When George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer in 1995 in Las Vegas to become the oldest boxing champion, he looked 45 and was way behind on the judges cards.
Not so with Bernard Hopkins.
At age 46, "The Executioner" put on the greatest performance of his long and distinguished career in winning a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal to capture the WBC light heavyweight title in Montreal, Pascal’s adopted hometown.
Hopkins outpointed Pascal by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-114 to defeat a champion 18 years his junior, in front of a building-record boxing crowd of 17,560 at the Bell Centre.
It was a rough-and-tumble fight with a lot of clinching, holding and hitting behind the head. Hopkins appeared to score knockdowns in both the ninth and 10th rounds when he hit Pascal with a punch and then Pascal’s glove touched the canvas. Neither, however, was ruled a knockdown by referee Ian John Lewis.
Hopkins seemed to hurt Pascal several times in the fight and never let the former champion build much momentum. Pascal kept his title in December after the two met for the first time in Quebec City when judges scored it a majority draw.
Hopkins, a native of Philadelphia, told HBO after the fight that he plans on boxing at least four more years when he would reach 50. His likely opponent next is Chad Dawson, who defeated Adrian Diaconu by unanimous decision on the undercard.
Dawson, 30-1, suffered his only loss at the hands of Pascal last August.