HBO's pay-per-view from Las Vegas tonight sounds like something I wish I'd paid the 50 bucks for, which is rather what I was hoping would be the case. The fact that the fight seemed a glorified exhibition deterred me, even though I was quite interested in the undercard. 50 clams is a lot to pay for any fight, and even though Winky and Bernard are two of the best in the world, I couldn't see the fight living up to the money.
Here's what I know: Bernard Hopkins won on scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111, and Winky is probably going to feel robbed. Almost everyone says that every round was a tight call, and Wright complained of numerous headbutts (something no one is trying to lie about, except maybe Hopkins), which opened a nasty gash over his left eye. But, really, this is two middleweights fighting as light heavyweights, and Wright had no plans to continue on in the division even if he had won. The fight more or less assures us that both fighters are still world-class, and in some respects, they should be given kudos for fighting one another.
Everyone says that the show-stealer, though, was the fight for the interim WBO lightweight title. Australian KO artist Michael Katsidis won a rough 12-round decision over Czar Amonsot, with scores of 116-110, 114-112 and 115-111. Though Amonsot was clearly a designated fall guy to help make a star of Katsidis in the States, it's clear that the Filipino underdog had other plans. Some are even calling it the Fight of the Year. Amonsot was floored twice in the second and once in the tenth, but fought on.
Sadly, however, Amonsot is currently in the hospital with a brain bleed. The 21-year old was sent immediately after the fight, as ringside physician Jeff Davidson was concerned about the head shots that he took during the bout. It turned out that Amonsot suffered a small subdural hematoma, which will more likely than not end his career, though thankfully it is not life-threatening. These things happen in boxing, yet it's never something that I become desensitized to. It puts into perspective just how tough these fighters are, and how risky a career choice they've made. God bless them for making it and entertaining us all, and Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes to Czar Amonsot and his loved ones.
In the night's other major fight, 21-year old Jorge Linares handed veteran warrior Oscar Larios a 10th-round knockout loss. This was Linares' first big fight, really, and he comes out looking pretty good. Larios really hasn't had a quality win since 2005, when he beat Wayne McCullough two times. Since, he's won three easy fights, and lost to Israel Vazquez, Manny Pacquiao and Linares. It's not at all a bad trio to lose to, but one has to wonder what Larios really has left. He's only 30, but it could very well be an old 30. He was (and is, really) a hell of an overlooked boxer, though.
The biggest boxing news of the night, though, is that Bernard Hopkins appears ageless. The headbutts are one thing, but when you see the stats that Winky Wright landed only 87 jabs in a fight, that's astounding. Hopkins is probably the smartest man in the game, because Winky Wright is no easy nut to crack. Hopkins is now openly hoping for a fight against Joe Calzaghe next year, proposing Yankee Stadium as a venue. It'd be phenomenal, if Calzaghe gets past Kessler in November. Making this fight entertaining (which most say it was, and I'll judge for myself soon enough) was no easy task. If you can't believe in Hopkins now, when can you? The guy is a living legend. 42 years old and going the distance and beating top-shelf boxers. Can't knock it.