Despite claims of knocking their opponents out, there were no knockdowns in the long-awaited rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday night (April 3) in Las Vegas. Instead, it ended in a unanimous decision victory for B-Hop, who finally avenged his loss to Jones 17 years ago.
In fact, the fight was more of a calculated battle from two pros. But, there were four stoppages throughout the 12-rounder, thanks to accidental fouls — including a low blow, a head but, rabbit punch, and a near-riot in the ring at the end of the sixth round.
In the sixth, Jones spun out of a clinch in the corner and landed a short punch to the back of Hopkins’ head, which dropped him to his knees and had to take several minutes to recover. Then, when the round finally resumed, Hopkins attacked Jones with a furious flurry and the two men continued to exchange punches as the bell rang. Both corner teams and security officials entered the ring to separate the fighters and restore order.
On two other occasions, Hopkins went down from another rabbit punch and a low blow, while an accidental head butt in the eleventh round opened a gash on Jones’ left eyelid.
Despite thefouls, it was a dominating performance for the 45-year-old Hopkins who won every single round. Jones did, however, frustrate his rival throughout with his effective defense — tying him up countless times — but never mounded enough offense to win a single round. Thus, Hopkins took the win fairly easy.
Could it be a nice way to end his career? His promoter thinks so.
“In my own personal opinion, after 17 years of waiting for that victory he got tonight, it’s a great accomplishment for Bernard and in a way, it’s the icing on the cake to cap off an amazing career,” Richard Schafer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schafer, said int he post-fight press conference. “Who knows? Maybe all of us witnessed history by watching the last fight of one of the greatest fighters in our generation.”
Hopkins has other plans though. He expressed interest in going after a heavyweight title. “I want David Haye,” he said, referring to the British heavyweight, who successfully defended his WBA crown against John Ruiz also on Saturday.
B-Hop improved to 51-5-1, while Jones fell to 54-7.
After Jones’ two latest losses, he himself should consider Saturday’s bout his last stand, even though he still has some of the skillset that made him one of boxing’s greats.
“He’s still got speed,” Hopkins said, following the right. “It was kind of rough. Roy’s a veteran. He was tying me up. I was tying him up. It was a good fight.”
Jones himself was unsure about his immediate future plans. “I’ll go back and talk to my coaches and my dad and if we think I still have it, we’ll keep going, and if not, we’ll call it a day,” he said.