Before we even get started, let's get one thing straight from the get go:
If you don't like boxing, get off this page!
If you're here to trash boxing, get off this page!
If you're here only to tell us all how great MMA is, get off this page!
If you're reading this and want to comment on the good, bad and ugly of the sport of boxing, welcome to a blog for BOXING FANS.
Fans who love boxing...UNCONDITIONALLY!
Okay, here we go - and, much like last night's World Light-Heavyweight Championship fight - it may not be pretty.
However, just in case I get caught up in everything that went on last night, and before all the naysayers and haters get ready to dump on the sport regardless of the above warning, please tip your hat and humbly bow your head to the heart and courage put on display by Jorge Linares and Tony DeMarco in the semi main event of the evening.
For whatever bad may have emerged from the main event, Linares and DeMarco more than made up for it in a fight-of-the-year candidate, and an unforgettable fight for those who saw it. Both men are true warriors who make boxing great.
Now for the main event.
Leading up to last night's World Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between reigning champion Bernard Hopkins and former champion Chad Dawson, much of the focus was on Dawson's decision to drop famed trainer Emmanuel Steward two months before the fight. Experts and journalists covering the fight unanimously condemned the decision and many suddenly changed their predictions to a Hopkins win.
Nowhere did I read, or hear anyone say, that the move to re-unite with long-time trainer John Scully was the right one.
In my pre-fight analysis I said that the difference in the fight would be John Scully.
True to his word, Scully had promised a return to the old days of "Bad" Chad.
Truer words were never spoken.
Now I know you're thinking, "How does he know that in less than two rounds of boxing?"
Because throughout the two-month lead-up to the fight, Scully repeatedly told me that they had more than one strategy in place for the wily veteran. Scully emphasized time and time again that they had answers to all of Hopkins' dirty tactics. Scully told me that they would not be bullied by Hopkins and that they would establish a jab which would bother the champion.
Everything Scully told me prior to the fight, his charge executed in the short amount of time the fight lasted.
Okay, now on to the ending of the fight.
While there will be many of you who feel that the fight should have been declared a no-contest, I do not share in that opinion.
In fact, if Hopkins was injured in his fall, he was injured as a result of his own foul. A foul in that he not only attempted to jump onto Dawson's back, but he did it in his usual billy-goat style.
This time however, the opponent didn't show any respect. This time the opponent shrugged him off with complete disregard and disdain, and Hopkins deserved every bit of it.
As usual, Hopkins immediately did what comes naturally to him... complain! Hell, he even complained when Jean Pascal legitimately knocked him down. He complained because Roy Jones hit him. He complains about everything!
This time he ran out of suckers who bought into his snake-oil salesman tactics. Referee Pat Russell wasn't having any of it, and rightfully so. An easy call: no-foul, you lose, plain and simple!
For all his talk of being an old-school fighter and, for those - myself included - who have labelled him a throwback warrior, Hopkins bailed at the first sign of resistance from the younger stronger challenger. For all his talk about his legacy and his place among the greats, Hopkins laid down and never even tried to get up.
As many of you know, Jean Pascal suffered with his shoulder popping out of the socket on three different occasions in his second fight with Adrian Diaconu. There was never question of Jean giving up. For all his trash talk and crazy antics, Jean is a true warrior who would never have quit while lying down on the floor.
I can also tell you this: you can't lean on a separated shoulder while laying down. Look at the pictures and see Hopkins with his full weight on the injured shoulder.
John Scully said it best in his post fight press conference.
"For all the talk about Hopkins being old school," he said. "Georgie Benton was old school, 'Hurricane' Carter was old school, Bennie Briscoe was old school. I've had 49 professional fights, hundreds of amateur fights and literally tens of thousands of rounds of sparring, and I have never rolled on the canvas or fallen down to the floor. This guy is rolling on the floor and complaining to the referee at every chance he gets"
He continued by saying that "had the same thing occurred in a four rounder on a fight card in New York, or Hartford or Atlantic City, everyone would have booed and said 'forget this kid, he doesn't want to fight'."
Last night for all his achievements, Bernard Hopkins didn't want to fight.