the13th POLL

Who Wins Canelo vs Golovkin III?


Hopkins Retains
Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Light Heavyweight champion Bernard "the Executioner" Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs) put his Ring Championship belt on the line and squared off against former Junior Middleweight champion Ronald "Winky" Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs).

Although neither fighter ignited the promised fireworks (the event was being billed as "Coming to Fight"), both showcased their highly touted boxing technical skills.

Winky started the bout throwing a wild left hook that Hopkins easily ducked. Bernard stayed on the outside, as Winky moved forward trying to walk down Hopkins. Using fresh legs and quick side-to-side movement, Hopkins evaded Wright, making him miss many early shots. When the action did get in close, Hopkins would tie up Wright. Wright landed a quick one-two combination as Hopkins ducked away. At 1:43 of the round, Hopkins landed a short right hand, catching Winky flush and caused Wright to step backwards. Winky answered with a short left, but Bernard counters with a short heavy right hand.

Wright showed renewed vigor in round two, immediately applying the pressure on Hopkins, landing a short overhand right. Hopkins threw a left/right to the head; both blocked by Winky`s high glove defense, but snuck in a short left to the body. Wright continued to land a few more short rights, a quick left hook and was the aggressor throughout the three minutes. Wright closed the round with a textbook straight right/left combo, which landed flush.

Seven seconds into round three, Wright missed with a right hand, and as Hopkins moved in close, the heads of the fighters clashed opening up a nasty cut over Wrights left eye. Almost simultaneously, Hopkins threw two quick punches, connecting with one. Wright backed up, raised his left glove to the wounded eye, and as Hopkins rushed him, Wright took a knee. Referee Robert Byrd correctly did not rule a knockdown, and stopped the action. Byrd informed the judges the head butt was accidental. As the action resumed, Wright doubled his pressure on Hopkins, going on the attack. Wright missed with three straight power shots, Hopkins easily moving out of harms way. Hopkins feinted, causing Wright to flinch, and then landed a short right hand. As the seconds ticked away in round three, Wright landed a good left, however Hopkins counters with a sharp, winding right hand to the body, which appeared to affect Wright. Hopkins took the third round, landing more power shots, 12 to 7.

Winky started round four shooting two quick jabs, attempting to establish his best offensive weapon, something which he had not yet accomplished, mainly as a result of the odd angles and constant movement of Hopkins. Wright countered Hopkins, landing a solid one-two down the center, and then Hopkins followed with his most used weapon of the night, a short chopping right hand. Hopkins lands another short right, but Wright countered with a solid straight left, the most solid punch in four rounds. The two fighters exchanged solid bodywork as the round ended.

Wright continued leading with the jab in round five, and attempted to work inside, however Hopkins continued to clinch when close. At 2:33 Hopkins landed his best shot, a straight right hand that backed Wright up. Wright went back to the jab, missed, but followed up with a right, and a heavy left. Hopkins responded with a left, which was blocked by Wright, however snuck in that chopping right to the head of Wright. Hopkins threw a three piece and two piece combo, all blocked by Wrights tight defense.

Although Wright appeared tired at the end of the fifth, Hopkins showed signs of slowing down in the sixth. Bernard began the round landing a double left hook to the body and head, but became more inclined to lay on, hold and push on Wright when the action got in close. Both fighters would have moments later in the round, with each landing solid body shots. Close round.

Round seven began with little action, as both fighters appeared more intent on clinching, perhaps conserving energy for the coming championship rounds. After numerous initiated clinches, and hitting after the break, Referee Robert Byrd warned Hopkins the next infraction would cost the champion a point. Hopkins landed a quick short overhand right, and the fighters banged heads again. Hopkins took a step back, and Wright nodded in recognition of the head butt. Although the action was slow for the first ninety seconds, with less than 90 remaining, the action picked up. Hopkins unleashed a right left uppercut combo, and although Wright blocked two of the punches the uppercut split the defense and landed solidly on Wrights chin. Wright responded with a short overhand right of his own. Hopkins answered with a left/right combo, backing Wright up, and landed a second left hook to the head. Wright landed another short right hand and proceeded to move forward after Hopkins, who is content on staying away. While chasing Hopkins, Wright got in too close and Hopkins countered with a right to the body. Wright then shot a lazy jab, which Hopkins easily countered over the top with a stiff right hand. The round ended with good action from both fighters.

Hopkins appeared to gather a second wind in the eighth, moving, offering angels and sneaking in solid punches. Hopkins landed several hard shots throughout the eighth, particularly a right hand/left hook combination and a beautiful upper cut. Winky still is in business, and landed several scoring shots, including several jabs a nice left hook. With the crowd chanting "B-HOP", "B-HOP", the champion looked fresh, and Wright appeared fatigued.

Bernard would continue to impose his will on the younger but weary fighter, landing solid punches throughout the final three rounds. The always-game Wright would not be deterred, continuing to throw and press the action, but it was Hopkins doing most of the scoring. Although Hopkins began the fight clinching when the action was close, the tired Wright now initiated the holding. Both fighters would make sloppy exchanges, tie up, be separated by Byrd, and resort right back to the punch, hold technique. In the twelfth, Winky valiantly attempted to win the round, but it was evident he did not have much gas left in the tank. His punches were wide and contained little power on them. Bernard cemented the last round landing two solid power shots, which resulted with Wright clinching again.

As the bell sounded ending the fight, both fighters raised their hands in victory celebration. The fight was close, and hard fought, but at the end of twelve rounds?some moments sloppy, some ugly, some good?it was evidently apparent who would be declared the winner. Although not a masterful performance in comparison to his fights with Trinidad, Echols, Joppy and De La Hoya, it was still a crafty performance from a 42 year old boxing great, a master craftsman who realized what skills still remained intact, and utilized those skills to the utmost of his ability. The judges agreed, scoring the bout 117-111 (twice) and 116-112 for Bernard Hopkins. scored the fight 116-112 for Hopkins
Article By: Jeff Cox