A little Dirty Boxing and Hugging it Out

There are those that say that boxing is a dying breed and that MMA (specifically UFC) is the new face of fight based sports.  Despite this past weekend's too long awaited rematch between Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins lacking in attendees (6,792) and attention, I still have faith in the traditionally cherished sport.  Had this fight taken place 10 years ago, when both men were closer to their prime, it would have been a media spectacular and a sold out venue. 

For those that don't remember, or were crawling in diapers during the time, 17 years ago a bitter rivalry was born when Bernard Hopkins lost to the legendary, (UFC denied) and never modest Roy Jones Jr.  Now hop in your Delorean and zip back to current times, the press conferences leading up to Saturday's fights were filled with trash talking, animosity, hardcore stare-downs and even a basket with Viagra. 

Saturday evening at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, was nothing short of that.  Many are saying that the fight was uneventful, childish and boring.  To some degree it was. By the way these two men talked, I was thinking once that bell rang in round 1 that both would come out ready to brawl. 

Rounds 1-6 looked like two boxers who desperately wished it was MMA, so that they could Tiger Knee each other in the clinch, but couldn't so decided to hug it out.  How Jay Nady maintained his cool consistently breaking up the hug sessions is quite amazing.  I think if I were ref, both men would have received a glove to the back of the head followed by a stern "Knock it off."

But throughout each round, BeHop (Bernard Hopkins) got in those jabs, bobbed and weaved, showed some clever footwork, stayed ahead in points and of course hugged it out with RJJ (Roy Jones Jr.)  One thing that was unexpected was the speed of these men when provoked, I was expecting to see two grandpas adjust the shorts and slow dance their ways to eachother's faces.   
 After taking a shot to the back of the head, BeHop came back with a vengeance and exploded fury on RJJ.  He's far from innocent either, both men gave into some dirty boxing filled with crotch shots, unintentional head shots and fists to the back of the head.  It is said that at the end of the fight, poor BeHop collapsed in the lockerroom from all the shots to the back of the head. 
I think what was most touching is at the end of decision, declaring Bernard Hopkins a winner, both men once again hugged it out but this time in peace.  Like Michael Buffer said, you have stars, superstars and you have legends.  I think both these fighters need to leave on a grand note and maintain some good health for future years. 

On a separate note, who's heading to UFC fan expo in Vegas for May?  I'll see you there :)

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