37-year old Robert Hawkins won a landslide decision over Dominick Guinn in a gatekeeper special heavyweight main event on the uninspiring season premiere of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights, emerging victorious by scores of 97-93, 99-91, and 100-90.
Hawkins was a late replacement opponent for Guinn, who was first supposed to fight unbeaten American semi-prospect Alonzo Butler, and then there were other opponents lined up, all of whom fell through. Philadelphia's Hawkins (23-10) stepped in just over a month after being knocked out by Vladimir Virchis, and pulled out his second win in what was a very busy year for the journeyman. He beat Terry Smith via six-round decision in September, and lost to Virchis, David Tua, Jason Estrada, and Jean-Francois Bergeron. Counting a 2006 loss to Kevin Johnson and 2005 defeats at the fists of Eddie Chambers and Samuel Peter, Hawkins came into this fight having lost seven of his previous nine.
The 32-year old Guinn (28-6-1) has no excuses, though. He was set up to lose to Butler, but now had a fight he should have won, ill-prepared or not. It's not as if Hawkins was planning on fighting him, either, and Guinn wasn't even competitive. This, in my mind, truly puts the stamp on Guinn as absolutely nothing more than a professional opponent who should be fed to prospects ready to become contenders. His other five losses all came to quality fighters. And it's not a knock on Hawkins, but when you're in Guinn's position and you lose to someone in Hawkins', you become the same guy. It's over. There was once excitement about Guinn, and that has long since faded. This loss does little more than convince even the most ardent of Guinn fans (and I've found, strangely, that he has several) that Dominick Guinn, American Hope, is never happening.