Not even the judges could deny Bernard Hopkins' age-defying performance.
In the days leading to Hopkins' world light-heavyweight title rematch against Jean Pascal , former heavyweight champion George Foreman cautioned that Hopkins would need a knockout victory if the Philadelphia native wanted to break Foreman's record as the oldest world champion.
But throughout his legendary 16-year run of successful title fights, Hopkins has proved that he can last the distance and win important bouts. Hopkins, 46, proved that yet again with his convincing unanimous decision over Pascal late Saturday in Montreal.
The victory earned Hopkins the World Boxing Council light-heavyweight belt. With the victory, Hopkins became the oldest fighter to win a world title, supplanting Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994.
"I felt I'm not 46 but close to 36," Hopkins said. "I worked hard for this title."
Foreman thought the result could have been similar to the first Hopkins-Pascal bout Dec. 18, which also was held in Canada. Hopkins believed he did sufficient work to win the fight but Pascal, who lives in Canada, retained his title with a draw.
But in Saturday's rematch, Hopkins (52-5-2) took the fight out of Pascal after the fourth round. Pascal, who hurt Hopkins late in the fourth with a right to the head, succumbed to Hopkins' solid lead rights to the head the remainder of the bout. Hopkins also established pace with a lead left jab to the head.
Knowing that he had surrendered most of the middle and late rounds, Pascal (26-2-1) charged at Hopkins in the 12th and temporarily stunned him with a right to the head. But Hopkins avoided additional damage and left it up to the judges.
Rey Danseco , Anek Hongtongkam and Guido Cavalleri verified Hopkins' convincing performance with their scorecards of 116-112, 115-114 and 115-113.
Hopkins, who considered retiring before he turned 41, now expects to continue fighting until he's 50.
"I'm going to finish last, I'm going to finish strong," Hopkins said. "I have a plan to end my career. Before I leave this game, you're going to see the best fights of Bernard Hopkins' career."
Hopkins talked of possible fights with super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute and former light-heavyweight titleholder Chad Dawson . On the Hopkins-Pascal rematch undercard, Dawson won a unanimous decision over Adrian Diaconu . The bout was Dawson's first since losing his title against to Pascal on Aug. 8.
"I'm promising that every fight before I retire is going to be breathtaking and heart beating," Hopkins said. "I want to go out on a good note, a positive note b" a winner, not beat up, not broke."
Fresh off his win over former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall on March 18, Cedric Boswell again will be featured in the next card at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Fla., on June 4.
Boswell (34-1, 26 KOs) will face Kertson Manswell in a 10-round fight.
The card also will feature a bout between former cruiserweight world champion O'Neil Bell and Richard Hall. South Florida-based heavyweights Dieuly Aristide and Erick Leander also will fight in separate undercard bouts.