|"This is how it's done, kid"|
In short, Hopkins had called Pascal a "four-round fighter" before the fight. And as the match progressed, it was clear Hopkins was using that as a foundation for his strategy.
Pascal, big and muscular, seemed to go to the "Wanderlai Silva/Melvin Manhoef" school of fighting. Like those fighters, Pascal showed a tendency to flurry with cruel and undisciplined punches for a few solid seconds, hoping for the knockout. But once the flurry was done, he was mostly inactive.
In the 5th round, Hopkins turned the corner and started to pour it on the Creole French Canadian, suddenly hurting Pascal. As the rounds passed, Pascal was hurt and was even knocked down twice. Once could have been questionable. The second was legitimate. But the ref bought the line from Pascal that he slipped on the promotional banner on the ring.
Hopkins had more gas in the tank as they swam into deep water. Pascal would sit in his chair until the exact moment the bell rang. Hopkins took that opportunity to showboat by doing push-ups, and even immediately assaulting Pascal when the bell rang as Pascal rose from the seat. That was, by far, my favorite part of the match.
In the end, Hopkins used a combination of science and toughness to become the oldest major boxing title holder ever, beating Pascal on all the cards, and taking the Canadian's title in his own back yard.
Well done, Hopkins. Well done.
Can I get a USA chant?