Bernard Hopkins won a brutal unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. in their long-delayed rematch in Las Vegas Saturday night, emphatically avenging his loss in the famed champions’ first fight nearly 17 years ago.
The 45-year-old Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) dominated nearly every round of a light heavyweight bout filled with wily veteran tactics and fueled by obvious mutual hatred, winning for the fifth time in his six fights since 2005.
Hopkins punctuated his dominance with a stirring rebound from the 41-year-old Jones’ punch behind his head late in the sixth round. Hopkins, who was seeing spots throughout the later rounds, collapsed in his dressing room afterward.
Both fighters were taken to a hospital for evaluation, although both left the Mandalay Bay Events Center under their own power.
“It was definitely worth it, and it was sweet revenge,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins settled an old score against Jones (54-7), who beat him by decision in May 1993 when both fighters still were on the cusp of standout careers.
Jones has lost six of his last 11 bouts, falling precipitously from his pedestal as arguably the most dominant fighter of the 1990s.
Haye stops Ruiz
David Haye made a successful first defense of his WBA heavyweight title in Manchester, England, knocking down John Ruiz four times before the American challenger’s corner stopped the fight in the ninth round.
The Englishman sent Ruiz to the canvas twice in the first round, but Ruiz survived until his trainer waved the white towel 2 minutes, 1 second into the ninth.
After his 24th victory of a 25-fight career, Haye wants to unite the heavyweight belts by fighting either of the Klitschko brothers – Vitali or Wladimir – who between them hold the WBC, IBF and minor WBO titles.