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I thought Jim Lampley made an excellent point at the end of the broadcast when he said that he was “spooked” against picking Hopkins to lose. Hopkins had proved him wrong before and because of that he chose to ignore the “cold, hard logic” that this was a 49-year old man going up against a 31-year old destroyer in his prime.


I felt the same way. There is a part of us that wants to believe that certain athletes are special and that they can somehow always find the magic bullet. This bout reminded me of Sugar Ray Leonard's beat down at the hands of Terry Norris way back in 1991. That fight was as one-sided as it gets but there was still tension in the final round that the Sugar Man could somehow pull one out of the fire.


Lampley and Max Kellerman retained their belief in Hopkins throughout and overreacted to a left hook Hopkins landed in the final round. “Kovalev is wobbled!” Kellerman cried out. The replays, however, showed that the punch landed on Kovalev's neck which forced him off balance.


Max Kellerman compared him to Archie Moore and George Foreman but his fighting style really is nothing like those two. Saoul Mamby was probably a poor man's Bernard Hopkins in that he used his guile and ring savvy to compete well in his 40s.


Post fight discussions revolved around what was next for Hopkins and the name of Adonis Stevenson came more....It is clear that Hopkins cannot handle any kind of volume punching opponent anymore. Stevenson is not Beibut Shumenov or Tavoris Cloud. He is mobile when he wants to be and would be able to win that fight with his southpaw jab in and of itself, let alone his big left cross.


I believe the primary error Hopkins made was in comparing Kovalev to Kelly Pavlik.


Hopkins described Kovalev as “Frankenstein's Monster”, in other words, someone who had his foot planted to the canvas and plodded forward. There was nothing in Pavlik's game that is comparable to Kovalev aside from the fact that they are both tall, Caucasians.


Any footage of Kovalev shows him to be mobile, rangy guy. He uses his legs to get in and out of the pocket. Pavlik just stepped forward. And when the “Krusher” attacks he uses angles (as Hopkins found out all too well) and seems to have uncanny accuracy with his right cross.


There is a belief about Hopkins which asserts that he is only vulnerable to speedsters like Joe Calzaghe and Chad Dawson. This is an erroneous assessment when you like at his bouts against Jermain Taylor. In the first fight, he is clearly fearful of Taylor's right handed power and gives away all of the early rounds. Recalling that fight made me believe that Hopkins was in serious trouble against Kovalev but I'll admit that I didn't bet on it. Like Lampley, I was “spooked” by Hopkins' mystique.


I seriously doubt Hopkins will retire. I'd look for him to take another title fight at age 50 which would be the selling point in and of itself. I'm hard pressed to name a champion in the light heavyweight or cruiser division that he could beat, however.


Kovalev could rule the light heavyweights for a long time. If Andre Ward steps up to light heavyweight that would be a super fight for hard core fight fans. I hope that clamor for that possible match-up starts soon.


Random thoughts on Saturday's other bouts: Sadam Ali has a good technical grasp and received excellent strategy from his trainer. I never thought much of Carlos Abregu. He knocked out a very raw prospect in Dulorme and posed no threat to Timothy Bradley. I would like to see Ali against the likes of Danny Garcia if he steps up to 147. I think he would give Garcia fits and it would be a lively all-East Coast showdown.


Tomasz Adamek, like Hopkins, should start thinking about retirement after losing to the ordinary Artur Szpilka. Felix Sturm and Robert Stieglitz battled to a draw which I haven't watched yet but makes me wonder if we should give Sturm the nickname of “King of the Draws”.







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