“I want to talk about the fact that Bernard Hopkins disappointed a lot of fans tonight. That’s what he did. He disappointed a lot of fans. I was looking forward to a great fight, and I was looking forward to going out there performing, and Bernard cut my night short.”
Hopkins told Kellerman, however, that he wanted to continue fighting but Russell would not let him.
“I told the ref that I could continue with one arm. He said, ‘No, you can’t continue because you’ve got a lump on your top shoulder’ and he stopped it. He walked away and that was it,” said Hopkins, who then explained his version of the fight-ending sequence.
“I was backing up, and he picked me up. Look at my two legs [watching replay.] He picked me up off of my feet. He threw me down on my shoulder, and I rolled onto my shoulder. There’s the knot right there that popped up. My shoulder is out.”
De La Hoya said he saw the shoulder before Hopkins left to be hospitalized.
“I was walking toward the press conference, and Bernard was walking out to go to the hospital, and we stopped and we talked and I asked him if he was okay,” said De La Hoya.
“Then he showed me his left shoulder, and it looked like there was a bone sticking up out of it. I mean, Bernard Hopkins is not a guy to cry foul. Bernard Hopkins is a guys who will fight to the end, so this was obviously a serious injury.”
The main event overshadowed an exciting undercard, highlighted by Antonio DeMarco overcoming a deficit on the cards to score an 11th-round knockout over Jorge Linares for the WBC’s vacant lightweight title.
“Please don’t forget about the Fight of the Year, Linares versus DeMarco. I’ll tell you one thing, Linares is an excellent boxer,” said De La Hoya.
“What a masterful performance Linares gave us, but DeMarco has the heart of a lion. That was an incredible performance and it obviously calls for a rematch. It was an absolutely incredible fight.”
Former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi earned his third straight win in as many consecutive welterweight fights by unanimous decision over Orlando Lora. And unbeaten junior welterweight Danny Garcia earned a spirited split-decision slugfest over former world titleholder Kendall Holt.
“Once again, we saw Paulie Malignaggi. The Magic Man is back, so I’m very excited for him. I’m also very excited about Danny Garcia,” said De La Hoya.
“Danny Garcia showed tremendous heart and that he can be in there and dominate the big players at 140 pounds, because Kendall Holt was no joke, let me tell you.”
In addition, there were comeback victories by wrongfully imprisoned cruiserweight Dewey Bozella and hard-hitting junior middleweight Freddy Hernandez which highlighted the non-televised undercard, although Bozella’s replays were shown later.
The 52-year-old Bozella overcame a rocky first round to scored a four-round, unanimous decision over Larry Hopkins, and Hernandez rebounded from a first-round knockout loss in his previous fight to decision former welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo over 10 rounds, dropping Collazo in the eighth.
“Dewey Bozella, I was so proud to be around him and so excited,” said De La Hoya. “He taught us once again that dreams do come true.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com