Body Blows: Hopkins/Wright

Bernard Hopkins vs. Winky Wright

Hopkins mugged Wright in the face during the Friday weigh-in. Maybe it was intended to gain fan interest in the fight. Perhaps it was meant to fire Hopkins up so he could give a shit about his mild-mannered challenger. Whatever the reason, what people believed would be a boring fight turned out to be mostly a boring fight.

Winky Wright went to his trademark jab early, even though the first few rounds were mostly comprised of holding, clinching, and booing. The third round began with an exchange that led to an accidental headbutt from Hopkins to Wright that opened up a huge gash above Winky’s eye. How huge? See for yourself:

From here, the rest of the fight is spent watching Winky Wright complain and referee Robert Byrd give continuous warnings to Hopkins for headbutts and bullying despite never taking a point away. So I guess he was just warning him about another warning. The fifth round may have been the least horrible, as the action was back and forth with the crowd getting behind the fighters

It seems like many of these rounds are there for the taking if one of the guys would be aggressive. But given the counter-punching of both Wright and Hopkins, it’s easy to see why neither man is eager to press the action. It also makes it easy to see why the crowd is booing almost every round. Wright tries to pick up the pace late in the fight but he seems gassed. The cut from the headbutt is also getting worse. Wright isn’t putting his punches together and the 42-year-old Hopkins seems to be in better shape during the championship rounds. The fight goes the distance and the winner by unanimous decision is Bernard Hopkins. The scores were 117-111 twice and 116-112.

It was a good fightplan for Hopkins, albeit a boring one. He never let Wright get into a good rhythm and somehow managed to fight dirty all night without getting a point deducted. The ref was too involved in the fight for a point to never be taken away. Hopkins called out Joe Calzaghe after the fight. It’s a better matchup than this one but still a probable stinker. It will be interesting to see where this fight takes place if it does happen. Calzaghe has a big fight coming up with Mikkel Kessler. A fight with Hopkins should be the furthest thing from his mind.

Oscar Larios vs. Jorge Linares

Larios had over 60 fights in his career despite being just 30-years-old. It turns out that this may very well be his last fight. He was unable to keep up with the steady pace of the younger Linares. Linares caught Larios with an uppercut at the end of the sixth round that hurt the elder Mexican fighter. The assault continued for three rounds until Larios was dropped in the 10th round. Larios beat the count but wasn’t steady enough on his feet for the referee and the fight was stopped.

Larios was taken to the hospital after the fight and was suffering from bleeding of the brain. Dan Rafael of ESPN reports the brain bleed is presumed to not be life threatening but the Nevada Athletic Commission won’t license Larios again and neither will any other respectable commission. Nevada’s rules say that a fighter who has suffered a subdural hematoma, no matter how small, can’t be licensed in the state.

Michael Katsidis vs. Czar Amonsot

This was the fight of the night and quite possibly could be the fight of the year. Katsidis is known as an exciting fighter but Czar Amonsot was just as game as his opponent. Amonsot went down in the second round but served up punishment all night to Katsidis. The referee actually stopped the fight in the 9th to have Katsidis checked out by doctors due to his cuts, bruises, and swelling. Amonsot would go down again in the 10th round but the fight would end up in the judges’ hands. The fight was scored as a unanimous decision for Michael Katsidis with scores of 116-110, 115-111, and 114-112.

The fight was awesome but unfortunately it may be the last for Czar Amonsot. According to Dan Rafael, Amonsot also suffered bleeding in his brain after the fight. Amonsot’s bleeding was minimal and he will be able to live a healthy life but as with Larios, he won’t be licensed to fight again. It’s a sad ending as Amonsot is just 21-years-old and a rematch with Katsidis would have been a big deal for his career.

Other Results From The Week

– Australian light heavyweight Danny Green beat FOX and Oscar De La Hoya’s Next Great Champ, Otis Griffin, by third round KO.

– Pongsaklek Wonjongkam dropped the WBC Flyweight Title to Daisuke Naito via unanimous decision. Wonjongkam had held the title for over six years.

– Mike Oliver defeated Cruz Carbajal by unanimous decision to earn an IBF Super Bantamweight title shot.

– Super Featherweight prospect Dat Nguyen won a unanimous decision over Castulo Gonzalez.

– Fres Oquendo won his heavyweight bout against Elieser Castillo by unanimous decision.

– Alex Arthur earned a 10th round TKO over Koba Gogoladze for an interim super featherweight title.

– Gavin Rees won the WBA Light Welterweight Title with a unanimous decision over Souleymane M’baye.

– Enzo Maccarinelli retained the WBO Cruiserweight Title with a lopsided unanimous decision over Wayne Braithwaite.

– Demetrius Hopkins, Bernard’s nephew, made quick work of Haider Berrio in his first round TKO victory.