I’ll have more to say later, but for now, I say this: I have never had as much respect for Bernard Hopkins as I did tonight. I have never been so entertained to see a fighter I love — Kelly Pavlik — beaten so soundly by a fighter I dislike. This was an historic win for Hopkins. In any scenario I envisioned for tonight, “Hopkins by complete domination” was very, very low on the list. Truly, deeply amazing.
At the end, Hopkins gave consoling words to Pavlik, encouraging him to go back down to middleweight (160 lbs.) and take control, indicative of the respect Hopkins had for Pavlik. Pavlik shouldn’t have taken this fight, frankly. But the resounding image of this evening should be Hopkins going over and staring at the fight commentators, staring at them and nothing more.
Hopkins is a true great. Love him or hate him, you can’t take that away from him tonight.