Hopkins outpoints Wright
July 22, 2007
By Jorge Gonzalez
Las Vegas, Nev. - Both fighters swore they were Coming to Fight, but ended up fighting the same defensive battle that they have all their careers. Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins (48-4-1) won a unanimous decision to retain his Ring Magazine light heavyweight title over Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright (51-4-1).
The experts were correct when they pegged this bout to go the distance. Neither fighter was hurt badly at anytime during the contest. The judges had the final say in who won the fight and scored it 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 for Hopkins.
That the fight will go past the 1:30 mark of the 11th round opened and landed on $5.00 (bet $500 to win $100), and that the fight will not go was +3.75 (bet $100 to win $375).
“I wanted people to see a great fight and it turned out to be a great performance,” said a confident Hopkins. “’Winky’ is tough and kept coming.
“He knows I respect him. We’re businessmen. There is no ill will towards one another. Boxing is back. Golden Boy is putting on good shows.”
The fighters may have come to fight, but they had trouble landing punches throughout the fight. Hopkins landed 26 percent of his power punches, but only landed 10 percent of his jabs. Wright was more active with his jab landing 30 percent. Both fighters threw the same amount of punches, but the judges ruled that the heavy punches were the difference in the fight.
In the third round, Wright received a cut on the top of his head in what was ruled an accidental head butt.
“I didn’t stick my head out there to cause harm, ‘Winky’ knows that.” stated Hopkins.
Wright did not use the head butt as an excuse despite missing the post-fight press conference. However, the 35-year-old was to taken to the hospital to receive stitches from the blow.
“I felt I won the fight,” said a bewildered Wright. “He had better punches than I though he would.
“The scores were crazy. I thought it was a close fight and I won. I want Oscar point blank and that will be it for me.”
The fight got off to a premature and immature start at Friday’s weigh-in. After sticking a finger in each others faces, Hopkins shoved ‘Winky’ in the face with an open hand and instigated a scuffle between entourages. It ended up being nothing more than a huge shoving match with any serious injuries.
Wright opened up as $1.40 favorite, with Bernard Hopkins listed as the $1.20 underdog. Mandalay Bay sports book director Jay Rood believes the action will stay on Wright.
“I don’t see the trend changing on Wright,” noted Rood. “I think ‘Winky’ is going to get the action.
“Wright is the more marketable of the two.”
The bettors came in on the more likeable fighter pushing the price on Wright to $2.00, while Hopkins was the $1.70 underdog at the opening bell.
Wright came to fight, and was busier earlier in the matchup. Hopkins was able to stay out of the way of Wright’s jab throughout the contest, and kept him close at all times. Hopkins dictated the fight by using his size and strength to keep Wright wrapped up despite several warnings from the referee.
“I had to use my legs to win this fight,” said Hopkins. “It’s a bait and fish.
“You put the bait close to the fish, and you pull it away till you want to catch it.”