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Hopkins becomes oldest champion at 46

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1 Hopkins becomes oldest champion at 46 on Tue May 24, 2011 2:51 pm


MONTREAL – Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter to win a major world championship, taking the WBC light heavyweight title Saturday night from Jean Pascal at the age of 46.

Hopkins (52-5-2) broke the age record set by George Foreman in a heavyweight title victory over Michael Moorer in 1994. Hopkins won at 46 years, 4 months, 6 days. Foreman was 45 years, 10 months.

"I won't retire until I'm 50," Hopkins said.

He won the WBC, IBO and The Ring magazine titles from the 28-year-old Pascal (26-2-1), the Montreal fighter who was making his fifth defense before 17,560 at the Bell Centre.

The bout was a rematch of their Dec. 18 draw in Quebec City.

"He's a great champion. He has great defense and a lot of tricks. I was a young champion," Pascal said of Hopkins in the ring afterward. "These two fights will help take me to the next level. I learned a lot from Bernard and his style."

The Philadelphia native played up his uncanny fitness in the pre-fight banter and looked the fresher man throughout the bout, taunting Pascal by doing push-ups as he waited for him to start the seventh round and doing them again after the fight.

Hopkins landed more punches and was able to slip many of Pascal's power shots, answering with clever jabs and scoring more than once on right-hand leads.

Hopkins didn't, as planned, wear a Philadelphia Flyers jersey into the ring, but one of his corner men did.

In the co-feature, Chad Dawson showed masterful defense and crisp punching in scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Montreal's Adrian Diaconu in a light heavyweight elimination bout.

Hopkins will next fight Dawson (30-1).

(This version CORRECTS In second paragraph, corrects spelling of "George" and rewrites to delete incorrect word "since" and update with age details; updates with details on Flyers jersey in new ninth paragraph.)

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