Sunday, December 18, 2016

Smith knocks Hopkins Out and Down-Boxing Challenge

Joe Smith ended the career of Bernard Hopkins with a defeat as Smith knocked Hopkins through the ropes and Hopkins could not beat the 20 count (it's 20 when a fighter is knocked out of the ring) in the eighth round of their light heavyweight fight in Los Angeles.

I had Smith ahead five rounds to two before several right hands drove Hopkins through and to the floor,where he was unable to return to the ring.
It was a sad ending to Hopkins career as he offered three excuses all at once as why the fight should not have ended via TKO (Pushed through the ropes not punched,hit his head on the fall and injured his ankle on the fall).
Hopkins has not always been the best loser when things didn't go his way,so I suppose that I should have seen that one coming,but it was still sad to see him go out in that manner.
The surprise to me (and considering boxing judging,I should never be surprised) was that judge Pat Russell had Hopkins ahead in the fight!
Ramon Malpica and I scored no points for the Smith victory.

The undercard saw Olesandr Usyk make his American debut as he retained his WBO cruiserweight title with a ninth round stoppage over Thabiso Mchunu.
The bout saw a slow start,but Usyk soon established a bigger physical presence,scoring a knockdown in the sixth before two knockdowns in the ninth finished off the challenger.
Usyk looks like the next great cruiserweight and I'd love to see a title unification bout with IBF champ Murat Gassiev.
Ramon and I each earned two point for the Usyk knockout.

The other bout saw featherweight Joseph Diaz easily decision Horatio Garcia as all three judges gave Diaz every round.
I scored it 98-92 for Diaz.
Diaz seems like a solid fighter that does nothing spectacular and might come up short at the elite level.
I'd rate him as a underdog against three of the four featherweight champions (Carl Frampton,Gary Russell and Oscar Valdez should he challenge them now.
I added two points for the Diaz decision with Ramon adding just one...

I lead the challenge 152-127 as this is the end of the televised year.
There will be one more card for the challenge as several titles are on the line for New Years Eve from Japan.
New Years Eve is the biggest television night of the year there,so there are some good bouts on that evening...

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