Ok, the update/follow up is a little late in coming but my week has been as chaotic as a day in R. Kelly’s life (Midget..Midget…Midget….Midget). However, the Executioner won in brilliant fashion in a 12 (Scheduled) round unanimous decision. If you want a recap on the fighters take a look here but as a brief reminder I picked Hopkins winning a unanimous decision 115-113. The following is my round by round breakdown–
- Rd. 1, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Pretty normal 1st round feel out. Hopkins looks no different although he is 20 lbs. heavier than his last fight which shows how much of a gym rat/professional this guy is. Tarver looks good physically and not too much different from when he last dismantled Roy Jones Jr. He supposedly had to lose around 30lbs for this fight as he bulked up for a starring role in the upcoming Rocky movie which finished shooting a few months ago.
- Rd. 2, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9
- Rd. 3, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9
- Rd. 4, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–I might be crazy but Hopkins seems to be a bit stronger than Tarver although he is a natural middleweight. His right seems to be popping now with more accuracy and Tarver is letting it slip through and he is not holding his hands up. Tarver is not active at all this round and a little lazy with his glove and foot work.
- Rd. 5, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Tarver is knocked down in the middle of the round with a right hook. Tarver does not seem too fazed getting back up and is up by the 3 count. Hopkins wins a side bet with Tarver based on the fact that Hopkins has not yet been knocked down–$250,000 from Tarver to Hopkins’ Make-A-Wish-Foundation.
- Rd. 6, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Hopkins seems content to just push Tarver around the ring and exhaust him. Hopkins has done enough to win the fight already although he is a notoriously slow fighter (See his 2 losses to Taylor).
- Rd. 7, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Tarvers’ right eye is swollen like crazy and it is bad enough where I can see it ending the fight. Hopkins continues to bully Tarver around the ring like this is his weight division.
- Rd. 8, Hopkins 9, Tarver, 10–Tarver wins this round due to him finally getting in a few counters and combos. Hopkins is too inactive this round to win it. It is truly amazing to watch Hopkins style of boxing as he throws no combos and strictly throws solid but not haymaker style punches with a high percentage of lands. His defense is unshakeable although I thought Tarver’s would be better tonight.
- Rd. 9, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Hopkins becomes aggressive again and easily wins this round. It is worth noting that this is probably the only fight I have ever watched where neither fighter has thrown more than 20 jabs the entire fight! Tarver looks content to lose and is not really heeding his corners advice. Hopkins corner is telling him to “chase history until the end”. They clearly do not want him to lose focus and take too many gambles and he seems to agree.
- Rd. 10, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–Hopkins is now toying with Tarver and clearly trying to show him that this is his ring and Tarver is just a kid in there with a man. Hopkins is even switching to southpaw occasionally for what seems to be for fun only.
- Rd. 11, Hopkins 10, Tarver 9–More of the same but I think Tarver looks a little afraid now of getting knocked out. He seems like he would much rather be with Sly than the Executioner right now.
- Rd 12, Hopkins 10, Tarver–Great crowd tonight in AC and they are showing Hopkins the love for not only tonight but for his career. It is amazing how easily Hopkins won this fight against the self proclaimed “Legend Killer”.
I scored the fight Hopkins 119, Tarver 109. The 3 judges scored the fight Hopkins 118, Tarver 109. I would have never guessed that this would have been this much of a blowout.
Now for Tarver I think he is mulling over retirement and he is basing this on the fact that he a)got his ass kicked by a middleweight and b) he thinks he is going to be a movie star. I do not think he is going to be a movie star and I think he is going to end up fighting again in the next 12 months (Who else is in the light-heavydivision now?) as he is only 37 and he can continue to make serious money ($2-3MM per fight) and maybe even get a Hopkins rematch within 12 months.
My gut feeling now is that Hopkins will have 1 fight left in him for a major payday in the next 6 months. I think he will stay at Light-Heavy (He is far too comfortable at this weight and could have been fighting here for years) and end up fighting Roy Jones Jr. If I am wrong I will be happy as Hopkins should go out on top but, but….I would love to see him dismantle Jones and then ride off into the sunset with a cool 12-15 million in his pockets. In my dream world Hopkins would go back down in weight and fight Joe Calzaghe as this would be two guys a little past their prime (not so much with Calzaghe) but clearly this would be a legendary battle.
This will not happen but at least I can watch two great fighters in their prime tomorrow June 17th on HBO (NOT PAY PER VIEW) with Jermain Taylor vs. Winky Wright. This should be a great fight as Winky is the best defensive fighter today and Jermain has a variety of offensive skills to take down anyone (Including Hopkins twice). This could be the Fight of the Year and with it not on PPV it is a must-see for any casual/new fans to boxing.