I know the phrase gets tossed around by ignorant fans all too often these days, but I’ve gotta’ say it:
Jesus-fuck man, boxing’s in trouble.
As of last night, we now have 2 consecutive pay-per-view events ending via bizarre, and wholly dissatisfying circumstances.
This time, it’s Bernard Hopkins sustaining a shoulder injury via an accidental throw at the hands of Chad Dawson, resulting a questionable TKO that will likely be overturned within the next few weeks.
While Manny Pacquiao will always draw a huge audience, particularly among the Filipino demographic, with so many boxing main events degenerating into disappointing circus-like tomfoolery, it’s hard to say whether his rubber match with Juan Manuel Marquez will be able to generate significant interest with the UFC heavyweight title match being aired on public television during the same time slot.
For a life long boxing fan like me, this is a no-brainer, but for many other typical fans of “combat sports,” it’s hard for me to see people turning down a free event over a pay one, especially given the high-profile nature of the UFC bout.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as the next guy for Pacquiao Marquez III, in fact probably more so; but it’s hard for me to picture Marquez getting his sea legs at Welterweight overnight.
That’s a topic for a different day though.
Getting back to the matter at hand, the B-Hop and Dawson fight lasted around 5 minutes, and from the looks of it, Dawson was likely going to coast to a decision victory.
B-Hop’s one of my favorite fighters, and I’d watch him fight even if he was in a wheelchair, but from the looks of things with Dawson, I didn’t see the same spark that I did in his fights with Jean Pascal.
His feet were flat, there was little spring in his step, and oddly enough; he looked stiff to me.
B-Hop doesn’t get stiff.
The old adage in boxing, is that when it comes to old age, your legs are the first thing to go.
I hate to say it, as we only got to see him for less than 2 rounds last night, neither of which he seemed to lose by more than a slim margin; but I feel like this sadly might be the last time we see B-Hop in the ring.
From what I could tell from the footage, the “bodyslam” that occurred in the 2nd round was the fault of neither man.
B-Hop charged in to clinch, Dawson ducked, and while B-Hop leaned on his back, Dawson stood up, or at most, shrugged; resulting in the old man getting lifted off his feet.
Slipping off of Dawson’s back, B-Hop fell to the canvas and jammed his elbow, sending force up his arm; resulting in what doctors reports are now confirming as a dislocated shoulder.
Given B-Hop’s advanced age, it’s hard to see him recovering from an injury like that in time for another go in the ring to be feasible, hence my concern over the fact that this garbage-ass fight/debacle might be the last time we see The Executioner in action.
For whatever reason, referee Pat Russell declared “no foul” on Hopkins’ spill to the canvas, thereby ruling his inability to continue a TKO for boxing.
Now, I don’t mean to question the merits of a professional referee, but frankly; my understanding of the rules of boxing had me picturing the fight as either a technical draw on the grounds of no “boxing maneuver” being utilized to acquire the victory, or a no contest on account of the bout having ended before 4-5 rounds could be scored on the cards.
That’s just me though.
In any case, the fight looked like it was well on it’s way to becoming the chessmatch it was foreseen as.
No significant punches were landed, but Dawson’s quickness and reach seemed to be the sort that could give B-Hop fits.
Despite everything I said about B-Hop’s legs looking kind of sluggish, the man is very much a late round fighter; so it’s entirely believable that he could’ve pushed Dawson to mentally check out the same way he did against Jean Pascal.
Unfortunately, the boxing Gods were not smiling last night, so we’re left instead with yet another oddity for the hall of disappointments and weird-ass decisions.