Just six months after escaping with a majority draw, WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal loses the rematch with Bernard Hopkins as the two fighters tangled last night at Montreal's Bell Centre.
Nearly 18,000 fans were on hand to witness 46 year old Hopkins eclipse George Foreman's record of becoming the oldest boxer to ever win a major world title.
The early frames saw Hopkins establish the most crucial element of his game plan and that was to set the kind of moderate pace in which he has always worked best in but Pascal managed to wrest control in the fourth and shake the Philadelphian with big shots.
From that point on however, Hopkins seemed to put a clamp on the champion, using his still remarkably quick jab to keep Pascal from getting anything started on the offensive end.
Hopkins employed his lead right hand, always a difficult punch for opponents to defend against, to perfection, shocking Pascal time and time again with shattering blows. Hopkins also used angles and lead left hooks to make it difficult for Pascal to know what was coming next.
Pascal tried to use explosive moments on the inside and while he did get to Hopkins with hurtful punches at times, the veteran challenger won most of the trench engagements with awkward, unexpected punches and sharp, bruising tactics that kept referee Ian Jon-Lewis very busy.
The tenth frame saw Pascal reeling from a sustained Hopkins assault and while the champion's gloves touched the canvas at times, no knockdowns were called.
Pascal dug deep and hurt Hopkins in the twelfth but the old master was able to get through the round and sweep the scorecards by margins of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-114.
Hopkins raises his record to 52-5-2 (32) while Pascal drops to 26-2-1 (16).
The undercard saw two former light heavyweight champions clash as southpaw Chad Dawson, 30-1 (17), was too quick for Adrian Diaconu, 27-3 (15), posting a 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 unanimous decision after 12 rounds.