The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Hopkins still on top at 160

By Chris Bushnell

Tonight in Washington D.C., middleweight champion and pound for pound entrant Bernard Hopkins rematched with Robert Allen in another rough contest.  Fight fans remember their first meeting, in which the unheralded Robert Allen wrestled, rabbit punched and laced Hopkins through several ugly rounds before Hopkins was accidentally pushed out of the ring by referee Mills Lane.  An injured Hopkins was unable to continue and Allen was named the WBA’s “interim” champion. 

From the opening bell, Hopkins wasted no time establishing his intent: knockout.   Hopkins’ reputed boxing skills were stored away as he substituted a cocked right hand for his usual jabbing.  When he fired, he hurt Allen, and
the holding began.  But Hopkins would not be dissuaded.

A minute into the second frame, Hopkins cracked with a right hand that sent Allen across the ring on his heels and down for the first knockdown of the night.  Allen beat the count easily, winning the privilege of eating more Hopkins right hands for the rest of the round.  In the third, it got worse for Allen as the slow starting Hopkins was just getting warmed up.  Displaying handspeed that was absent in the first two rounds, Hopkins was now punishing Allen upstairs and down, and finding a deadly rhythm in the process. 

Allen needed to break Hopkins’ surging momentum, and he did so in a most bizarre fashion.  In the fourth, as both men were attempting to break, Hopkins hit Allen low.   While not a particularly hard shot, Allen went down, sprawling himself out on the canvas.  However, he wasn’t holding his tenderized privates, but lying on the canvas, eyes closed, as though he had been knocked out.  It seemed like an acting job, and sure enough, when Allen’s corner yelled out “You can’t win on a low blow”, Allen finally opened his eyes and made it to his feet. The rules give the recipient of a low blow up to 5 minutes to recover, and Allen intended on using every second.  At one point, looking ready to continue, he asked for a stool.  Sitting on the stool, he flexed his shoulders and took a few deep breaths as if he were getting as much rest as he could before heading back out against The Executioner.

Finally, the fourth round continued, and as Hopkins beat Allen back to the ropes, he landed another low blow, although this one looked unintentional. The blow was definitely low, but caught Allen on the front of the hip bone.
Regardless, Allen again sprawled out on the canvas as though Mike Tyson had just hit him in the jaw.  Allen’s acting job this time was not as well performed as his first attempt, and his corner ran into the ring yelling “He
[Hopkins] is disqualified!”.  Fortunately, trainers can’t render such decisions, and referee Rudy Battle told Allen to get up and continue the fight, which he reluctantly did. 

The endless fourth round continued as it had left off, and AGAIN Allen went down.   This time it was from a light right hand tap that Hopkins landed simultaneous with the closing bell.  Allen fell backwards to center ring, and
this time his acting had gone from the poor to the ridiculous.  There he lay, eyes closed, slumped on his side.  It was obvious that Allen did not want to continue the fight (he was being soundly beaten), and Rudy Battle moaned at him “Oh come on man, get up!”  Again realizing that he was not going to win the title via disqualification, Allen miraculously awoke from his coma and literally snapped himself back up to his feet. 

Eventually the fifth began and Allen finally tried to win by fighting.  He attacked Hopkins at the opening bell, landing his best shots of the night before Hopkins again asserted his dominance.  Bernard’s right hand turned
Allen’s legs to jello with a minute to go, and Allen survived by holding onto the champion for dear life. 

It got worse in the sixth, as Hopkins was throwing down the pain on Robert Allen upstairs and down. As Hopkins beat Allen pillar to post, he scored another big knockdown via lead right hand.  The end was near.  Allen was now covering up and trying merely to survive.  He made it out of the sixth, the last complete round he would fight.

In the seventh, Hopkins simply let his hands go on Allen, punishing him to the body with flush left hooks and then coming on top with rights and lefts. Allen was not returning fire and was again wobbled into the ropes when Battle
stepped in to halt the contest.  Hopkins TKO7.

Although he would later protest it as a quick stoppage, Allen (23-3) did not resist the fight’s conclusion when it happened.  He was being thoroughly beat up (not to mention Hopkins had won every round on the official scorecards to that point) and had looked unwilling to fight only a few rounds before.  In a post-fight conversation, Allen gave one of the most boring interviews in all of sports by mumbling answers to Ferdie Pacheco’s wandering questions and looking fairly apathetic to the fact that he lost a world title match. 

Contrast that with the interview of Bernard Hopkins (35-2-1/27), who turned in one of the more freeflowing monologues in recent memory.  Having stormed out of the ring “in protest”, Showtime’s Jim Grey caught up to Hopkins in the arena hallway.   Hopkins seized the microphone and began a long incoherent tirade about the corruption in boxing.....a speech he followed up by shaking Don King’s hand and telling him “I got a lot of respect for you Mr. King.”  Talk about inconsistency.

On the undercard, WBA 140 lb. champion Sharmba Mitchell turned in an aggressive 12 round decision over the durable, if underwhelming, Pedro Saiz. Saiz, who had not won a fight in over three years,  showed a great jab and
durable chin while taking a consistent beating from the younger faster champion. 

Mitchell punished Saiz with quick, and sometimes wild, combinations the entire fight.   Both men are southpaws, and each repeatedly was caught with unexpected left hands throughout the fight, proving that even southpaws have trouble fighting southpaws.   But where Saiz never followed up his best shots, Mitchell always followed up his telling blows with more of the same. 

Saiz was ruled to have been down in the fifth round, but replays showed that he had merely slipped on a ring placard plugging   Sharmba was down himself in the seventh round, although his fall was the result of a fully thrown left hook that landed square in the middle of his cup.  Reeling in pain, Mitchell took a few minutes to recover.  But as the fight resumed, an infuriated Mitchell tore into Saiz with a virtually unanswered 45 second barrage.   Saiz would not fall, however, and Mitchell (44-2/29) was forced to settle for a wide unanimous decision.  Mitchell showed good handspeed, decent power, and excellent conditioning in a fight that he took on two weeks notice.

-Exchange of the night:
Ferdie Pacheco:  “Why were you on the canvas?”
Robert Allen: “He hit me in the balls, man.  Haven’t you ever been hit in the balls?”
Ferdie:  “Oh yeah!  By two wives!”

.....Chris Bushnell

Hopkins Outlasts Allen, Blasts Media
By Francis Walker

On Saturday, February 6, @ The Washington Civic Center in out nation's capital, world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, making the ninth defense of the IBF 160-pound crown, crushed No. 1 contender Robert Allen. However, the biggest story was not Hopkins (35-2-2, 1NC, 27KOs) impressive victory over Allen (23-3, 1NC, 18KOs), but rather Hopkins' temper toward the demons of the sweet science. Afterward, Hopkins accused the media of being Hippocratic and that the promoters of the sport have done him great injustice. Hopkins, fighting professionally for 10 years and nearly four months, vows to start a brigade which he hopes will forever change the business of boxing.

Hopkins may claim he is not an angry man, but I have followed Hopkins career since 1993. Hopkins is an enraged individual, will always have that uniqueness about him and rightfully so. During a career which started in October 1988, compiling a record of 9-1-1, 1NC, 8KOs in world title fights, making various appearances on SHOWTIME, HBO, USA, CBS, and FOX SPORTS the biggest purse Hopkins has earned was $500,000. Hopkins has not lost since 1993, a 12-round decision to Roy Jones, Jr., for the then vacant IBF middleweight championship.

Although never been knocked out, Hopkins, despite having a reputation as the elite of the 160-pound weight class, struggles to fight the best fighters to earn the $750,000 to $1,000,000 purses.

Hopkins has stated, he is 35 years old now. Hopkins stressed he has a beautiful wife, two months pregnant. Hopkins, soon to become a family man, is frustrated at the reality he keeps putting his life on the line inside the
ring earning peanuts.

Hopkins, who earned over $500,000 for the first fight, brought home only $250,000 for his rematch with Allen. For those who know of the business of boxing, $250,000 as oppose to those multimillion dollar contracts athletes
have in other sports, is no money for a world champion.

Hopkins does not want to unify because, he has held on to his championship for five years. Longer than any of the other middleweight champions, without losing it. Since Hopkins, believe it or not, is the forerunner of the 160-pound class. He feels it should make no difference as to whether or not unifies.

Hopkins also spoke of a plan, in which, fighters from all over will join him to help change the sport around. Hopkins would like to see boxing become regulated.

Hopkins also pointed out, each time a fighter steps inside the squared-circle, they enter at their own risk. Fighters are often put in mismatches and because of that, they get hurt. When fighters have no pensions or any health care and life insurance to take care of themselves nor support their families, what would happen if they become seriously hurt? Who will take care of that fighter's family?

Hopkins, therefore, is looking for government intervention and boxing's support to ensure justice by fighters be done.

In any event, Hopkins made a number of bold points, which is why behind his intimidating exterior of expression, Hopkins is a beautiful person. Regardless as to how wonderful he may appear, make no mistakes, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native can and will rise to any occasion. Just like he did against Allen, 29, Atlanta, Georgia.

The first time they fought six months ago, Hopkins and Allen were both involved in a dog fight. Holding and rabbit punching inside the clinches, the bout came to an end in the fourth round when referee Mills Lane (now retired)
shoved Hopkins through the ropes, onto the arena floor. Hopkins, having sprained his left ankle was carried from ringside, as the bout was ruled a no-contest.

Hopkins' and Allen's styles were so similar, their weaknesses were the same also. Neither fighter felt comfortable going backwards. After the first round, when Allen backed the champion with right jabs and headlocks, Hopkins floored the challenger going back with a mean right hand to his chin in round two. As Allen returned to his feet, he continued to grab, hold, and wrestle each time Hopkins was near. Hopkins, the professional thinker that he is, took advantage of the opportunity driving hard punches through Allen's midsection.

As the bout continued, it was clear Allen could not stop Hopkins' straight-right from landing up top.

In the fourth round, Hopkins was docked one point and nearly disqualified by referee Rudy Battle for landing three highly questionable low-blows. Two of them, from my view were unintentionally borderline. The situation was so bad, Allen took five minutes rest during the session.

Allen, whose right jabs were beating Hopkins to the punch, was not nearly as effective as Hopkins straight-right as this stage of the battle. Throwing one punch at a time going back, Allen kept getting caught with the straight-right o his chin.

In the sixth, Allen exploded with a sensational flurry to Hopkins body. Sending the champion in tot he ropes off balance, but the warrior Hopkins has proven to be in the past showed up tonight. Hopkins, not known for his
counter-punching ability, floored Allen into his very own corner on a barrage of punches.

Allen beat the referee's 10-count, the challenger was defenseless as the beating continued. The fight had to be waved off, as Hopkins successfully defended his title once again.

In other News: WBA middleweight champion William Joppy was at ringside, looking stiff and miserable wearing his neck brace. Joppy, who was scheduled to defend his title against No. 1 contender Darren Obah, is sidelined due to a car accident suffered after he had finished training nearly three weeks ago.

Joppy said he was pulling his jeep out of the drive way, when a speeding car came out of now where and smashed his vehicle from the back -- bamm!!! Joppy's tires went out, as he went out in a daze for 15 seconds when his forehead hit the steering wheel. Because the way the van looked, it appeared as though Joppy's career would be terminated. According to Joppy's advisor, the incomprehensible Ollie Dunlap, the champion's superior physique, strength and conditioning is what saved him from major harm.

Joppy fractured a vertebrae in his neck and is required to wear a neck brace so his neck could heal properly. He is therapy at least once a week from 45 to 90 minutes each session. Joppy was a little stiff in both arms for three days afterward, but is all right now.

As far as his return, Joppy can do nothing but simply walk for the next three months. Joppy will start jogging for three weeks after that, before working the speed and heavy bags in May. In the third week in May, Joppy will have light sparring and hopefully return to his regular routine in June. Joppy could return to the ring no earlier than July or August. 

His replacement, WBA super lightweight champion Sharmba Mitchell (44-2, 29KOs) successfully defended his belt for the first time, out-pointing Pedro Saiz (23-5-3, 16KOs).


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