Home canvas advantage?
That’s what it sure felt like Saturday night in Quebec City as Canadian champion Jean Pascal retained his WBC light heavyweight title after a majority draw with Bernard Hopkins.
The 28-year-old Pascal (26-1-1) knocked Hopkins down at the end of the first round and again in the third, the first time Hopkins had been down in a fight since 1994. But Hopkins, who turns 46 on Jan. 15, protested to the referee that the knockdowns had been caused by punches to the back of the head.
After the second knockdown, Hopkins (51-5-2) took control of the fight, attacking Pascal with left hooks to the body and overhand rights to the head. Pascal spent the next several rounds on the retreat, as Hopkins put together swift combinations. In the end, however, the judges gave Pascal the benefit of the doubt.
“I dominated the fight,” Hopkins said. “I threw a lot of combinations. This was a sure enough robbery. I took him to school.”
Only one judge scored the match in favor of Hopkins, who was looking to become the oldest man to win a world championship. Hopkins will reportedly file a protest and request an immediate rematch.
“I believe I won the fight,” Pascal said. “It wasn’t my best fight, but Bernard fights ugly and dirty. He’s a tough guy to box.”