By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
Bernard Hopkins, 49-years-old, finally looked like a fighter who is rapidly approaching the age of 50, according to trainer John David Jackson.
Last Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Jackson's boxer, Sergey Kovalev (26-0-1, 23KOs), dominated Hopkins over twelve rounds to unify the WBO/WBA/IBF light heavyweight titles.
Before the fight took place, Jackson was very honest about their strategy - to target the body of Hopkins. He felt Kovalev executed the strategy perfectly by hitting Hopkins to the stomach, ribs, arms, shoulders.
Jackson had no concerns about Hopkins conserving his energy to attempt a late charge, because he felt the veteran was completely spent by the championship rounds.
"I knew that once Bernard got hurt [in the first round] he would go into a shell, then maybe come out of that shell later on and try to capyitalize," Jackson told BoxingScene.com.
"But you could see that he was 49. You could see the age on him. The bodyshots brought out the age in him. He got hit on the arms a lot and those things neutralize a lot of what Bernard usually does with the counters."
"Even though Bernard was there in the tweflth round, he took a lot of punishement to the body from rounds one to eleven. How much energy did he really have left in the tank in round twelve? He had enough to survive but not enough to launch a full, all-out attack on Sergey."