The Hopkins-Jones, Jr. bout last Saturday from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was a sad display: Two old fighters, shadows of themselves, cheap shotting , holding and scrapping through 12 rounds.
Although both fighters often appeared to be shadows of their former selves, the 45-year-old Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) dominated nearly every round of a light heavyweight fight filled with wily veteran tactics and fueled by obvious mutual dislike.
Hopkins punctuated his dominance with a stirring rebound from the 41-year-old Jones’ punch behind his head and the ensuing in-ring fracas late in the sixth round at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Hopkins was hit behind the head twice and below the belt at least once during the bout, leaving him with spots before his eyes in the final rounds.
“It was definitely worth it, and it was sweet revenge,” Hopkins said in the ring before collapsing. “It was really rough in there. He’s a good fighter, and he tried to rough me up. I tried to tough it out, but I was seeing spots from the sixth round on.”
Hopkins also said he would love to fight heavyweight champion David Haye next. After recovering from his collapse, Hopkins shook off doctors who wanted to transport him to the hospital on a stretcher, dressing himself and walking into the ambulance. Jones also was taken for evaluation and possible treatment for a cut near his left eye.
At 45 years old Hopkins is looking to go up a weight class and fight WBA heavyweight champion David Haye. This is insanity. A few years ago I saw Hopkins fight southpaw Joe Calzaghe in Las Vegas, Hopkins lost the fight by decision and deservedly so. Hopkins, ever the strategist, had a winning strategy, he just wasn’t quick and agile enough to execute the strategy vs. a younger, faster Calzaghe.
A decision against a fighter far out of his prime (Roy Jones Jr) who has lost all of his legendary speed should be of no comfort to any of those in Hopkins camp. The loss to an over the hill Hopkins, ones 7th loss in his last 12 bouts, should be equally as discomforting. It’s well past time for both of these greats to hang up the gloves.