pazienza (TKO 6), James Toney (W12) and Bernard Hopkins (W12).

It is very difficult for an athlete to admit when his or her career has come to end. It is even harder for a fighter to walk away from the sport of boxing, especially when you dominated the competition for years. All boxers are full of courage, heart and pride. Some fighters possess and exhibit these traits more than others. It is always much harder for the great ones to call an end to their careers. In his prime, Roy Jones Jr. was magnificent. He possessed blazing hand speed, solid punching power and was so quick, accomplished fighters had a lot of trouble countering him. In the past, a fighter would be lucky to hit Jones with one solid punch or even win a round against him. Jones always fought intelligent fights. At 40 years old, let's hope Jones makes another intelligent decision and chooses to hang up his gloves.

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